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Ollie's learning tricks!

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Please move this if needed! It's more of a behavior announcement than question lol

Well, Oliver's starting to learn "tricks" in a dog-ish sort of way He picked up simple sign language very quickly and knows the signs for food, cookie, water, outside (when he wants to go out on his harness/leash) up, down and no (although, he is still a cat and I can tell that he understands "no" fully, yet chooses when to obey it haha)... so I recently decided to see how he'd do with sit, and he's getting it very quickly! Of course I started off with cookies, but in the past 2 days or so, he'll do it when I'm not even near the treats and ask him to do it! Right now, he's still in the vocal command and hand sign command stage, but I'm curious to see if he'll pick up simply the sit sign without the vocal command - just like with the other signs.... we're also working on "stand up" from "Sit" which he will readily do for a treat, but isn't quite there without them haha

There's no real solid reason why I want to train him, I guess, I just thought it might be kind of neat and I've always heard that cats can be trained, just not quite the same way dogs are... idk, haha, just something kind of fun
post #2 of 21
Oliver is such a smart little boy!
post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DawnofSierra View Post
Oliver is such a smart little boy!
That's what I said when my dad snickered while I was having Ollie show off for him the other day, haha.... he's not stupid! Man, you give him the "food" sign and he makes a bee line for my room (to him the sign for food indicates his wet food, since kibble is always available) - he speeds upstairs and hops right on the dresser where I feed him his wet (so dog cant get it) and mews up a storm, lol... I love his intellegance (haha, ironic that I don't think I spelled that right!)
post #4 of 21
Good job Oliver! Yes, cats are trainable and I am amazed at how fast they learn. I've been teaching Lucy Belle a few simple commands too although some preferred to say simple *suggestions - LOL*. She pick up very quickly. Do you still have to rely on treats to get Oliver to do what you suggested? I realized that once they understand your hand sign, they no longer need a visual treat and that is awesome.
post #5 of 21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tutti_bella View Post
Good job Oliver! Yes, cats are trainable and I am amazed at how fast they learn. I've been teaching Lucy Belle a few simple commands too although some preferred to say simple *suggestions - LOL*. She pick up very quickly. Do you still have to rely on treats to get Oliver to do what you suggested? I realized that once they understand your hand sign, they no longer need a visual treat and that is awesome.
Right now, with "sit" and "stand up" he's not consistant without a treat - he's getting there with "sit" though... he's done it a few times now with no treat in sight... "stand up" still pretty much needs a treat - that one might be harder to get without a treat lol... the other signs aren't really commands, but he definitely knows them!
post #6 of 21
He sounds like the perfect kitty candidate for clicker training! Isn't it an amazing experience to have such an intimate, intuitive relationship with your kitty?! I had/have an extremely intelligent, respectful yet mischievous relationship with all my kitties! I have also personally experienced that old cats CAN be taught new tricks!
post #7 of 21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheylink View Post
He sounds like the perfect kitty candidate for clicker training! Isn't it an amazing experience to have such an intimate, intuitive relationship with your kitty?! I had/have an extremely intelligent, respectful yet mischievous relationship with all my kitties! I have also personally experienced that old cats CAN be taught new tricks!

Yup! Oliver's 6 and just learning this! And I didn't have him as a kitten - took him off the streets... my dog also learned new tricks after she was older (she's 14 now and cant really see/hear too well to learn new stuff - but she's happy and healthy!)... I still havent picked up a clicker but he's doing well with food/vocal command then adding the sign, then taking away the food, then taking away the vocal command... he did well again last night with sit/stand up for a cookie... still can't get stand up without the cookie lol
post #8 of 21
That is so cool! I have not tried the sign language with my kitties. I did teach some to my boys when they were too young to talk. It helped keep frustration down on their part.
That is really neat. What a smart boy you have there.
post #9 of 21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Worriedmommy View Post
That is so cool! I have not tried the sign language with my kitties. I did teach some to my boys when they were too young to talk. It helped keep frustration down on their part.
That is really neat. What a smart boy you have there.
Cats pick up sign pretty quickly! I got the idea originally when my deaf aunt adopted a deaf kitty! I've always known a little sign (ASL - american sign language) because of my aunt and took an ASL class in college, so I decided to teach Ollie - "cookie" is the first and easiest one to teach! haha

