How to Teach Your Cat the ‘Come’ Command

It’s a myth that cats are not trainable, so you can train your cat to come at your command. Cats just need some motivation -- like a reward -- to do whatever it is that you want them to accomplish.

It helps to start training cats when they are still kittens; they’ll retain the knowledge more readily. Even if your cat is a stubborn adult, these instructions from Gary M. Landsberg, Wayne L. Hunthausen and Lowell J. Ackerman, authors of Handbook of Behavior Problems of the Dog and Cat, Volume 1, should work.

They advise that you should use your cat’s favorite food or toy as a lure. You simply hold out the selected item and say “Come!” Repeat this exercise until your cat comes and associates the reward with the verbal command and action. Over time, you can try to replace the food or toy prize with head rubs and affection.

The authors say you can use such a lure technique to train your cat to do many things. These include using a scratching post, sitting up and begging, going to the bedroom or other rooms, and coming toward certain people. That last trick can be a real crowd-pleaser during the holidays when relatives or friends are in town. For these other tricks, just be sure to use different words. For example, say “Scratch!” for the command to use the scratching post.

by The Daily Cat experts