Cats Can Sit Too

I can’t believe how dark it is in the mornings now. Combined with heavy Nova Scotia fog, the morning darkness makes for an eerie atmosphere. If I was more paranoid I don’t know how comfortable I would have been with Shiva out on the empty streets. It was the perfect setting for a horror movie. It’s a good thing my imagination doesn’t switch on until after seven am.

I bring up the darkness as a way of apologizing for the poor lighting in the video I am about to show you. In the future, I am going to have to find a better time of day to film. But I didn’t want to wait one more moment to show you the progress I have made in teaching my cat to sit.

It has taken the two of us a long time to get to this point. I am proud of myself for sticking with it despite the massive amounts of adversity I had to face. I will not lie, it’s been a battle. At times, I wasn’t sure if I would make it out alive.

The Cat already wasn’t my biggest fan. Making him work for his treats is just one more reason for him to plot my death. Right now I am positive he is downstairs putting a curse on my pillow. Don’t let those ridiculously long whiskers fool you. Inside that fuzzy little face is the mind of a cold-blooded killer. Just keep that in mind as you watch this.

I’d also like you to keep in mind that my house isn’t always this messy.

Okay, so it is. Who am I kidding? Authentic blogging, right here.

The easiest place to get him to sit is on top of his cat furniture. I have had success getting him to do it on the floor but only when Shiva isn’t around. I’d thought she was distracted enough with her breakfast to leave us alone. She must have suspected something and wolfed it faster than usual.

Of course, it’s all about the treats. He won’t sit for just anything. I tried all of his favourites: canned fish, small pieces of chicken, turkey. Oddly, the only thing he’ll work for with any reliability is Whiskas Temptations. Or, as I call them, cat twinkies. Our cat is clearly a junkfood addict. I don’t know exactly what’s in them and I don’t really want to know. It would probably just make me feel like the worst cat owner ever for purchasing them.

I am determined to get him sitting faster – maybe even without the treat bag waved in front of his face. Ambitious, I know. Once we’ve got it nailed, I am bringing out the leash.

Mwahahahaha! (If you don’t hear from me within a week, assume The Cat finally got his revenge.)

39 thoughts on “Cats Can Sit Too

  1. LOLS! i love that you “chase” him to his perch to get him to sit! That made my morning LOL!!

    All three of my cats will sit on cue pretty reliably. Panther is my food motivated kitty so she also has really good name recognition, will “sit pretty” and “spin” pretty reliably as well… i’ve got video somewhere of shayne, rio, and panther doing tricks together i think it’s so cute!

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    • I’m always chasing him around. It totally makes my day too. He’s such a little weirdo.

      And then I question why he doesn’t like me as much as he does my PH…

      You’ve taught Panther to spin? That’s so cool. Maybe I’ll do that next instead of teaching him to walk on a leash. You must show me that video!

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  2. My Meowzer will sit on command – but only if it’s wet food time or I’m giving her a treat. I’ve never had a cat before Meowzer, and I’ve decided that they’re totally weird. Ha!

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    • They are bizarre, I quite agree. The Cat is the first cat I’ve ever lived with as well. He’s very good and very well-behaved, for a cat, but we’re not very bonded. I thought if I tried to teach him some tricks it would help our relationship.

      Either that or maybe I should just start fresh with a new cat.

      Love the name Meowzer!

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    • Probably not. He does look a little dumbfounded, doesn’t he? The problem was there was so much going on when I was trying to film. The dumb dog kept thinking I was talking to her and my PH kept distracting the cat. We’ve been working on this stupid trick for months now but only when it’s just the two of us in the room. Clearly I jumped to the next level too fast. Has dog training taught me nothing??

      Apparently.

