People who have trained their cats?

Discussion in 'Cat and Pet Forum' started by noludoru, May 19, 2007.

  1. noludoru

    noludoru Bored Now.

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    I'm working on teaching mine prolonged sitting. (I can walk away and walk back, and they'll still be there) The "sit" command has been mastered by Chili and Emma, and Emma stays in a sit until I tell her to get up. I'm also working with Emma on "down." After several short sessions over the last two days, she is starting to get the concept of me luring her into "down" and knows she will only get the treat if her butt and her elbows are touching the ground.

    Once she's mastered down, and I teach Chili it, I'd like to start them both on a "shake" or "wave" command. Something with raised paws. Do I teach this the same way I've been teaching (like you'd teach a dog.. luring them into it w/ small treats) or are there better ways to teach cats?

    I've just been thinking about how when someone here posts "oh, I hate cats, they can't learn stuff" several of you always respond with "I've taught my cats this, this, and this." Any tips would be GREAT! :D I've been using their kibble (EVO) for the training--making them work for their dinner, and they will work for it, but last night using the sausage was a hit.
     
  2. adojrts

    adojrts New Member

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    lol my standard response to anyone claiming an animal is stupid or dumb and can't be trained is...................Let me get this right, You can't train the * cat,dog, horse etc* and its stupid??????:lol-sign:
    I trained one of the barn cats to do some agility, he would do the teeter, a-frame, jump, Dog Walk and tunnels AND in sequences!!!!!!!!
    We really should have gotten video's and pics but sadly we didn't before he died. We will certainly miss Smokey the Agility Cat, he certainly provided us with great times and huge lessons in how to motivate.

    Lynn
     
  3. noludoru

    noludoru Bored Now.

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    LOL! Exactly.

    But, did you use the same methods with Smokey as you do with your JRTs? What methods did you use, exactly?
     
  4. LhasaLover

    LhasaLover New Member

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    One of my cats shakes hands and does the "high 5", but I didn't teach him as quickly as you're trying to. I did it as I was feeding him every morning and it took a few months before he automatically did it, which he still does (he's 10 now). He's not treat motivated the same way most cats are, so that was a little more difficult. Everything he learned, he just learned to please me and knows just basic, functional commands.

    When I was teaching him the shake, I would tap behind his leg while he was sitting in front of his food dish. As soon as he started to lift it, I'd grab his little paw and bring it up in a shake. If he only gives me a half-a**ed shake, I make him do it again, and the high 5 is a separate command.

    One time after I'd brought another cat home to foster for a while, he was mad and when he lifted his paw to shake, and I reached out to him, he hauled off and swatted me!! LMAO! (no nails, tho)
     
  5. Maxy24

    Maxy24 Active Member

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    oh, I have a question! How did you teach down? I have been slacking in the training department with them because people tell me they can't be trained and I'm crazy and all that stuff. Seeing that you guys do it ad therefore would not think I'm crazy (hopefully) makes me want to get going again. I trained Neko sit and paw. With paw it will be easy to train high five and wave. What I ws trying to teach was down and was having a really hard time. How did you do it? When I try to lure him he just walks with my hand or stabs me :p If I try to hold him back from walking he jumps my hand. So how did you do it?

    Also training Willie anything is harder than it was with Neko. Willie catches on but has no idea what you are talking about the next session. Maybe because he has never been trained by himself. I always do him and Neko together but Neko got 2 years by himself. I suppose they should each get their own training time.

    I have also heard you can never have them do a command with out showing the treat first. Is that true? Or can you wean them away from that just like with a dog. I will always give it to them after but I don't want him only doing the tricks after seeing the treat.
     
  6. Maxy24

    Maxy24 Active Member

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    and also do you think clicker training is the best way to go or are other methods more effective?
     
  7. Spirit2010

    Spirit2010 Yum...

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    You can train cats??? I didn't know that!! lol Good luck! (I would never be able to do that with Lucky, she would walk away!) lol
     
  8. mjb

    mjb New Member

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    I've had cats all my life, and I've never tried training one, but.......

    I was told by trainer that we hired to teach clicker training to us when Spanky was a puppy that he had also clicker trained cats. He was and is also a horse trainer.

    I thought it made sense, though, that clicker training would be something that would work with cats. In fact, that's the way that seems to make most sense for me if I were to try it.
     
  9. LhasaLover

    LhasaLover New Member

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    Although I've only taught one cat to shake hands & stuff, and another to roll over, all my cats (that I've had from kittens) have always been trained in the basic behavoirs like stop, get down, come inside.

    I've trained them to my fingers snapping, so like, 1 snap would be a warning to listen to me & be cautious about what they were doing, 2 light snaps would be a casual "come here", 2 sharp snaps & a finger point would be to stop immediately, 3 snaps were "come inside".

    When I first started doing this I had 3 of them to train at once and I found it necessary to do teach them to stop destructive or dirty behavoir like being on the kitchen counter or table, or scratching my leather furniture. On the "stop" commands, I used a water bottle after giving the command and I got pretty good at shooting them from 20 feet away!! LOL The first spray would be a body shot; if they ignored that, the second spray would be to the side of their face; if they ignored that, the third spray would hit them inside their ear. I rarely got to the 3rd level and got rid of the water bottle years ago.