By "boys" do you mean your human children? My uncle has 4 kids and used sign with the first 3 (the 4th is still way too young)... he learned sign to communicate with my aunt (even though she can read lips and speak VERY well) and the kids did really well with it - I plan on using it with my future children (and pets!)
post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuzbyJLC10 View Post
By "boys" do you mean your human children? My uncle has 4 kids and used sign with the first 3 (the 4th is still way too young)... he learned sign to communicate with my aunt (even though she can read lips and speak VERY well) and the kids did really well with it - I plan on using it with my future children (and pets!)
Oops Yes, I meant my non-fur children. It really helped my kids to not get frustrated with my not knowing what they wanted. The ones I taught them where: all done, more, drink, eat, down, help, thank you and sorry. I think those were basically it.
post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Worriedmommy View Post
Oops Yes, I meant my non-fur children. It really helped my kids to not get frustrated with my not knowing what they wanted. The ones I taught them where: all done, more, drink, eat, down, help, thank you and sorry. I think those were basically it.
My cousins know basically the same: more, yes, no, cookie/cracker, up, food, drink.... those kinds of things, then they'd learn more "just for fun" types of signs like ice cream, helicopter, car, cat... it's amazing how well they can communicate that way before they develop their speech
post #12 of 21
Wow, how cool!!
post #13 of 21
Just wanted to say CONGRATS and YAY!!! Sit was soooo hard for our kitties because they get manic about treats. But, up or 'stand up' has been much easier. 2 of my kitties will do it w/o a treat, and 1 of them will only do it with a treat. yay for being able to show off our smart kittens
post #14 of 21
My oldest cat (who died this year) learned tricks. I think he was trainable because a) he looooved treats and b) he was a pretty patient cat, so he paid attention during training. He could sit, give his paw, and jump on a chair on command.

Of course, anytime anyone came over for the first time, they had to see him do his tricks.
post #15 of 21
My mother always said she had been told by an animal trainer that cats were every bit as trainable as a dog, but they're much harder to motivate.
post #16 of 21
Thread Starter 
Ollie's doing great with sit and pretty much automatically does stand up for a treat... that one's still gonna be hard to get him off the treats and do... I'll eventually try "giving 5" (that's the term we use with my dog, since she learned "talk" instead of "speak", "paw" sounded too much like "talk" so she "gives 5" haha and she knows the difference between "Talk" and "whisper")... he was showing off for my dad this morning before he left on a business trip hehe
post #17 of 21
Good job teaching him!
I have a friend whose cat will sit on cue for a treat. I am starting to train Church using clicker training. I am going to teach him to touch a target first. I am hoping to get him into acting so he will need to learn quite a few trick-type behaviors! So far he only knows how to "sit up".
post #18 of 21
yay!

My bengals know a few tricks and I'm teaching them more.
They can give paw, sit, beg and I'm teaching them to lay down (boy that's a hard one!)

I tried the clicker but it was a major distraction! they lost focus and wanted to play with the clicker

I had much better luck with treats and hand signals.

I think it's awesome! treat/trick time is a fun way to hang out together
post #19 of 21
Thread Starter 
Oliver's getting more consistant every day! Sitting very well, with or without a treat and definitely does stand up consistantly with a treat (still a no-go without the treats though)... I've started on giving 5 a little bit, but he still doesn't get that yet haha looks at me like I'm nuts when I ask for 5
post #20 of 21
haha, the girls know that one very well.

I'm pretty sure they think I'm a kitty treat dispenser the way they push on me with their paws (gimme 5 style)
post #21 of 21
Thread Starter 
Ollie's learning "give me 5"!!!!

He did it twice tonight! I've been like while he's sitting taking one of his front paws in my hand and saying "good 5!" or sometimes he'll sit on the desk or dresser or on top of his litter box cover (it's a cabinet) while I'm in the desk chair and he'll paw me to pet him, so I'll get him to put his paw in my hand and again say "good 5!" and give him scritchies... well twice tonight, he wanted scritchies so I said "give me 5" and put out my hand, palm up, then touched his paw with a finger and he picked it up to give 5!

He's quite good with sit and stand up now... sometimes he's just stubborn though - I know he knows what I'm asking but he just doesn't want to do it, darn cat!
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