How can I train my cat to roll over on command?

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With a little patience, you’ll be able to teach your cat tricks. To roll over:

• Call your cat, but if she won’t come when you call her name, dangle her favorite treat in front of you.
• Get your cat to lie down. If she doesn’t know the command, or just won’t do it, pet her back until she lies down and relaxes, or by gently pressing her to the floor, if she is comfortable with that.
• Hold your cat’s favorite treats by her nose. Remember, it needs to be something she really values and, preferably, doesn’t get too often, like a small piece of cooked chicken or tuna. Allow her to sniff them, then start bringing one of the treats to the other side of her body.
• Say the command “roll over” while continuing to pull the treat around to the other side of the cat. She should follow the treat with her body, ideally rolling over to the other side.
• Keep repeating until she understands that’s what she’s supposed to do. Depending on how smart your cat is, she should catch on and learn to roll over as you move the food. Eventually, she should do it on command when you hold your fingers by her face and say, “Roll over”—so you won’t need the food.

NOTE: Never yell or threaten your cat (or any animal, for that matter) or upset her. If you do, that will only make her unwilling to try new tricks with you. Treat the learning process like a game, praising and rewarding your cat when she makes any progress. Only play with the cat when the animal is in a good mood. If a cat loses interest or changes moods, offer it one last treat, then stop the session and continue later.

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