How to Do Lure‐Based Training with a Cat



Position the lure strategically so the cat naturally does the trick.,
Use a hand or verbal cue with the lure.,
Offer food and verbal encouragement once the cat performs the trick.,
Repeat in different locations and at different times of day.,
Perform training sessions daily for no more than ten minutes at a time.,
Demand more each time in return for the reward.,
Combine several smaller tasks to teach complicated tricks.

The attraction of lure training is that you can use the lure to naturally position your cat. Correctly placing the lure can cause your cat to perform tricks, including “come,” “sit,” lie,” or “jump.” Do not give your cat the lure until it has fully performed the task.

For example, if you place the lure close to the ground, your cat will lie down to reach it.
If you place the lure high in the air, your cat will stand up., You want to train your cat to respond even when you don’t have a treat. So, as you position your hand with the lure, also call out the name of the trick. Try to use a different hand signal with each trick too, so that there are more cues to alert your cat to the trick.For hand signals, you could, for example, present the lure in an open palm for sit, or present it dangling from two fingers for stand.

, After the cat is in place, give it the treat and say something positive like “good.” Use the same word every time so the cat associates it with reward. Alternatively, use a clicker to make a clicking sound, which the cat will learn means that it has done a good job., Repeating the trick over and over again will help your cat master it and recognize cues. However, you also want to repeat it in different rooms and different times of day. Otherwise, your cat might think that the trick only applies to a particular time and place and won’t correctly respond to the cues in different contexts., Training sessions can become counterproductive if they stretch on too long, boring or irritating your cat. It is better to do shorter, more frequent training sessions. Once your cat seems to understand the calls, intersperse tricks throughout the day, rather than trying to do them in a single, long block of time.

, For harder tasks, you should wait progressively longer before giving your cat a reward, until it is willing to do the whole task. If for example, you are brushing your cat, reward it the first time when it is willing to come to you with the brush in hand. Next time, make it sniff the brush before offering food. The next time, brush your cat for a couple of seconds before feeding it. Then, each time afterward, brush it a little bit longer., You might have to get creative, combining multiple steps, to teach complicated tasks. At each step along the way, you will need to lure your cat to make a motion, reward it, and then move on to the next task.

If you want to have your cat lie on a blanket next to you, you might first need to teach it “come.” Then, you will need to teach “lie.” Finally, you will need to teach it “stay.”

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