How to Teach Your Cat to Lie Down on Command

Video how to teach a cat to lay down

Cats are known for their love of lounging around, with the average feline sleeping a whopping 16 hours a day. But teaching your cat to lie down on command can have its benefits, especially when it comes to grooming or providing mental stimulation. In this article, we’ll show you how to train your cat to lie down using a simple lure: treats.

ginger kitten lying down on white blanket

Training Your Cat to Lie Down on Cue

  1. Start by getting your cat into a sitting position directly in front of you using the training techniques you’ve learned previously.
  2. Hold a treat between the end of your index finger and thumb, with your palm facing upward.
  3. Stand in front of your cat and place the treat about 1-2cm away from their nose. You can also sit or kneel to make them more comfortable.
  4. Slowly lower the treat towards the ground in front of them. Your cat should follow it with their gaze and look down.
  5. Once the treat is just above the ground, slowly move it towards you or away from them. Your cat should naturally lower their front legs until they are lying down. Hold the treat in position if they don’t lie down immediately.
  6. As soon as your cat is lying down, say “yes” and give them the treat. If your cat is good at following treats, throw the treat a short distance away so they can reset their position naturally. If not, hand-feed your cat and then move away to restart the process.
  7. If your cat is comfortable with the process, repeat steps 1-6 a couple of times to reinforce the idea that lying down gets them a treat.
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white cat lying down in cat pen

  1. Once your cat has mastered lying down, you can start to reduce the reliance on treats. Put your hand into the treat bag or bowl, but don’t take one out. Present your hand to your cat in the same way as before and repeat the actions. If your cat lies down, say “yes” and then reward them with a treat.
  2. When your cat is consistently responding to your hand movement, you can present your hand without pretending to get a treat beforehand. Your cat should still lie down in response to your hand movement alone. Remember to say “yes” and reward them with a treat.
  3. Gradually reduce your hand movement to a simple flick of the wrist. Increase the distance between your hand and the floor with each repetition. Eventually, your cat will recognize your extended hand as the cue to lie down.
  4. Now it’s time to introduce a verbal cue. One second before giving the hand signal, say your chosen cue word. It can be any word you like, as your cat will respond to the sound, not the meaning. Avoid using a word you’ve used before to command your cat. After repeating this process several times, your cat will pre-empt the hand signal by lying down when they hear the cue word.
  5. As your cat becomes comfortable with lying down on command, you can train them to stay in the position for longer periods and at greater distances from you.

longhaired black cat lying down on white blanket

Remember to keep training sessions short, around three minutes each, and give your cat breaks in between. Consistency is key, so aim for three sessions a day. While some cats may take longer to learn this trick than others, it’s important to be patient and use positive reinforcement. Never force your cat into a position, as it can cause stress and potential behavioral issues. Training should be a fun experience for both you and your cat.

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Have you successfully trained your cat to lie down on command? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter!

If you need further assistance with training your cat, visit our website at 1mquotes for more behavior advice or consult a qualified behaviorist.

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