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Learning to play fetch

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Does anyone have any tips they can give to my Meowmy so we can learn to play fetch together?
post #2 of 18
I have only ever had one cat play fetch, and she initiated it. I just got her some new crinkle balls this weekend, and she started it again. If I throw the crinkle ball, or flick it across the floor, she runs after it, picks it up in her mouth, and brings it back to me (or whoever). She drops it within a few feet of us, and then meows in a short little way to tell us to throw it again.

I would have no way of knowing how to teach that to a kitty...Festus also hides her toys under the oven, so the other cats can't get them. Part of me thinks she is bringing us the ball in an effort to keep them from the other kitties! She is very persistant about her game of fetch, and if I quit before she is done playing, she will go find someone else to engage in play. Her favorite throws are when there is an obstacle, like throwing into the bathtub so she has to jump inside to retrieve the ball. Or bounce it off the table, so she has to go through the chair legs. Or toss it into an empty laundry basket so she has to fish it out. Anything to add the element of a hunt is good.
post #3 of 18
Have you tried clicker training?

http://www.clickertraining.com/train...m=what_is_ct_s

I've got the book and a couple of clickers but I've not yet started 'training' my cat.
post #4 of 18
Here is a pic of Festie in action. At my 10 y/o dd's birthday party, some of the kids wanted to play with Festus, so I told them to throw the crinkle ball. The boy threw it over her head, as if she were a dog...and she surprised my by trying to catch it in the air! She did it several times for him, in a room full of kids. Cats are just too amazing sometimes...but like I said...that is pure Festus...she taught ME the game! LOL!

Here is the link, in case it didn't resize right.
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y6/...estfetch12.jpg
post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
What type of cat is Festie? She's lovely.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beckiboo
Here is a pic of Festie in action. At my 10 y/o dd's birthday party, some of the kids wanted to play with Festus, so I told them to throw the crinkle ball. The boy threw it over her head, as if she were a dog...and she surprised my by trying to catch it in the air! She did it several times for him, in a room full of kids. Cats are just too amazing sometimes...but like I said...that is pure Festus...she taught ME the game! LOL!

Here is the link, in case it didn't resize right.
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y6/...estfetch12.jpg
post #6 of 18
I have had several cats who played fetch, but usually it happened when they initiated it by someone throwing a ball or a mouse, something that can easily be picked up in their teeth. Most of them grew out of it eventually, but Persil has carried on into adulthood with her favourite game. But again, it started by throwing something gently so she could see it, a few feet away, and repaeating it till she brought it back. At hte start she played with the toy a while before bringing it back, now she will bring it straight back from wherever it is thrown. She will only do it with a mouse.
post #7 of 18
my cat learnd on herself. Use a ball that is light and small enough that she can bite on. I used a soft pin pong ball light ball. I would throw it and she would chase after it and bite on it and bring it back to me and wait for me to throw it.
post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beckiboo
I have only ever had one cat play fetch, and she initiated it. I just got her some new crinkle balls this weekend, and she started it again. If I throw the crinkle ball, or flick it across the floor, she runs after it, picks it up in her mouth, and brings it back to me (or whoever). She drops it within a few feet of us, and then meows in a short little way to tell us to throw it again.
My cat Marco does the same thing, only he does it with craft pompoms.
post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sadie's Mom
What type of cat is Festie? She's lovely.
Thank you! She is pure moggie (mongrel). She does have lovely spots rather than stripes, and a bit of a reddish background to her brown and black coloring.

My foster kitty Sarabi has about the same coloring, as do 3 of her 6 kittens! Hopefully they will be popular at the adoption shows this spring!
post #10 of 18
Festie is very pretty. My Suzie is starting to look more like her. Anyway back to the subject.
Rocky loves to fetch and he taught himself and me. Basically I'll be watching TV and he will arrive with the toy and drop it next to me. Lately he will even drop it in my hand if I put it out. He fetchs milk rings, and he just started using a small soft ball that has some jingles inside it. He carries it around. So I would provide toys that are easy for them to carry in the mouth. He never ever uses the hard plastic balls for this game, only for batting around.
post #11 of 18
Hi!

I found out by accident, after making a ball out of the old nylon I had left on the floor and with which my cat discovered and played with, that she will just love to fetch this homemade toy when I throw it at the other end of my flat! Before, not a single toy from the pet store would excite her. Maybe this will work for Meowmie? Sometimes, the simplest toys, and not expensive, can trigger quite an enthusiastic response. Try it!
N.
post #12 of 18
I think most cats will initiate it. If they don't want to fetch, they won't. Some cats just have it in their blood I think.


Good luck, maybe you can train her...but I don't have any tips..sorry.
post #13 of 18
Sorry this is long, but I've included some suggestions on ways you might be able to get him fetching in detail.

It seems to be more instinctual than anything else. Some cats do and some don't. My Little Biddy was a fetcher.

None of my others were until Deja Vu, who just did it. I threw a balled-up cigarette pack on the floor one day (they love those as toys -- they make great noise and are the perfect weight to bat around) and she picked it up and brought it to me. She brings them all the time now, either when I throw them or she will intiate it. Interestingly, every single one of her kittens were fetching by the time they were 5 weeks old (but all they would fetch were straws). I would sit and juggle 5 kittens and an adult cat throwing and fetching toys.

