How to Train Your Cat to Play Fetch

Who says you can’t play fetch with a cat? You just have to make it worth Fluffy’s time.

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Up next in How to Train Your Cat (9 videos)

Got a new kitten -- or a cat that's behaving badly? Learn some cat training tricks in this video series from Howcast. You'll learn how to litter train a cat; stop your cat from spraying; teach your cat not to bite; train your cat to go to the bathroom outside; teach your cat to walk on a leash; and much more.

You Will Need

  • Patience
  • Rewards

Steps

  1. Step 1

    Think like a cat

    Think like a cat. Felines are motivated by pleasure, and will do anything to get it. So figure out the perfect incentive for your cat, whether it’s a can of tuna or a ball of yarn.

  2. Step 2

    Time the training

    Time your training for when your cat is in a good mood. You’re not going to get a lot of cooperation if you interrupt Fluffy’s mealtime, nap, or grooming session.

  3. Step 3

    Toss a favorite toy

    Start by gently tossing one of your cat’s favorite toys a short distance as you repeatedly say 'fetch.' Have a treat ready so you can reward Fluffy if she retrieves the toy.

  4. Don’t yell; cats don’t respond well to loud noises.

  5. Step 4

    Ignore

    Ignore failures. Cats don’t 'get' punishment, so don’t waste your time wagging your finger disapprovingly or banishing Fluffy to the bathroom for a time-out. Instead, lavish praise (and treats) on her when she does good work.

  6. Step 5

    Be patient

    Be patient. As you might have guessed, cats don’t have the innate desire to please that dogs have. Only when you’ve established a successful track record of rewarding Fluffy will she deign to be trained.

  7. Don’t use 'no' during training, as this should be reserved for important things like not shredding the furniture.

  8. Step 6

    Give it a rest

    If, after several attempts, Fluffy shows a total disinterest in learning to fetch, or an inability to succeed at it, give it a rest for a while.

  9. Step 7

    Consider another trick

    Consider trying another trick, like 'kissing' you or proffering a paw at your command.

  10. Cats can run up to speeds of 25 miles per hour.

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