How to teach your cat how to sit

by | Cat Care Interesting |

We’ve all seen dogs learn cues like how to sit, or give paw, but did you know cats can also be trained to learn cues?

Today we want to share tips with you for teaching your cat to sit. It’s one of many behavioural resources on the Ontario SPCA and Humane Society’s website.


First things first – what equipment do you need to teach your cat to sit? For this cue, the equipment is minimal, but effective – a clicker and high-value treats (a popsicle stick with wet food can work well for luring).


Now that you have the equipment ready to go, here are the steps you’ll need to follow for teaching your cat to sit:

  • Stand or sit next to or in front of the cat, holding your clicker and treats.
  • If you have treats that he wants, then the cat will wait for you to give him one.
  • While he is waiting he may sit, or you can lure him into a sit by holding the treat over his head, luring him back into a sit position. 
  • When his hind end touches the ground, click and treat, placing the treat in a location where he will have to get up to eat.
  • Again, stand or sit next to or in front of him, he will again sit and again you click and treat. 

Adding the cue: You are ready to add the cue when the cat begins to offer the “sit” all the time. 

  • Say “sit” as the cat’s hind end touches the ground.
  • After a few sessions you can begin to say “sit” before the cat sits.
  • Remember that the cat should be offering the “sit” before you start using verbal cue.
Short sessions, rewards, persistence and patience are crucial for success! 

NOTE: If the cat is too distracted, start working the cat in an area (e.g., quiet room) that is less distracting. The behavior may happen very quickly, so make sure you are paying close attention to the body position of the cat. Keep training sessions for cats to no more than two minutes or 10 treats. Take breaks – grooming the cat or giving attention at appropriate times – between each behavior session.

Now you’re ready to train your cat to sit! For more training and enrichment tips for your cat, visit