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/