How to Train Your Cat to Jump Through a Hoop

Hard
2-4 Weeks
Fun

Introduction

Picture your cat jumping through a hoop on command! This task may be a tricky one for your furry friend to master, but when they do, they’ll be the talk of the neighborhood. You may have to purchase a hoop to leave lying around the house for a few days to let your kitty get used to seeing it. Cats, being as curious as they are, will soon be nudging the hoop to see what it’s all about!

Defining Tasks

Remember that not all cats will be suited for this task. Sure, you can teach an old cat new tricks, but if they have arthritis or stiff joints, they’ll be giving this training session a pass. The same goes for very young kittens. Their tiny bones may be too fragile just yet. Let an athletic young cat be the one to try this trick out.

Getting Started

Plan on spending one to two minutes at the most as you work on this trick. It’s a difficult one, so don’t expect your cat to try it over and over without getting a tad frustrated. Keep the session short, build on it one step at a time, and end on a positive note. This may take a while, and patience is part of the package. Gather a hoop, lure toy, and treats to begin!

The Lure Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Familiar hoop
Lean the hoop up against the wall for a few days to allow your cat to see it standing up. Again, your kitty’s curious personality may have them check it out every day.
Step
2
Verbal instruction
While on the other side of the hoop, hold a lure toy, making it move to catch your cat’s attention. Say “hoop!” as a verbal cue when they walk through it to play with the lure toy on the other side.
Step
3
Raise the hoop
Repeat this each training session, raising the height of the hoop by a small amount each time. Soon, your cat will jump through for fun playtime with you and the lure toy.
Recommend training method?

The Click and Lure Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Use the clicker
This method is very similar to the lure method, but adds the clicker as an additional training tool. To start, have the hoop in an easy to investigate spot to get your cat used to seeing it.
Step
2
Play and train
Play with your cat and the lure toy. Choose one with a long string that keeps your cat engaged and following. Say “hoop!”.
Step
3
Hoop and click
Have a helper hold the hoop close to the ground as you bring your cat through it, following the toy. Click the clicker once your cat is through and reward with a treat. Remember the verbal cue “hoop!’
Step
4
Encourage your cat
Repeat these steps over days or weeks, depending on how well your cat is reacting to the hoop. Once they are comfortable, you should be able to coax them through, simply by placing a treat on the other side. Click and let your cat eat the treat after they walk through and you say the command “hoop!”.
Step
5
Just say hoop
Eventually, you will not need the clicker or the treat. The word “hoop!” will send your cat through.
Recommend training method?

The Arm Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Arm to the wall
Sit facing the wall with legs crossed. You may need an assistant to bring your cat to you. Extend one of your arms to the wall, and have the treat in the opposite hand. Trace the treat-holding hand over the wall. Make sure it is an irresistible treat, so your cat will follow it.
Step
2
Train daily
Repeat this step until your cat follows without hesitation. It may take several days of training, 3-4 minutes at a time.
Step
3
Follow finger
Once your cat gets the idea, have them follow just your finger over your arm.
Step
4
Arms make a hoop
Form your arms into a hoop. Have a helper on the opposite side of your cat. They can hold a treat to encourage your cat to jump through the arm hoop. As your cat gets used to this, make the arm hoop smaller.
Step
5
Change for the hoop
Soon, you should be able to change the arms for a large hoop. Reward your cat every time until the trick is old hat. Then you can reward on and off as you wish.
Recommend training method?
author-img

Written by Darlene Stott

Published: 02/26/2021, edited: 02/26/2021

Success Stories and Training Questions

Book me a walkiee?
Pweeeze!
Sketch of smiling australian shepherd