Wild (and Sometimes Crazy) Wednesday – Trained Cat—an Oxymoron?

Yesterday we talked about the fact that there’s more research going on related to dogs than cats. One theory is that scientists shy away from working with cats because they can’t be trained. Say what? Then why do you suppose there are so many products out there designed to train a cat? There are toilet kits to teach cats to use the human toilet, for example. Heck, even the litter box and kitty litter can be training tools, as are cat toys designed to encourage a cat to replicate a hunting instinct (for those who may not have the instinct innately).

Clicker training can be successfully used on cats. There’s also a technique I have not heard of before called target training. You use an object—a pencil or wooden spoon, for example, and touch it to the cat’s nose. When the target object touches her nose, she gets a treat. I imagine the purpose in this is to get the cat’s attention. Wow, that would be a challenge. The only time my cats pay attention to me is when I’m opening a can of cat food or rattling a package of their treats. Yes, they’re food trained! It’s time to eat and they come running. I rattle a treat bag and they’re under foot.

Just yesterday I saw a clip on Facebook showing ordinary household cats who had been “treat” trained. They would sit, lie down, give a high five, rub their ears, and follow other commands for a treat. Entertaining and CUTE!

Yes, cats can be trained. Just look at the success Samantha Martin has had training cats for the Amazing Acro-Cat Circus. Here’s a great article about the Acro-Cat Circus and what Ms. Martin has contributed to the plight of homeless cats. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/acrocats-cat-circus-rescue-foster_us_59b17d72e4b0354e44102b42?n4v

Are you interested in trying to train your cat? Or have you trained your cat to do something specific? Here’s a great site for teaching your cat how to stop doing things—changing bad behavior. https://www.petmd.com/cat/training/evr_ct_how-to-train-a-cat

Dr. Joanne Righetti has a great blog where you can learn all kinds of tips for healthy and happy pets. She is also skilled at training cats. https://petproblemsolved.com.au/blog/

This entry was posted in About Cats. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Wild (and Sometimes Crazy) Wednesday – Trained Cat—an Oxymoron?

  1. Kat says:

    Can’t train cats? Absurd! Both our cats understand “No,” or the command of a finger pointed at them, which means the same thing. They know that “scoot” means to get out of the way or get out of the easy chair because we want to sit down. They know that “get out of there” means to get out of the linen closet, to which they can both open the door, or to get out of the laundry basket. They have also learned how to spell, so they understand when we say “T-R-E-A-T” or “C-A-N.” Mouse has also learned when we say “You are sooo cute,” it’s his cue to plop onto the floor and roll onto his back for a belly rub. Can’t train cats? Someone needs to rethink the statement.

    • Patricia says:

      Thanks for sharing that! Around here, we still wonder if it is the words or the thought. I can’t tell you how many times I walk into the kitchen and open the freezer door with the intentions of giving the cats a catnip treat. I don’t announce this, I just do it. Immediately the cats will come from wherever they were–even the back of the house in anticipation. And this is before I even put my hands on the can of catnip. Same thing when we have an appointment at the vet. I walk into the room to corral one of the cats before we even put our hands on the carrier and they cower–even dart away. I swear they’re reading my mind. I actually have a story in my book, Catscapades, True Cat Tales about an incident where I successfully used mind-talk with a cat in order to get her into the carrier. It’s a fascinating topic–that’s for sure. And cats are fascinating beings. PS I love the belly rub story.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *