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Can you herd cats?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Have you ever heard people use the phrase "it's like herding cats" with an impossible situation? My work has been on a kick with that phrase in the last month and I hear it used almost daily. I chuckle when I hear it cause I herd my crew almost daily.

So a question for everyone: Can you actually herd cats and if so, how do you do it?
post #2 of 23
I worked in a building with 300 cats. You betcha I can herd cats.

Pounce Treats or the sound of a can of wet food opening will help round 'em up. You can also do the "gentle foot brush" if you're in stocking feet or the "suggestion of the gentle foot brush" if you have shoes You know...the one where you're trying to keep them from running out the door as you come in, so you stick a foot in the door before the rest of your body goes in?!
post #3 of 23
Of course you can!
post #4 of 23
You most certainly can, you just have to find the right tool.
For me, tapping the broom on the floor works, unless they are on the patio, then scuffing my foot does the trick.
post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 
We've had to lock the cats up in the back half of our house since early November each night. We have up to 12 cats to herd and we found out 2 important things:

- they love a routine and as long as you do the same ritual every time, they usually fall right in line.

- a big bag of treats that you rattle around gets them running

If all else fails, you trick them into following you like the Pied Piper of Hamlin.
post #6 of 23
Yes it is possible - 1st bribe Carly into thinking she is getting a treat, Much comes along because she thinks she might like a treat also, and Lucy just comes along because she is nosy and wants to see what everyone is doing.
post #7 of 23
Other people might be able to herd cats but I only have two and Radar is a law unto himself
Quote:
Originally Posted by lionessrampant View Post
You can also do the "gentle foot brush" if you're in stocking feet or the "suggestion of the gentle foot brush" if you have shoes You know...the one where you're trying to keep them from running out the door as you come in, so you stick a foot in the door before the rest of your body goes in?!
Wow- I do that all the time- never heard it referred to as that
post #8 of 23
IMHO, the best herding tool for cats is a container of dry food, or anything that sounds like it hitting the bowl. This also includes my cereal.
post #9 of 23
In our house the sound of a can opener worked for us. A manual type can opener!
post #10 of 23
For Rambo it's straight forward....temptations bag, sound of me going into the fridge, me getting out the can opener....ANYTHING that in some way is linked to food in his head. Lucky will come if and when she feels like it, but can sometimes be tricked if i pull out the block of cheese.
post #11 of 23
Yes I can, just calling their names works and rattling treats never fails.

Hubby is always complaining he can't wrangle them as well as I can
post #12 of 23
only when it's dinner time!
post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by gemlady View Post
In our house the sound of a can opener worked for us. A manual type can opener!
Same here! I swear, my guys can recognize the sound of the can opener coming out of the drawer ... They're already in the kitchen by the time I'm actually opening something.

Both cats will also come when called (although Oz comes ... eventually -- he doesn't want you to think he's at your beck and call or anything ). I'm pretty sure Spike thinks he's a dog. Oz is just nosy.

My parents' cat cannot be herded. She's 18 years old -- will be 19 on May 1st! -- partially deaf and filled with remarkable disdain for all humans. She does what she wants, when she wants, and my parents see absolutely no reason to change this. (She was very well-trained, but now that she's ancient she's allowed to ignore her training. We all know who really runs my parents' house.)
post #14 of 23
Well unless every single cat was food motivated at the same time, you would have more then one taking off in different directions. In a way I think it would be worth watching a top Border Collie try to herd 12 cats into a pen and succeed.

Poor pup
post #15 of 23
Trying to round the little horrors up to get them out of the kitchen when I want to cook is an absolute nightmare. Trust me cooking with either of those two in the same room is too dangerous for all concerned. But I think if anything is being herded, it is me. I am just a pawn in their devious cat games
post #16 of 23
Quote:
...just a pawn in their devious cat games
Aren't we all!
post #17 of 23
All it takes in my house is picking up their food dishes...then I've got all three at once.

Part of my job is handling meeting logistics for a group of doctors. People are always commenting to me that getting them to do what they're supposed to must be like herding cats. I always assure them that herding cats is much easier...they're trainable!
post #18 of 23
Thread Starter 
These are great!!! You all mind if I clip these out and send them out to the folks at work who complain about herding cats? I want them to understand how it is done!!
post #19 of 23
Of course you can! Just ask Fosters! He's ALWAYS hearding my foster kitties around the house He heards them up and then bathes them one by one They actually seem to listen to him too lol.





post #20 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by StarryEyedTiGeR View Post
Awwwww.......look at that adorable look on his face!!!!

How to herd a cat: get a dog!!
post #21 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momofmany View Post
Awwwww.......look at that adorable look on his face!!!!

How to herd a cat: get a dog!!
Yup! Dogs herd well! Especially Australian shepherds/collies He loves his babies Those are actually of Kojak and his little brothers when they were babies. Fosters does this with every litter of foster kittens i have
post #22 of 23
Anybody remember that tv commercial with the cowboys literally "herding cats"? That is one of my all time favorites!

Cardigan Corgis are good for herding cats, too! Ours (since passed*sigh*) used to herd anything- a half dozen or more tennis balls, a few cats... His first experience with being put in charge of kittens was hillarious, though. Bird decided it was time (again!) to move her kittens, and decided that the dog (who happened to be sitting in front of the door between the two rooms she was running between) would make a good babysitter while she was getting the other kittens moved, and left them with him one at a time as she took another one to the new "hiding place" . When she gave him the first one and took off to get another one, he was sitting down, with a 2 week old kitten at his front feet, looking at the kitten, then up at us, like "What am I supposed to do with this? Am I qualified?" I thought I would roll off the bed laughing! And then she'd come and get that one, and leave him another to watch...

The cats didn't mind being herded, though, as herding would eventually lead to "neck fleaing", though the dog tried not to do it in front of us- lol! The evidence was always there, though- a happy, slimy necked cat! Ugh!
post #23 of 23
Oh, I forgot what I was going to say in the first place!

Our cats get a treat twice a day, as Bird and the dog get meds twice a day. I was out of town last month overnight, and my DH had to pill Bird and treat the others. When I talked to him, he said "How do they know? I hadn't even gotten the food out of the fridge, and they were all right there!" I asked him if he had picked up Bird's bowl (she has a small corningware glass bowl that usually stays on the diningroom table between washings) and he said "Yes..." I told him that was it- they know!

All it takes in our house is the slightest sliding of the bottom of that bowl on a surface, and they come running!

If they are outside, I just have to holler "Kitty kitty want a can?" and instant cats!
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