Cat Training: How to Teach Your Cat to Sit

Updated on August 6, 2019
Angie Gomez profile image

I taught my cat, Honey, to sit. Training Honey increased her confidence and helped our relationship grow. I'm happy to share how I did it.


Food is a powerful tool in the world of animal training. Dogs learn how to sit, stay, and paw with the enticement of a treat. Seals are taught tricks for amusement with the guarantee of fish. So why haven’t we heard of cats being trained too?

Can You Really Train a Cat?

Yes, our fuzzy friends love to lounge all day. But if you want to teach your cat a cool trick, invest in some quality treats and a clicker. My cat, Honey, loves Feline Greenies Dental Treats. You can find them online through Chewy or at Pet Smart for under $4. I also found a pack of three clickers for $3 on Amazon. The clicker is entirely optional, but both are worthwhile investments.


Steps to Training Your Cat to Sit

Having an alluring treat makes it much easier to reward a behavior that you want to teach your cat.

  1. Kneel down and get on your cat’s level. You want to make sure your cat has had a chance to smell and taste the treat.
  2. Then, you pick a hand gesture to represent the behavior. I personally hold the treat between three fingers, facing up. This will make it easier to guide the treat above your cat’s head, so they adjust their body to look at it. An ideal place to hold the treat is between the ears.
  3. The moment he or she sits is when you say, “Sit,” and give the treat. Your cat will grasp the idea of, "Hey, if I do that, I get a treat every time!"

Honey goes wild over her oven-roasted chicken treats—she’ll meow and pace the room, giving me her attention the whole time.

Example of a clicker.
Example of a clicker.

Clicker Training

Karen Pryor developed the clicker training that we see in the animal world today. She was once a dolphin trainer and is a favored icon of mine. Clickers mark a desired behavior with positive reinforcements. A clicker may help with the progress of teaching your cat to sit. It makes a sound that animals can easily associate with getting a reward. An alternative way to click is using your mouth to mimic the sound. You want to make sure you use the clicker once an action is done, followed by a reward to validate that action.

Please reference the video below to understand how to use a clicker. Dogs and cats are very different, so training methods are expected to look diverse. Notice how she clicks once the pup is sitting down and immediately gives the treat.

When to Click

Practice and Patience Are Needed

Keep in mind that a feeding schedule is important in keeping your cat happy and healthy. It will also help with getting your cat’s attention. I recommend starting with a 3–5 minute session, at least 30 minutes before mealtime. That way, your cat is attentive for food and her tummy will settle with the treats she will earn.

Practice and patience are definitely needed to teach your cat to sit. Please remember that all cats are special in their own way. I can’t say that this technique will be successful for everyone, but it is achievable. Your cat may become frustrated during a session—it is important to leave them alone during this time and try again tomorrow. Never punish your cat for not doing something right. The last thing we would want as loving cat owners is for our fuzzball(s) to associate us with something negative.

My little Honey dip.
My little Honey dip.

Training Is Mutually Rewarding

Training my cat has definitely grown our relationship. Honey is just like any other cat in the feline world. She loves taking naps, playing with her mouse toys, and jumping on the kitchen counter. She can be trouble sometimes, but having her respond to my voice has been helpful in managing that.

As of now, Honey can “sit” and “wait” while I get her meals ready. If I hear her getting into something, I’ll simply say, “Honey, come here." Moments later, her bell jingles as she strolls down the hallway to find me. Since training her, Honey seems more confident and comfortable in our home. Who doesn't love a happy and cuddly kitty?

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Lison Molina profile image

      Lison Molina 

      3 months ago

      I really want to teach my cat how to sit! It's so cool!

    • peachpurple profile image


      4 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      boy, i am going to try that again, training her to sit!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)