Rocky Rockette (one of hers) still fetches, but he will fetch more than the straws. He fetches one little ratty piece of string left over from a fishing rod toy he destroyed, and he will actually fetch the entire fishing rod toy.

Lately he's taken to doing something odd. When I throw something to fetch, he first carries it into a different room, then back to me to throw.

Little Big Man was even stranger. His favorite toy is the fishing rod toy I have with either string or feathers at the end. He was only here a couple of days when he was sitting across the living room right next to the fishing rod toy, staring at me. I said (not expecting a response, of course) why don't you bring your toy here so I can throw it? I swear he understood me. He bent his head down, picked the toy up in his mouth and brought it right over to me. This is one weird cat. Gives me the heebie jeebies sometimes the things he does and seems to know and respond to, and he's only 5 month. I swear, he's an old soul. After he's tired of fetching or playing with the toy, he will also take it in his mouth while I'm holding it and pull until I let go, and then carry it with him somewhere else.

But, back to the topic. If you want to try and see if you can get him to fetch, here's what I'd recommend trying.

Instead of throwing things to him, wait until you see him playing with a toy he likes to pick up in his mouth and bat around. Then go to him, pick up the toy, drop it in front of him, maybe bat it once or twice yourself only an inch or two, to get him excited, and hopefully to bat or pick it up again himself. Once he does that (or is getting excited by the game), pick it up and throw it so he's excited enough to run after it Before you throw it, you might also want to repeat (and always say the same thing and do the same thing) something like "Bring it here, bring it here" while you scratch the floor with your finger (and toy in hand), right before throwing it, so he might begin to associate "bring it here" and scratching a spot with the toy being at the place you scratch.

Since it's the running after the toy they enjoy, not necessarily the fetching, try to do this as many times as he gives you the opportunity to do so. That way he might eventually make the connection of the toy being near you, and being thrown is a lot of fun.

You might even follow him also, so when he picks it up a second time where you threw it, you jiggle it a little, play with him with it a couple of seconds again, say "bring it here", scratch, and then throw again.

Then, every so often, if you see him near the toy, just scratch the floor where you're sitting and say, "bring it here" and see if he responds. Also, every so often (while youj're doing the other stuff) simply try and throw it from wherever you are and do the routine, and see if he responds. And keep on doing the other stuff and see if eventually it works.

Deja Vu's words are "bring it here" or "get the crinkles." Rocky Rockette's are "Where's you're stringie Rock? Bring me the stringie." Little Big Man's are, "Go getcha toy!"

All different so less confution. LOL Interestingly, Rocky's gotten to the point where all I have to do is say, "Where's your stringie Rock? Bring me the stringie" he'll go and get whatever toy he prefers fetching that week.

It's neat




If you just throw it from afar and wait, he might not make that same connection. And he needs the positive reinforcement that he'll get by you throwing it when he's at his most excited with the toy, so it will be the most fun.

Good luck, and let me know if you try this and any results you may get.
post #14 of 18
I agree with everyone else about fetching being an innate behavior. Mica fetches and she initiated the game herself (I think a lot of Siamese tend to fetch). Mica carries a lot of things in her mouth (her current favorite is a stuffed baby dragon which rattles) which she either brings to us to throw, or she beats up, but Rocket just has fun watching this but has never done it himself.
post #15 of 18
Teufel has a special spongy ball to play fetch with (its his favourite ball)
Then kaylee saw how much fun he was having and started to do the same thing but with her favourite mouse.
She will fetch it, drop it at our feet and rub against our leg to say do it again
post #16 of 18
I don't have any cats that play fetch. Max, my RB Bridge cat, did learn how to play "Hide and Seek". That was an amazing thing to watch him do that.
Good luck with teaching your kitty "fetch".
post #17 of 18
I don't know if you really can teach them fetch. Its either a learned behavior by watching another cat/dog or its just natural for them.

I've had a few cats that fetched but it was something they did as a kitten and I just capitalized on the behavior - I didn't teach them. In fact, I had a rex kitten that would wear YOU out in playing fetch - had to take the toy away to get him to stop.

The owners of that kitten were amazed as he taught some of their cats how to play the "fetch game"


Funny you mentioned the Hide/Seek game too - this same rex also did that. I showed him as a 4 month old in kitten class and we were staying at the hotel - just me and the kitten. So I started a hide/seek game - me in the bathroom and calling him to find me. Did that a few times - he thought it was fun; so then I simply told him "now YOU go hide" - counted to 10 and then looked for him - he had hidden himself under the blanket....I was totally amazed that he understood the game - did it a few more time switching back and forth and he did understand - not just a coincedence thing
post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 
Yesterday Sadie decided she wanted to play fetch with me! She started playing with her favourite ball and then she dropped it in my lap. So, taking her cue, I threw it and told her fetch. To my surprise, she brought it back to me and meowed - as if to tell me to throw it again. I tossed it for her and she kept bringing it back -- this went on for over 1 hour (I should have been cleaning house, but she was too cute not to play with).
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