Once you cat shows consistent interest in a treat in your hand (or on a target stick) you can start active training. Show your cat the treat and praise it for showing attention. As it touches its nose to the target move your hand towards you and say ‘Milly come’. As your cat comes towards you say ‘Good come’ and as it reaches you give the reward. It doesn’t take much time for your cat to associate the word ‘come’ with its moving forward and getting a food treat. If your cat always comes when called, reward it less frequently. Intermittent rewards are better for reliable training. If your cat is less interested in responding to your command reward it every single time until it comes consistently, then start rewarding less often.

(If you’re using a clicker, click when your cat first noses the treat and click again when it reaches your hand and is given its reward. At first have you cat come only 10 centimeters (4 inches) but gradually increase this. Back yourself up each time you increase the distance. Your cat will see what you’re doing and take it as a visual clue about what it should do. After a few sessions your cat will come from across the room and with several training sessions each day, within less than a week will come from another room or anywhere in the house it can hear its name and your request to ‘come’.

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