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Can A Cat Play Fetch? Can They Be Trained To?

Fetch is a popular pastime among dog owners, but many cat owners feel excluded from the enjoyment with their furry companion. In any case, cats cannot play fetch, correct?

Your cat may be adept at chasing wand toys or batting mouse toys under the couch, but certainly they would not enjoy a game of fetch.

If you don't have a cat that plays fetch, it may come as a surprise to hear that many cats are naturally adept at the game. Cats who do not appear to know how to play fetch can often be taught how to play this enjoyable pastime.

Continue reading "Can a Cat Play Fetch? Can They Be Trained To?" by BestForPets (bestforpets.org) for further detail.

Why Do Some Cats Enjoy Playing Fetch?

Cats enjoy playing fetch because it stimulates their innate hunting instincts. Cats are apex predators that employ stealth, agility, and speed to capture and bring prey back to their dens.

It is not uncommon for outdoor cats to seek to provide for their people and teach them how to hunt by bringing their prey inside.

It is natural for cats to capture prey and return with it, which is also the basis of the game of fetch. Some cat breeds, including the Bengal, Siamese, Abyssinian, Cornish Rex, Ragdoll, and Manx, are more inclined to play fetch without being taught the game.

Some of these cats may bring you a toy in the hopes that you’ll throw it for them, while others may initiate a game of fetch if they observe you throw something, such as if your balled-up piece of paper misses the trash can.

How to Teach a Cat to Play Fetch

Clicker training is the most effective approach for training a cat to play fetch, although training methods may vary amongst cats. You must also choose a toy that your cat appreciates and that is simple for them to transport. This can be a jingle ball, crinkle ball, mouse toy, or similar little toy.

You will begin training by sitting down with your cat and providing them with the toy. Click and treat each time your cat sniffs or touches the toy. This will assist your cat comprehend the objective of the game.

Continue this clicker training by clicking and delivering goodies whenever your cat places an open mouth on the toy.

Give a second incentive when they take the toy from your hand, and a third when they realize they should pick it up once it’s fallen to the ground.

After your cat understands the basic objective of the game, you will be able to move the toy further away and encourage it to return it back.

When they do, reward them with a click, a treat, and lots of praise. Over time, your cat will learn how to play fetch, and it will become a wonderful way for the two of you to bond.

Some Teaching Tips You Need To Know

Find a Quiet Spot

It’s preferable to teach your cat in a distraction-free setting. Choose a calm, clutter-free room with a modest playing field.

Choose the Right Toy

Most cats fetch their favorites. Introduce fetch by following your cat’s instincts.

Your cat may choose a catnip mouse, wad of paper, soft sparkling ball, or goodie. Some cats like chasing kibble on hard floors. They may return to “ask” for another toss. Play with the toy your cat prefers.

Pick the Right Time

Choose a moment when you know your cat is ready to play. When your cat is napping, the game won’t progress. Some cat owners discover that their cat responds best to training before a meal.

End the game before the cat quits—five minutes is good for most cats—and it will be more likely to ask for another.

Name the Game

Cats speak using fluffed fur, eye and tail postures, and meows, but they grasp many human words. Use a term to assist your cat comprehend the game.

After throwing the toy across the room, say “Fetch, kitty-kitty-kitty!” in a cheerful voice to get your cat to fetch it. Use the “fetch” word with your cat’s “come” command if it’s been clicker taught.

Reward Action

Cats who naturally retrieve are usually satisfied by picking up and throwing the toy again. Cats love chasing kibble and other treats around the floor.

Offering a treat may encourage other cats to play fetch again. Again, reward good behavior with whatever your cat prefers.


As claimed in “Can a Cat Play Fetch? Can They Be Trained To?” by BestForPets (bestforpets.org), if your cat doesn’t grasp fetch, it may take time and effort to teach them to play fetch.

Many cats may learn this game and like it. Fetch encourages cats to hunt without harming other animals or the environment. This game can enhance your cat and satisfy their interest and energy.

Author Image

Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher


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