How to Teach Your Cat to Sit in Four Steps



Here’s how you can train your cat so that they’ll receive the adoring accolades and admiration that they deserve.

Step 1: Know What Your Cat Loves

Unlike dogs, cats don’t do tricks for the joy of pleasing you. You’ve got to bribe them, and you better offer something really good. Furball must have been a Japanese cat in a past life, because he’ll do anything for dried seaweed and Citikitty’s Bonito Flakes.

What special snack gets your cat licking her lips? If there’s a treat that your cat is wild about, save it for training purposes and only give it to her when you’re teaching her how to sit.

Step 2: Work With Your Cat’s Natural Behavior

Instead of trying to push your cat’s butt down to teach him to sit, pay attention to when he naturally sits down. Most cats will look up at you if you’re standing in front of them. And, if you’re holding something near and dear to their stomachs, they’ll want front row seats.

Walk up to your cat while holding a treat at your waist level. It should be low enough that your cat can get super-excited about it, but high enough that they won’t try to jump up to reach it. Hold the treat over your cat’s head so that your cat has to crane its neck up and sit down to get a better look. Presto! Your cat is sitting.


Step 3: Don’t Just Say It, Gesture It!

As soon as your cat sits down, say “sit” very clearly and loudly, but in a nice cat-friendly way. Remember, you’re not an Army sergeant and kitty isn’t on duty. You don’t want to startle your cat, because you want to keep the learning experience fun and positive.

As a cat lover, you may have noticed that cats don’t seem to pick up on human words as quickly as dogs (or maybe they’re just better at ignoring us). Therefore, simply saying “sit” isn’t enough. You’ll need to add some emphasis.

Since your cat will be watching the treat very intently, include a large hand gesture when you issue the sit command. I like to hold both of my hands together in front of me as if I were about to bounce a basketball. As soon as Furball sits, I move my hands down a few inches so that he can see the motion and I very clearly say, “Sit.”

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