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             Article © 2005  Darlene Arden. First published in the March 2005 issue of Cat Fancy.

 


GC Nacada Mandarin Ice dreaming up new tricks...
Photo courtesy of Chuck & Bonnie Searles

40 Tricks to Train Your Human

Your Cat Has More Power Than You Realize

By

© Darlene Arden

If you think your cat doesn’t train you, think again. I have it on very good authority that they do. Here are just 40 of their tricks, right from the, uh, cat’s mouth.

GET THEIR ATTENTION:

1. Wait on top of the refrigerator, and when your owner enters the kitchen, leap onto her shoulders. You’ll have her attention and enjoy watching her jump.
Mercy on the lookout for a training opportunity.
Photo by Mercy's owner, J. C. of San Jose, CA
 

2. Lurk behind a chair. Jump out and grab your human’s ankle as he walks past you.

3. Right when your owner begins to talk on the phone, whine. Loudly.

4. Station yourself outside the closed bathroom door. As your owner comes out she will probably trip over you. Look especially pained.

5. Groom your owner’s face while he’s sleeping. He doesn’t groom himself nearly enough anyhow, and the feel of your tongue and the hairs pulled from his head should wake him quickly.

6. If your owner is sitting in the bathroom, walk in and sit on her lap.

7. If she doesn’t let you sit on her lap in the bathroom, bring in a toy so she can play with you.

8. When he’s in the shower, use his towel as a comfy bed.

9. Drop a toy at your owner’s feet and look up. Paw it until he picks it up and throws it for you to chase. Repeat often.

10. Have your owner carry you from room to room to look out the windows together.
Mercy contemplates the weather out there...
Photo by Mercy's owner, J. C. of San Jose, CA
 

11. Bring her a love offering. Something you’ve killed yourself is always appropriate.

12. While your human sleeps, stare at him just before the alarm clock goes off. He’ll wonder how long you’ve been sitting there and will feel guilty.

13. Bang on the bedroom blinds to wake your owner in the middle of the night for a play session.

14. Find the phone locator button and step on it repeatedly for nighttime play sessions.

15. If your owner mistakenly feeds you after being awakened at night, accept the food and simply wait another half hour and wake her again for play.

16. To sleep under the covers near your human, paw the covers near her head until she lifts up the blankets to let you snuggle underneath them.

17. Sit next to your owner’s computer keyboard and STARE at her until she plays with you.

18. Stand near the closet that houses the fishing-pole toy and stare pitifully until your owner retrieves the toy and plays with you.

19. Teach your owner which items you will fetch. For example, if you want her to throw the green ball, but she throws the red one, refuse to fetch it. Only the ball of your choosing is acceptable. Ultimately, she will only buy the green balls for fetching.

20. When you want to play with the laser toy, sit it front of your owner, paw his leg and wait for him to look at you, then look at the place where he keeps the laser toy.


Baccarat is the least you should expect!
Photo courtesy of
Linda Pisani - Topcattery Persians

TIME TO EAT

21. If your owner sleeps late, swish your tail back and forth over his face to help wake him up.

22. Another way to wake your sleeping owner is to extend one claw, reach out and pull down her lip.

23. When guests sit at the table for dinner, jump on the table and go from person to person for food. Odds are better when you train several people at once.

24. Wind around your owner’s legs when she begins to pour food into your dish. She thinks you’re being affectionate, but you’re really just keeping her there until you’ve been fed.

25. Train your owner to leave water dripping in the sink so you can always have a fresh drink from the faucet. Look at him with sad, pleading eyes until he complies.

26. Do you prefer moist food? Take your dry food and drop it in your water dish before eating it.


GC RW Nacada Purple Haze enjoys a Popsicle treat
Photo courtesy of Chuck & Bonnie Searles

TIME FOR TREATS:

27. To receive treats, go where they are kept and yell until your owner gets the idea.

28. If you usually receive treats every evening when you come in from the screened-in porch, get a second helping. Go back, bang on the door, go to the treat cabinet and yell. She’ll get the idea.

29. You can also train your owner to give you treats by stretching up on the back of his legs and whacking his bottom fast with both paws. Follow this by going over and sitting below the treat cabinet.

THE GREAT OUTDOORS --- INDOOR CAT STYLE

30. On rainy days, refuse to go to your outdoor enclosure. Stare at your owner, making her feel guilty for trying to force you out of your warm home. Make her late for work.

31. When it snows, look out the window, then let your owner know that you do not appreciate the weather change and she should fix it, now

EXTRA TRAINING TIPS

32. If guests have overstayed their welcome, sit on top of a door or high shelf, wait for the guests to stand beside you and suddenly drop down in front of them. Repeat as necessary until they get the hint.

33. If your owner leaves the toilet seat up, enjoy some play time making sure much of the water ends up on the floor. This will help remind your owner to keep the seat down.

34. Try opening cabinets that are not shut tightly. Sleep on the dinner plates or rearrange the cereal boxes.

35. For advanced trainers, opt for a cabinet over the refrigerator. It will take your owner a long time to find you and she will feel badly that she did not know where you were for so long.

36. Drawers make a nice place to curl up for a nap. Particularly if your owner just spent a lot of money on a nice bed for you.

37. Train your owner to leave closet doors ajar. If he closes the door while you’re sleeping inside, shred some items in an effort to get out.

38. Do not take medicine when first offered to you. Force your human to be creative about administering it.

39. The most important thing you can teach your owner is not to mind when a hairball squishes between her toes.

40. But the best thing you can teach your owner is that a kitty means love.   

 

                 
      Tabitha demonstrates her "innocent kitten" look  
     Photo courtesy of
Linda Pisani - Topcattery Persians