Can You Train Your Cat to Come When Called?

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We’ve all seen viral videos of cats responding to their owners when called by name. But is this something all cats can learn, or is it just a few lucky felines? You can train your cat to come when called—it just takes patience and understanding. So, let’s take a closer look at how to do it.


Can You Train Your Cat to Come When Called?


Cats are intelligent creatures; most will come when you call them if they recognize your voice.

However, cats may not always respond immediately – it often depends on the individual cat, their level of comfort with you, and the type of environment present.

If you haven’t had much contact with a cat before or have never shared time, it is unlikely that they will come when called.

Having said this, providing positive reinforcement such as treats or petting can help build trust between yourself and the cat and improve the chances of them responding to your calls.


How To Train Your Cat


Training your cat to come when called can be tricky, requiring patience and creativity.

The trick is to ensure your cat associates your call with something they find rewarding, such as treats or verbal praise.

Consider starting with shorter distances between yourself and your cat, adding distance only when they demonstrate success in the shorter ones.


Work on individual commands slowly and consider targeting cues, which allow you to inform your cat of specific behaviors you’d like them to perform. With consistent positive reinforcement – including verbal praise – cats may eventually choose to respond more willingly and frequently. As with any animal, training success comes through effort and patience.


Positive Reinforcement & Rewards


Unlike dogs, cats don’t always come when you call them.

However, you can improve the fortunes of a successful recall by training your cat to respond to its name through positive reinforcement and reward-based methods.

Avoid punishing your cat if it does not respond – instead, associate their name with something they love, such as a favorite treat or toy.

The more positive associations they make in response to their name, the more likely they will come when called.

With consistent reward-based training and patience, your cat will soon return when summoned as excitedly as any dog.


Use The Same Phrase Every Time


While it is rare for any species to come when called for the same reasons as humans (namely, a social desire to respond to their name), cats can certainly learn to come when you call them.

The best way to do this is by training them as young kittens and using one consistent phrase that never changes.

This will help them associate the sound of your voice with the desire to seek you out and come close.

As cats are creatures of habit, keeping things consistent is critical in gaining the desired response from your feline friend – be sure the exact words are used each time, said in the same tone and volume.

With enough repetition, your cat’s hearing will become attuned to your voice, and they’ll try to come close when they hear it.


Be Consistent With the Training Routine


Training cats to come when you call them is not impossible, but it can be a struggle.

Having realistic expectations is essential, and accepting that you cannot expect cats to come as readily as a dog would.

You can, however, be successful with training if you remain consistent in your approach and routine.

Train daily or at least a few times per week using positive reinforcement, whether verbal praise or treats, when your cat responds correctly.

Keep sessions short for maximum success, and remember that consistency is critical.




Training a cat may not always be easy, but it can be done! With patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement/rewards, you can teach your feline friend to come when called, just like any other pet animal. Don’t forget that cats are intelligent creatures, too, so don’t underestimate their ability to learn new things.

With enough effort on both ends (yours and theirs), you should have no trouble getting your kitty up to speed in no time.

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