Training

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2 min read

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How to Train Your Cat to Find It

Training

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2 min read

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How to Train Your Cat to Find It
Easy difficulty iconEasy
Time icon1-7 Days
General training category iconGeneral

Introduction

Teaching your cat to find it is more than just a fun game—it’s an excellent way to keep them mentally and physically active, and it’s especially helpful if you have an indoor cat. Despite sleeping around 15 hours a day, cats need adequate physical exercise and mental stimulation. Otherwise, they’d get bored, and boredom can lead to negative or destructive behaviors such as excessive grooming or attacking people’s feet. Training your feline friend to find it is also great for enriching their sense of smell, which they heavily rely on to navigate their world and is 14 times better than that of a human’s!


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Defining Tasks

Training your cat to find it is a relatively easy and straightforward trick that many felines should be able to pick up in no time. It also helps that the main goal here is to find food, which is the best way to motivate a cat. Still, it’s important to follow your cat’s pace. If they’re stuck at a particular step, go back to the previous one. Never get angry at your cat for not learning something right away. Remember that felines respond best to positive reinforcement, which is simply rewarding them for performing a desired behavior. 


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Getting Started

To teach your cat how to find it, you will need treats or cat kibble. You may also need a clicker, stacking cups, and/or boxes, depending on the method you’ll use. It’s best to train your feline pal in a quiet, distraction-free environment so that they’ll focus on you.

Patience is a must-have too. While this isn’t a complicated trick, it’s important not to overwhelm your cat and go through the steps too quickly. Cats have a shorter attention span than we do, so keep training sessions short, fun, and frequent. Before you know it, your cat will have added another trick to their arsenal!


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The Scavenger Hunt Method

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1

Create a “sniffari”

Place empty boxes of various sizes on the floor. Use whatever you already have on hand—shoeboxes, cereal boxes, and small shipping boxes all work well. Put treats inside the boxes.

2

Let the hunt begin

Tell your cat to “find it,” and encourage them to explore the boxes. Soon they’ll realize that there are treats inside the boxes and start to “hunt” for them. If your cat isn’t getting the idea, show them the inside of a box or turn some of the boxes on their sides to make it easier.

3

Expand the search area

Once your cat gets the hang of the game, you can spread the boxes out or hide the treats around the room without the boxes. Some good hiding places are on a shelf, next to a toy, and on their window perch. Of course, avoid spots where you don’t want your cat to be, such as the kitchen counter.

4

Make it challenging

Increase the difficulty by placing your cat in another room while you set up the scavenger hunt. Bring them in after you’ve hidden all the goodies. Remember where you placed the treats; if your cat doesn’t find them all, you’ll want to clean them up after the game is over.

The Cup Method

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1

Cup on its side

Place a treat in a cup while your cat is watching you. Make it easy at first by putting the cup on its side to encourage your cat to get the treat out.

2

Standing cup

Once your cat is getting the treat out with the cup on its side, you can place the cup upright and have your cat knock it over to get the treat out. Click and reward your cat for using their paw.

3

Add more cups

Make it harder by adding another cup. Now your cat has to start looking inside the cups to find the treat. Once your cat gets the hang of it, add another cup. Try switching the positions of the cups as well.

4

Take it up a notch

To make things even more challenging, you can spread the cups farther apart, hide the treat while your cat isn’t looking, and/or flip the cups over. It’s a good idea to use cups with holes to help your cat sniff out the treats.

5

Increase activity

Whenever your cat finds a treat, you can either let them have it or toss it. Throwing the treat and having your cat go after it is a good way to squeeze a little exercise into their day.

By Aurus Sy

Published: 02/02/2022, edited: 02/25/2022

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