    On the positive commands, like "come inside", I used tuna to entice them, then treat them after they got there. I had a good sized, fenced-in yard that I would let the 3 of them go out and lounge in, and I didn't want to have to chase them around to get them inside. They got so good at it that I could stand in the middle of the house, snap my fingers 3 times, and they'd be at the door coming in by the time I got there.

    They're a bit slower to train than dogs because they're so independent, but with command consistency & repetition they learn, and it stays a permanent learn.
     
  10. mjb

    mjb New Member

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    I guess I trained my last one that I didn't like him on the kitchen counters and tables. Once he learned that I didn't like it, I never caught him on them again. Many times I put the key in the door and opened it, I heard 4 feet hit the kitchen floor, but I NEVER saw him on the kitchen counter tops or table after the first year of his life, and he lived 19 years.

    One of my current cats is not as quick to understand. He understands that he will get squirted with a water bottle, but he seems to think it's a game that he doesn't like but will tolerate for us. He will get on the table. We will get the water bottle, and he will squint his eyes waiting on the squirt.

    One squirt was enough for the other cat. She's never gotten on the table again.
     
  11. adojrts

    adojrts New Member

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    Yep, clicker trained and used homemade salmon treats as a reward.
    Lots of interesting articles on www.clickersolutions.com
    on how to train any animal with a clicker.

    Lynn
     
  12. noludoru

    noludoru Bored Now.

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    LhasaLover, I didn't mean to give the impression I was hurrying them along. I was just VERY thrilled Emma learned so quickly. Training them's going to take me time, it doesn't matter how much.

    Maxy, I trained my cats "sit" the same way I do it for down.. like a dog. Luring them with a treat over their heads into the sit position. I combine "sit" w/ a hand signal, and they mostly respond to the hand signal--so we're working on that. I also ask them to sit before I let them out onto the screened-in porch, or before I feed them, etc. That's been going on for a year or so, but I just got interested in really getting them up to snuff a while ago. For people who tell you they won't do it w/o treats... pfft, ignorance. Mine sit for me b/c they're lazy and want to. I sometimes don't give them treats, I let them sniff the fun smells on my fingers after going outside or pet them. I always reward them somehow.

    For "down" I started with Emma, since she is VERY food-motivated and learns quickly. I asked her to sit, got the treat right in front of her nose, then slowly lowered my hand to her paws. As long as she followed my hand, I brought my hand and the treat forward on the floor. When she tried to move forward, I stopped and asked her to sit again, and repeated. She caught on very quickly that lying down was what I wanted, and is now doing it most of the time. :D Chili's not going to be quite so fun, b/c she's such a wigglebutt, and she likes pets as praise more than treats, but won't follow my hand. I'll get somehing really good for her, though.

    Mine know they're being bad when I clap loudly and/or shout "NO!" or "EMMA!" (Emma is always the one getting into trouble, the others respond to it, too.)
     
  13. ToscasMom

    ToscasMom Harumph™©®

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    Cats are very trainable. The thing is, you have to find the motivator for the cat and all cats are not the same. For example, my cat Mojo will jump up on a ledge when I ask him to, he will come to a room I want him to and do pretty much anything I ask because his motivator is..are you ready...he loves when I say GOOT BOY! With emphasis on GOOT. GOOT not GOOD. Good is no good. lol. My late mother had a cat that sat on a chair every night near the dinner table, never touched a thing. He shook hands with every single person he met without cue. His motivator was peanut butter. No kidding. I mean the cat would sit there with peanut butter stuck to the roof of his mouth and he though that was the greatest. So basically, cats DO understand what you want but they need the reptitition AND the motivator. You just gotta find the motivator. They will literally jump thru a burning hoop for that motivator. I also do fire drills with my cats, always have. Basically they see this as a kitty pileup, the sooner the better because in the end there is roast beef. lol.

    I've never tried clicker training but I imagine with the right motivator it would be great with cats since hearing is their strongest sense. (not sight like some think).
     
  14. ToscasMom

    ToscasMom Harumph™©®

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    LMAO! I know this routine.
     
  15. noludoru

    noludoru Bored Now.

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    Thank you, TM :D

    Congrats on the 6,000th post, btw.
     
  16. ToscasMom

    ToscasMom Harumph™©®

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    Holy Cow. I did 6000 posts! Yeesh!
     
  17. ToscasMom

    ToscasMom Harumph™©®

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    No make that 6001
     
  18. ToscasMom

    ToscasMom Harumph™©®

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    no....6003...ah nevermind..
     
  19. noludoru

    noludoru Bored Now.

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    That could go onandonandon....

    And here I was amazed at my 400th. I'm still amazed that, somehow, I got to 1,700 on Stratics. I'm not sure what I did before I discovered forums..
     
  20. LhasaLover

    LhasaLover New Member

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    Try hitting him inside his ear after he ignores the first sprays - they really hate that.
     

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