I work with dogs all day; dogs who are well trained and do things like “sit” “give paw” when you give them commands. Smart dogs who respond to commands and do tricks for treats. I got so used to telling dogs to “stay” when they were behaving badly, that I found myself telling Muffin to “stay” one night when I was trying to give her fluids. I laughed at myself because she is a cat, and cats don’t listen to commands.
Or do they? One way to train dogs is through with a clicker. You click the clicker, they perform a certain command and then they get a treat. Soon they come to associate the clicker with just the command, and will “sit” “Stay” etc when they hear the clicker, no treats needed! I was reminded that cats can be clicker trained a few weeks back while taking with @NutmegTorby on Twitter. Nutmeg is a Torby cat (that’s Tabby and Tortie combo!) who, along with her sister Meggy do lots of agility (they also blog, along with their brother). Or so she tells me! After chatting with @Nutmeg I decided to try clicker training with Sneakers. He is so bored. He needs mental stimulation and exercise. After years of living on the streets, trying to find shelter and food, and always being on alert, I imagine life inside is quite dull. Hopefully clicker training will be just the thing to get him active again. Active without beating up Crash and Muffin.
I picked up a clicker, some amazing treats and a book on training your cat. Until I have time to read the book and look up more articles online, I am starting with associating the amazing freeze dried chicken treats with the clicker. I click and he gets a piece of chicken. I am not sure he has started to associate the clicker with the treats yet, but it is a start. I hope to eventually teach him enough to move on to agility training!
I am excited to start training him. This will be great for him and great for me. It will be a project. I like projects, projects are cool. They keep me focused and give me something to write about! I will write more as we progress.