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How to Train Your Cat to Jump Through a Hoop
Is it possible to teach a cat to jump through a hoop? Absolutely. Cats can be taught to perform a number of tricks, from something as simple as “sit,” to slightly more complex ones like jumping through a hoop. You’ll need a lot of patience and must be willing to invest a significant amount of time to training your cat. Cats tend to be more independent compared to dogs, but through positive reinforcement and repetition, you and your cat can start enjoying the benefits of cat training in just a few weeks.
Cat agility training keeps your cat healthy and is also a great way to strengthen the bond between you and your furry companion. Training your cat to jump through a hoop is a sure way to impress family and friends, too. By following this guide, you and your cat are sure to have long, enjoyable, and productive training sessions. Let’s start by diving deeper into the benefits of training your cat.
Benefits of cat training.
Animal trainer and author Mikkel Becker says training your cat comes with “tremendous benefits” including improving behavior and allaying fears. Cats of different types and personalities can enjoy these benefits as they also develop stronger bonds with their owners.
Physical and mental exercise.
Cats are extremely smart creatures that can learn to pick up new tricks easily. They also possess agile and flexible bodies that enable them to bend, twist, or jump without difficulty. Cat training is a healthy and productive way to stimulate them both mentally and physically.
Cat training is helpful in raising a well-adjusted cat. The praise and encouragement they receive during training sessions can do wonders for your pet’s confidence and overall behavior. Through training and rewards, a relatively fearful cat will learn to look forward to your interactions and view your training sessions as a chance to be rewarded with their favorite treats.
Great bonding experience between cat and owner.
Cats may be independent creatures, but they still crave praise and attention. Of course, they may love food and treats more, but training your cat provides a great opportunity for meaningful interactions.
Preparing your cat.
- Start with target training. The very first step to training your cat to jump through a hoop is to establish basic cues. Target training involves teaching your cat to follow a “target,” which could be your hand, a spoon, or a similar object. This is especially helpful if your cat hasn’t had any prior training.
Establish the target by spreading a treat over the object or the target you want your cat to follow. Extend your hand or the object close to the cats face and wait for him to pay attention. Let him come and take the treat as a reward. As you keep repeating the step, pull the target a little farther away each time and reward the cat when he follows it. This would be how you would lure the cat into the hoop.
- Prepare the hoop. Pet agility kits come available in pet stores near you. A child-sized hoop, which is available in toy stores, would also do. Avoid hoops that light up or make distracting sounds so as not to scare your cat or divert his attention away from your goal, which is to teach him to jump through. Once you have the hoop, familiarize your cat with it. Lay it flat on the ground and allow him to smell, lick, chew, explore in and around the hoop until he seems comfortable enough touching and going near it. You may spread out his treats and have him eat at the center and around its circumference.
- Walking through the hoop. Now that your cat knows how to follow the target, set the hoop upright and make him follow the target right through the center of the hoop. If he doesn’t do it on his own at first, stick your arm through the hoop and pull back slowly as he follows the treat back with you to the other side. Keep repeating until he walks straight through the hoop and towards the target without your guiding hand. Give him praise and reward him each time for a job well done.
How to train your cat to jump through the hoop.
- Raise the hoop a little higher. Once your cat has mastered walking through the hoop, gradually start raising it up a few inches above the ground and repeat the same procedure as when you trained him to walk through the hoop. Only give him treats when he successfully passes through the hoop. It’s important you don’t confuse him by giving the treat when he walks around or under the hoop to get to the target. Keep repeating and raising the hoop until it’s high enough so your cat has to jump to reach the target.
- Establish a cue word or sound. When your cat has learned to jump through the hoop, determine a cue word or sound for your cat to associate with the command. You can say “hoop” or a use a clicking sound right before you present the treat after your cat makes a successful jump through the hoop. You can check pet stores for handheld clickers designed specifically for this purpose.
- Start delaying the reward. Increase the time between the cue sound and the treat reward until your cat knows to jump to the other side of the hoop when he hears the cue, instead of just following the lure. WikiHow recommends phasing out treats in 1-2 second increments. In time, you can give treats less and train your cat to respond to just the cue instead of treats.
Cat training tips for success.
Training a cat to jump through a hoop is the same as teaching him other tricks like fetch or roll over. You can apply these techniques any time you need to train your cat.
- Your cats love for the reward is key to your success—prepare quality treats that he can’t resist to keep him motivated during training sessions. Most cats don’t want to work for a boring reward.
- Reinforce the desired behavior through repetition and cues. Consistency is super important. You never want to confuse your cat.
- Keep training sessions relatively short. Always stop before your cat (or you!) become frustrated. Training time should be fun!
Please share your training stories or questions in the comments below!
About the author:
Lauretta Williams is a web-addicted blogger. She loves spending her time listening to music, playing with her dog and writing blogs from her computer. We all want our dog not to run from home. But sometimes, they still might get lost. Don’t worry, we have your back. Report your lost pet with PawMaw we can help you find your missing pet.