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  3. My kitties can sit, too! I don’t think they’ll ever do it without treats. I’m trying to teach them “down” because I just think it would be hilarious to show that off to friends. “Oh, your dog knows sit, down, & shake? Yeah … watch this!” Jemima can “speak” on command (and good lord is it adorable) and she also knows “up” to stand on her hind legs and reach for something. Skimble … well … he’s *really* good at sit 😛

    I trained them from when I first got them (2 years ago) and all my friends thought I was crazy. It’s harder than training a dog, yes. BUT totally doable (as is evidenced by this video). 🙂

    And uh … good luck with the leash!!

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    • That is so cool!! Speak would be awesome!! I wish I had started from the beginning, but he wasn’t my cat. He’s seven years old now and we don’t have much of a relationship – he’s my husband’s cat much more than he will ever be mine. Maybe I should cut my losses and start fresh with a new cat?

      Any advice for a newbie cat trainer?

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      • Advice? Yup. Pretend he’s a dog 😛 My friends have tried to train their kitties before but they give up pretty quickly saying “Well … I didn’t expect him to do much. He IS a cat!” We wouldn’t give up on our dogs so … don’t give up on your kitty! 🙂

        Have fun! And LOL at starting with a fresh cat!! That’s not a bad idea. “Honey … we need another cat. Why? Oh, because I want to teach it tricks.”

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    • Hard, but not impossible. They say you can clicker train goldfish. If my cranky, stand0ffish cat will at least pretend to listen to me, I have hope that there are cats out there that will actually WANT to learn. It’s just finding one that may be difficult. 😛

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  4. haha, this is awesome. Cats are really hard to train so I’m super impressed. We recently got a sample bag of dog food that’s basically “dog twinkies” and the dogs will do ANYTHING for a piece of that kibble, so I can see how that would be the only thing The Cat will work for 🙂

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    • I am starting to doubt I have actually taught him anything… *sigh* It’s a good thing he’s cute.

      LOL. My dog is kind of a junk food junkie too. We can spend hundreds of dollars on fancy treats but she will go nuts over a boiled hotdog. 😛 There is no accounting for taste.

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  5. That’s amazing! I never even thought of trying to train a cat before. I have, however, trained a dog to get behavior I wanted out of a cat – when the cat got in the garbage, the dog was sent to get the cat out of the garbage – gently, of course. 🙂

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    • I love that idea! We do have a command for Shiva, “get that cat” but we only pull it out when he is jumping on top of tables or meowing for no reason whatsoever. Too bad it doesn’t actually work. Shiva is such a chicken.

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  6. Does he like cheese? That is a universal high value treat in my house. My kitty Froufrou sits but only if there are treats on offer. She is a fat pig so she will work for food without any grudges. Your cat is very cute though 🙂

    My dogs come and join in if I am trying to teach Froufrou something, but it doesn’t put Miss Fatty-fat-fat off her focus on the treat. I have had the two dogs and cat all sitting in front of me waiting for their bits of cheese.

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  7. Bwaaaa ha ha ha! Training cats is the same as training Greyhounds! Just know that you had better always give The Cat a treat for sitting, or you WILL pay! I love how she ran out of the kitchen and up onto the cat tree. “I’ll sit, but it will be where I want and when I want!”

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  8. Good job! It ISN’T easy to train a cat! Olivia can hand target, sit, and beg on cue, (she loves to clicker train – I really should do more with her) but Tanner and Finn just haven’t caught on.

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  9. The woman that brought freestyle to Norway is a little less known for clicker training cats, but she has had quite a lot of success using targets in the form of sticks and mats.

    Brilliant work, though, and he is gorgeous.

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  10. I think it’s just awesome that you would even consider training your kitty 🙂 The thought has never really crossed my mind . . my cats rule my house (and there are 3 of them!) He is so cute . . how could he be evil??? 🙂

    Nice work!

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  11. I underestimated your determination with the kitty training and I shall never do it again. 🙂

    Be sure, though, he’s not trying to please you – he is totally self-serving (and darn cute, too). Oh, and if you aren’t bonded by the end of this, I vote you start fresh (with the sweetest black kitty in the shelter).

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