Steps for Command Training Your Kitten

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Although cats have a reputation for being independent, your kitten's curiosity and intelligence means she can learn some simple commands.

Kitten trainingSit on command

Getting your kitten in the habit of sitting before getting what she wants will help to remind her that you are in control.

Step one

Have a treat available, such as a few kibbles of kitten food.

Step two

With your kitten in a standing position, hold the food in front of her nose. Avoid holding the food too high over your kitten's head or she will stand up instead of sit.

Step three

In a steady, slow motion, move the food over your kitten's head. Your kitten's nose will point up and her rear end will ease down to the floor, taking your kitten into the sit position.

Step four

Say "Sit" as your kitten's rear end touches the floor, and give the food. Say "Good kitty" as your kitten takes the food from your hand.

Step five

Before long, you'll notice your kitten will go into the sit position when you sweep your hand in an upward movement, even without food. Gradually phase the food out, but continue to say "Good kitty" when your kitten sits.

Come when called

This command ends with your kitten sitting quietly in front of you. It should be practiced with many different people so your kitten learns that the proper way to approach a person is to run up to them and then sit.

Step one

Stand approximately 3 feet away from your kitten. Say your kitten's name so she turns and makes eye contact with you.

Step two

Holding a kibble of kitten food, extend your hand toward your kitten. Wave your hand with the food toward you and say "come" as your kitten runs to you.

Step three

Give the food to your kitten and say "Good kitty."

Step four

Take a few steps back. Show your kitten a second kibble, say her name, and repeat the call for food.

Step five

Gradually repeat the exercise from farther and farther away. Once your kitten is doing well, begin calling her when she is looking away from you. Again, keep your training sessions short and stop before your kitten tires of the game.

Fetch

This command can result in hours of fun play sessions with your pet, and is an excellent source of exercise, too.

Step one

Choose a small, light-weight object for your kitten to fetch. This might be a toy or a crumpled ball of paper.

Step two

Say "Fetch" and extend your hand as you toss the object.

Step three

When your kitten picks up the object and looks at you, slowly back away from her and say "Fetch" and move your hand toward your chest in a "Come here" type of motion.

Step four

Take the toy and repeat the above steps. Keep your training sessions short and stop before your kitten tires of the game.

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