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Training cats

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hi im just wondering if anyone here has taught the cat anything.

Ive heard that some cats can be taught like dogs but dont know wether to believe it or not.
post #2 of 6
Training is just a means to condition an animal to do a certain response. We trained our cat to sit for treats and he learned it while watching the dogs do it. I've trained my cats to use scratch posts rather than the furniture. You train a cat when you clap your hands to get them off of a place where you don't want them to go.

So yes, you can train them. It's just a matter of what is important for you to train them on.
post #3 of 6
I've got my cat trained to jump to a place when I tap it twice and she'll stand on two legs on command as well.

Basically cats have different drives when being taught tricks compared to dogs, just the knowledge that they've made you happy and are doing what you want is not enough. They need to get food treats or something like that that actually motivates them.

Also cats don't do negative reinforcement which is why clicker training works really well usually.
post #4 of 6
If I'm in the dining room and shake something that sounds like his treats, he jumps up on to his window perch (since that's the "treat spot"). He also taught himself to play fetch; when he's in the mood, he'll grab a mousie and bring it to me. I'll pick it up, waggle it around so he sees it, and toss it -- the further the better. He'll run, attack it, and after about 30 seconds bounds on back and drops it around me.

He wants to do it more than we let him, mostly because he'll often drop a mouse near us but we don't notice until he's become distracted by something else.

But yeah, it's possible to train cats to do things, but it takes a bit more time (and a cooperative kitty).
post #5 of 6
You don't train cats you compromise with them. It's kinda like comparing training a human living with you to training a dog. For most dogs and humans it's entirely different. You don't really train a human roommate or cat so much as let them know what you don't like, try to provide alternatives they would prefer, and then hope they decide to follow it. To stop them scratching the furniture you provide a scratching post they like better anyway and then express your dislike of furniture being destroyed. Instead of "don't scratch that" which is how most people handle dogs it's more "I'll give you something even better to scratch if you don't damage my couch". Compromise instead of commands.

You can teach a few tricks if you have a good treat they are interested in, the cat already has a tendency to do the action, and you can keep their attention long enough. Usually cats do better with learning practical things than tricks. If it's useful a cat will learn how to do it but if it's just a human asking to do something for a silly reward they don't really want to try.
post #6 of 6
My first cat, Mitten, was trained to do a few tricks. One was guessing which hand held the treat and he was not always right either . The other was to "shake hands" - and alternate them too.

I had a part Devon rex that was trained to lay down and wait to chase the ball of paper and then bring it back and drop it into your lap.

And Charlie is still in progress. He will "sit" or "stand up" when given a treat (whichever we choose) and he sorta plays the "Find It" game with Keno when she is looking for hidden treats. He has the concept anyway and follows her in the search.
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