While you may have never seen a cat do tricks like roll over or sit, they can be trained to perform or not perform certain behaviors. Dogs are eager to please their masters, but unfortunately, felines could care less. The main two methods for how to teach a cat tricks involve either positive reinforcement and negative reinforcement.
Many cats do best when trained with rewards. Treats or food bits tend to work well. Common dog reward tactics like giving playtime or enthusiastic praise will not work. Watch your pet for clues about well-liked foods and treats, and use these for training. In fact, you may want to limit these treats only to your training sessions for extra motivation.
At first, give your animal a treat every time the desired behavior is performed. Later, you should only give the treat intermittently so that a treat is not expected each time.
Patience is key when working with felines. Any frustration or negativity on your part will only alienate your pet from the training process.
Negative reinforcement may be effective with some cats. The best method is squirting your animal with water when you see an undesirable behavior such as jumping on the counter. Yelling will only scare him or her, and no training will result. Felines also react negatively to harsh punishment, so physical force should never be used on your pet.
Cat training can be a tough process since they have their own ideas about what they will and will not do. You can learn how to teach a cat tricks or other desirable behaviors such as staying off of your kitchen counter.