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Training Cats to do Tricks

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  • Training Cats to do Tricks

    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.
    If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.
    Desmond Tutu

  • #2
    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
    .

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    • #3
      Cats are frequently clicker trained for work on TV and film.....that beautiful grey Persian in the Fancy Feast commercials was clicker trained, as I suspect are most for this type of work.

      It is very easy to clicker train cats, mine were only trained to sit, but that was me, not them...

      If your treats are high value enough, you could probably do it with all of your cats, they might surprise you!

      Chickens can be clicker trained, as well as a wide variety of species.....a personal relationship is not necessary.

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      • #4
        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.

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