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Teaching my Cat

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I used to have a cat who knew sounds, words, and hand signals and responded to them all. I now have two other cats and I want to train them the same way... only... I don't know what I did to teach the other cat all these things! It just sort of happened somehow. He was an exceptional cat and very smart. I think he just learned from watching me.

Anyhow, I was wondering if you all had some tips on teachings cats to do things. My two cats know come and no. The little one knows her name (just doesn't come all the time, she often tilts her head and seems to be saying I know you are calling me but I'm just going to stay here!).

I would like to teach them both things like up (to jump on something) and down or off (to get off things) and maybe other things. My older cat might not know what her name is but she is receptive to learning and teaching me! The little one I think would just manage to learn as I teach the other one.
post #2 of 15
I know that there are resources for "Clicker Training" that you could research that I've heard really good things about.

My cats know a lot of words, sounds, etc. but we didn't really set out to train them, per se, with one exception. I did "train" them to move out of our way when I say "excuse me." (I wanted polite kitties LOL) I just kept repeating it and being consistent with saying that phrase when I was walking and they came out in front of me. They caught on pretty quick.
post #3 of 15
Well, I think my cats know some pretty neat tricks. However, they are the teachers (and they've trained me well!).
post #4 of 15
I just wanted to add that actually the hardest one to train with the "excuse me" thing was my hubby! He took the longest to catch on. :laughing2

I really believe, though, no matter what you are trying to "train" a cat to do, the key is consistency. I don't have any problems with my two getting up on the kitchen counters, because they have NEVER been allowed up there, not once. So they don't try. With the names, we use their names all the time, especially when we are petting and loving them. I am constantly amazed at how fast they learn things.
post #5 of 15
Snowball responds well to a hand signal which means "come here", and my son intentionally taught the cat to do this. My son started putting his hand down near the floor when he said "Snowball come here," and when Snowball responded he was rewarded with a lot of petting and positive attention. Eventually, my son only needed to put his hand near the floor and Snowball would respond by going to him. Using this hand signal has worked really well for me too.
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
Do you think my cat Isabel will ever learn her name? I've had her for about 8 months and she is going on 3 years old. She has no clue whatsoever that I am talking to her when I call her name.
post #7 of 15
We trained our cats to know their names and to "come" with treats.

I put the cat on the floor and held treats in my hand. They know the sound of the bottle the treats are in. I shook it, which got his attention. I said in a firm and a slightly louder than normal voice "Lazlo, Come!" Showed him an actual treat, and set it in my lap. He would get the treat when he jumped into my lap. The very first time, I had to pick him up and put him in my lap, and he got the treat. He caught on right away! I'd stick him back on the floor and repeat the process (only without having to pick him up and put him in my lap!). We would do this three or four times. That was it per day. After just a couple of days, all I had to do was say "Lazlo!" and he would look. If I said "Lazlo Come!" He would trot over. Of course, he would look for a treat! But he learned his name, and he sure knows what I want when I say "Lazlo, Come!" He doesn't always listen, but he'll always look over! We reinforce this lesson every week or so.

Give it a try. Food is a great (the only?) motivator for cats. Just make sure you do it before they eat!!! (We leave food out 24/7, I just made sure it was not near when I saw him eating).

post #8 of 15
When my Mandy was little I thought it would be a snap to teach her things. She adored treats then & would come right to them. She seemed to know her name when I spoke to her. She seemed to know her name, 'NO' 'up', 'down', & 'out'. This went on until she was about 5 months old.
Then she decided she didn't like treats. She also decided she didn't have to do what I told her to do.
She's now nearly 2 years old. I would swear she knows her name but she rarely responds to it, just looks at me. Very frustating. So I've finally just accepted the fact that she's an independent one & will just do what she wants to do. She usually obeys 'NO' but now always. Her most common reponse is to stop the activity prompting the command & just looking at me. I can almost hear her saying - Why not? (haha)
post #9 of 15
LOL! You are so right!!!! Our kitties definitely know the word "No!" But do they care? Lazlo, my little snugglebunny does. Sheldon, our little scamp, does not. They KNOW they're not allowed up on the counter. Lazlo is interested in what goes on up there, but doesn't want to break the rules. Sheldon, on the other hand, knows he's not allowed up there, and will break the rules when he thinks he can get away with it.

Hubby must have a "cat on the counter" radar. Middle of the night last night he woke up. We live in an R.V., so you can see the kitchen counter from the bedroom. I woke up to "Shelly! No!" By the time I sat up, Shelly was on the floor, looking like "Who, Me? What did I do? I've just been sitting here on the floor..."

LOL!!! He TOTALLY knows better. Just think of your cat as a two/three year old child. Some our furbabies are independent, some of them are trouble-makers, scamps - and, some of them are dumb. !!
post #10 of 15
You're right, both of you. Some kitties really do want to please their humans and don't want to break the rules and others don't care. Ophelia is one who just hates breaking the rules. Whenever she does, even if there is a good reason in her little kitty mind (getting on the table to get away from Trent when he's playing too rough), she gets this OH SH!T look on her face and just panics if we catch her. I wish I could get a picture of that look, but she so rarely does something wrong, there's hardly a chance. Trent will just non-chalantly get down, if he doesn't just give us that look of WHAT?!?!
post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
Oh! That was my Peachey! If I walked in the room and he felt guilty about something, he'd hunch down and put his ears back. I wouldn't have a clue what bad thing he thought he had done. I just caught him doing something he thought was bad and he got the look like you said.

My little one now, Sarah, gets too hyper to think what is good and what is bad. But, when she is calm she is good at listening.
post #12 of 15
Good luck with Sarah, and please keep us posted with what you're doing to train her (if you decide to try) and how it's going, O.K.?


post #13 of 15
Alf always comes when his name is called - as I used to chant it to him when he was eating and when stroking him, so he associated it with nice things.

Ronnie, unfortunatley, thinks her name is "Stop it", as she is very very naughty.
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
LOL Thats funny
post #15 of 15

lol....Sorry flimflam. I couldn't help it.

I used to call Russell Snowball, (after the Simpsons' cat), when we thought he was female. He answered to it and came. And then when I renamed him to Russell, it wasn't hard. I said it when he ate, calmly sat in my lap or while playing with him with his favourite toy.

Though, just yesterday I called him Russell and he looked at me as if to say, "Are you changing your mind AGAIN??"

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