Why should dogs have all the fun?! Here are eight tips for teaching your cat how to fetch.
1. Find the Perfect Space - Pick a small, confined area, somewhere that has no interruptions and few obstacles to impede your toss. As your cat gets better at the game, you can move to a larger space.
2. Choose the Best "Fetch" Toy - One cat may love chasing crunchy wadded up paper while another cat likes a lightweight stuffed animal that jingles. Figure out what your cat’s favorite object is and use it every time you play fetch.
3. Pick the Right Time - Begin your play session when your cat is fully awake and alert.
4. Reward the Behavior - You can use great treats as a reward. When your cat does what you ask her to do, she get’s rewarded. You don’t punish the behavior if they don’t do it.
5. Mark the Behavior - Call your cat’s name and have a small treat in one hand. Then toss the preferred toy and say “Fetch!” When your cat brings the toy back to you, say “Good fetch” out loud and give her kitten the treat.
6. Outfox Your Cat - If your cat gets the toy but won’t drop it, show him the treat. He’ll drop the toy to get the treat. When he does that, give him the treat, say “Good fetch,” and grab the toy with your other hand.
7. Increase the Toy’s Value - It’s important not to leave the fetch object lying around the house. Otherwise the object will lose its value. Find a special place for the toy (i.e. a drawer or a cabinet) and always put it away there.
8. Advance the Game - Once your cat gets the hang of fetch, you can progress the game. Grab a friend and sit at opposite ends of a hallway. Put your cat in the middle, and then toss the toy over her head like “Monkey in the Middle”.
9. Have Fun! - Build on little steps of success. Your cat may only fetch once or twice before they don’t want to do it anymore. When that happens, end the session.
Remember, this should be a fun experience for both you and your cat. Never force your cat to do something she doesn’t want to do.