[dropcap]I[/dropcap]n this video we get to see a stunning Bengal named Mystic perform his play dead trick to the song “Bang Bang” by Nancy Sinatra. We can see Mystic perform his trick with impressively adorable accuracy as his owner gives him the bang sign in different areas of the house.
While this trick is adorable and seems intricate it is actually relatively easy to train. To teach your cat how to play dead you will need your kitties favorite treats and lots of patience. Start off in a room with little to no distractions. Let your cat sniff the treats you have in your hand to get him excited and then get to work. When teaching any trick it’s best to break it down into small pieces and put them together later.
For play dead you will start off by training your cat to lie down. You will do this by gently guiding him down with your hand, and as soon as he lays you will give him the treat. Repeat the exercise several times, but be sure to stop before your cat gets bored or frustrated.
Do several short sessions a day while training your cat to do a trick. Once you feel he has mastered the lie down command you can move on to the next part, roll over. For this part you will want to train your cat to roll onto his back and stay there. This can be tricky as many cats don’t enjoy the position. To teach this get your cat to lie down and then drag the treat from their nose across their shoulder area so they are forced to roll to get it. Once they are in the correct position give them the treat and start over.
Be sure when training these tricks that you wait until your cat has mastered each trick to add a verbal cue, as using verbal cues too soon can cause confusion. Once your cat has mastered both tricks you can begin stringing them together. Once you are able to get your cat to lie down and roll over in one fluid movement you can add the verbal cue “play dead” or “bang” and the gun hand gesture.
With a little patience and some dedicated training your cat could be performing tricks just like Mystic. While training your cat may seem silly at first, training is a great way for you to bond with your cat, and for him to get some much needed mental stimulation. This is especially important for Bengals who get bored easily.