How to Train Your Cat to Roll Over

Hard
1-3 Weeks
Fun

Introduction

Teaching your cat to roll over should be a relatively easy undertaking. After all, what friendly feline doesn’t like to lie on their back in the sun? If you’ve worked on training tasks like “sit” and “come when called”, this fun trick should be a breeze. 

Not only will your cat get the reward of a belly rub when on their back, but showing your friends and family your clever cat is a bonus for you!

Defining Tasks

All cats should be able to tackle this task, but keep in mind that a small kitten may be too playful and a senior cat might not have the mobility. Training your cat to roll over could be an easily accomplished trick. But you’ll need the full focus of your feline, and the patience to work with a free-spirited animal, namely your beloved cat!

Getting Started

Always train a cat in a distraction-free environment, so your cuddly kitty doesn’t stray off course. Make sure they are ready for treats, but not famished, or they may have other thoughts in mind. A sleepy cat will let you know they’d rather doze than train. The opportune time, delectable treats, and your willingness to give your cat the time they need to learn are all that is required!

The Aromatic Treat Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Lie down
This trick will be most effectively taught from a lying-down position. Your cat should be lying down with their paws tucked under them. If your cat is already lying down, go ahead and start training. Kneel in front of your cat.
Step
2
Yummy treat
Take a treat and hold it in front of your kitty, making sure the treat is visible and yummy-smelling. Hold it close, about 2cm from their nose.
Step
3
Decide direction
Decide which direction you want to teach your cat to roll over, and move the treat from their view toward the ear on the side you want them to roll to. Choose whichever side looks the easiest after attempting the action a few times.
Step
4
From the ear
From the ear, move the treat toward the middle of the back. Your cat’s eyes should follow. Keep the movement slow so your cat can easily watch where the treat is going.
Step
5
Across the back
Move the treat in a diagonal fashion across the back. This should encourage your cat to roll over to their side. Give them the treat as a reward. Remember, this can be done in steps if needed, refining each movement in each training session. It is ideal to keep your cat engaged.
Step
6
Cue it
Continue moving the treat so that your cat moves from their back to the opposite side. If you want to add a verbal cue once they get the hang of it, use the cue, “roll over” at each step. Once they learn, the cue should be all that is needed.
Recommend training method?

The Down and Over Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Guide them down
Sit on the floor in front of your cat, who may be sitting as well. Gently guide your cat’s shoulders as you say “down”.
Step
2
Practice
Work on the down position for a few days until your feline understands and does it without hesitation. Spend a fair bit of time on it each day. Treat your cat with a favorite tiny tidbit of tuna or a commercial moist treat, so they associate the food with the down command.
Step
3
Look up
Once your cat is in the down position, hold the treat over their head. They’ll naturally look up.
Step
4
To the side
Move the treat to the side of their body. First, their eyes will follow, and then the body. At this point, tell them to “roll over”. When the movement is successfully maneuvered, give a treat and lots of praise. Practice every day for 3-5 minutes, remembering that your cat may get bored easily. Don’t push it, just keep working on it.
Recommend training method?

The Click Method

Effective
0 Votes
Step
1
Lie and click
Find your cat lying down, or instruct them to. Ensuring they are lying on their side is the best position. Once your cat has performed the action, click the clicker. Give a treat right away, and grab another for the next step.
Step
2
Over the head
Make sure you are on your knees at this point. Hold the treat in front of your cat, moving the treat over their head.
Step
3
Assist in the roll
Use one hand to gently take their leg and roll them over. If your cat is not keen on this, have an assistant help to roll your cat over while you encourage them with the treat in front of their nose.
Step
4
Roll over
At the same time, give the verbal cue to roll over. A simple “roll over!” in a cheerful voice should do the trick. Training a cat always depends on positivity.
Step
5
Click and reward
Once your kitty has rolled over to their side, click and reward. Practice this every day and soon, your cat will roll over once they hear the words.
Recommend training method?
author-img

Written by Darlene Stott

Published: 02/18/2021, edited: 02/18/2021

Success Stories and Training Questions

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