The clicker training thread started me thinking. Has anyone here ever trained cats to do tricks? If so, how did you do it?
I would not even attempt it with my four ladies. I just don't think they're they right personality type. But, my big marmalade boy, Leon, just might be trainable. He's people oriented, practically unflappable, and, maybe best of all, extremely food oriented. I already play hide and seek with him, by hiding his treats. He knows to hunt for them, and has learned that, if I point at something, he will find some food there.
I think it would be kind of fun to try, but I don't have the slightest idea how to start.
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past - let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
One of my cats knows a bunch of tricks. The key is not to push it. If she's in the mood, great! If she gives me the 'I'm a cat, F you' look, we're done for the day. She'll never have the lightening quick response as my dogs, she often will sit there staring at me, calculating just how badly she wants the treat, before responding. Also, use HIGH value treats. I use ham, and occasionally she'll do a bit of training for chick, if she's in the mood. If I offer her something inferior, she'll just sit on my computer and lick herself, completely insulted that I expect her to work for such low pay
I started clicker training my cats a while ago, and you'd be surprised which of the two had the aptitude for it. My male cat is extremely food driven and very smart (opens doors smart), but my older female cat who has never really been extraordinary, just soft, quiet and well behaved, proved a better candidate. You see, the male cat was so food oriented that he would lunge at the treat and take half my finger and thumb with him regardless of the clicker. I shortly gave up on him, but I taught my female to come when called, sit and jump onto things.
Work with them individually, in short (5-15min) sessions so they don't get bored and lose focus. Also focus on one trick until they've completely mastered it before moving onto the next one. Use hand signals and voice commands consistently (ie. don't vary the tone, pitch or speed of your voice).
My cats did fine with jar treats, it still tastes better than their normal dry food.
plus my cats are known to have sensitive stomachs and will barf up ham or other rich foods.
Of the heart-aching, hard-working, hope-having, horse-loving and horse-less variety. We are a sad species indeed.