It’s as Simple as That! Away Have some fun with your cat while also training her to do what you want. Here’s how it’s done.
Karen Pryor would like to respectfully disagree with you if you believe that cats are incapable of being trained.
In her book “Getting Started: Clicker Training for Cats,” the preeminent authority on clicker training for canines applies her knowledge and experience to the training of felines, where she compares the method to bartering or striking a deal. I’ll give you a treat if you do something for me, like leap off the counter, and in exchange, you do something for me.
There is a common misconception that cats, particularly house cats, do nothing but sleep, eat, and laze around all day. It’s no surprise that they end up in sticky situations. This highly intelligent being is looking for work.
Clicker training is an approach to teaching marine mammal behavior that was developed by Pryor, a behavior biologist. It is predicated on operant conditioning and makes use of only positive reinforcement.
The procedure is straightforward. You will need a target stick, a clicker (or another item that makes a distinct noise), and some tasty treats. Choose a time when your cat is feeling hungry but not ravenous.
To begin, keep an eye on her and hit the button! when you observe an entertaining behavior and give a treat about the size of a pea. You are making the association that the Click represents something desirable.
Hold out the target stick once the cat has understood the connection between the “Click!” command and the reward. As part of the cat’s normal behavior for marking territory, it should instinctively nose the end of the stick. Repeat the process of clicking! to receive a treat. Then you will gradually move the target further away, and when the cat touches it, you will click and give it a treat.
In consideration of the cat’s level of interest, increase the distance between the target behaviors and the variety of target behaviors. Bring the meeting to a close before participants lose interest.
Pryor takes the training to the next level by describing methods for getting your cat to come when it is called, walk on a leash outside, wait to be picked up, and allow grooming without putting up a fight. When you call your dog, she may respond by playing a game of hide-and-seek with you, or she may respond by helping you find your cat if she runs away. She believes that it was beneficial for the cats to have something to occupy their minds.
Clicker training is not only beneficial from a functional standpoint, but it can also be a lot of fun for you and your cat to engage in together. Once more, this is a means of stimulating the brain of the furry creature in question and warding off the boredom that can lead to undesirable behaviors. According to Pryor, clicker cats are capable of doing most of the things that dogs are, including being trained in agility. In addition to that, she throws in activities such as playing the piano, following the dot (fun with a laser pointer), and encouraging particular behaviors before moving on to more complicated acrobatic displays.
Pryor continues on to explain how clicker training can be used to correct problematic behaviors such as avoiding the litter box, scratching, aggression, and ambushing.
While Pryor takes clicker training to rather involved levels, an average person and an average cat can use some of the fundamentals to build a bond and have fun together. Pryor takes clicker training to rather involved levels. Given how specific Pryor’s more advanced training methods are, it’s likely that an attentive trainer would have chosen a dog over a cat in this scenario. Nevertheless, it is reassuring to know that the furry creature that is snoozing on the windowsill is capable of doing more than just taking stock of the birds at the feeder.