Training Your Cat: Sit

What You’ll Need

  • Your cat at mealtime
  • A quiet room where the cat is comfortable
  • A specific command (in this case, the word "sit"), preceded by your cat’s name ("Scooter, sit")
  • Your positive signal (a clicker, or an upbeat word such as "yes")
  • The reward (his favorite food or special treats)

Training Steps

1. Gently put the cat on the table at the edge nearest to you, and pet him so he is comfortable.

2. Show your cat the reward, then give the command "Scooter, sit" and move the reward back and over his head.

3. As he tips his head back to follow the food, he will sit to keep his balance. When he sits, hit the clicker (or use your positive signal) and say "sit, good sit." Immediately give him his food reward.

4. Eventually your cat should respond to the command "sit" without you having to move the food over his head.

5. Once your cat has learned this behavior, you no longer need to place the cat on the table to sit.

In the beginning, if your cat does not sit on his own, you may gently press down on his hindquarters. Then hit the clicker (or use your positive signal) and say "sit, good sit." This trick will be easy with some cats, while others may resist being helped to sit. Be gentle and patient. Remember not to frustrate or frighten your cat. If he resists, try again another time. It’s always better to have him sit on his own.