The Cat and Me

It has been a few months since I shared my first cat-training video. The two of us have done a lot of work since then and I am proud to finally present the second instalment in my kitty wrangling series.

When I thought about my early approach, I realized I was treating The Cat too much like a dog. I was trying to rev him up, get him excited to work with me, but that was the exact opposite of what I should be doing. After doing some reading, I had a true lightbulb moment. I talked about it here . Basically, I figured out that cats are most definitely not dogs.

It still blows my mind a little.

When I started to behave around The Cat more appropriately – like he was a cat – things between us went much smoother. In a way, I try to approach him similar to how I would approach a  fearful dog: I wait for him to come to me, I hold the treat out and look away, I keep sessions super-short, and I end things with him wanting more. So far, we have been pretty successful. Once I got him to start taking food directly from my hand, we were gold.

But I will let the video speak for itself.

I am not entirely sure what my goal is for him. Initially, I just wanted to teach him to sit on cue. Now that we have that, I feel like we could do anything. Maybe even try walking on a leash? After struggling to get a decent photo of him last night, I think I am going to work on “stay” next. It’s one of the things I take for granted with Shiva and makes life so much easier.

Our relationship has steadily improved since I started this mini-project. In that sense, perhaps it doesn’t matter how far we go. I love that he now seeks me out every evening when he wants his treats. He sees me as more than just that annoying other person who tries to pet him too much. I will never be his favourite – that position will forever be held by my PH. However, I have hope I will eventually be held in higher estimation than the fish.

Have you ever had luck training a species other than a dog?

Don’t forget! There is still time to enter my New Things Contest. Enter now to win a copy of Jennifer Arnold’s Through a Dog’s Eyes!

20 thoughts on “The Cat and Me

  1. You have done a very good job with your cat. That is a great video. I have been working on sit with my kitty, but she really doesn’t like a lot of treats so that is tough. She comes when called (mostly) and that is the biggest thing I wanted from her. But yeah, stay would help because taking a picture of her is tough, she usually sees the camera and leaves….lol.

    Like

  2. Wow! Impressive!

    I spent some time training my school’s animals. I started with a goat, but when that went away I continued with a miniature pig I named Kiskwis. He mainly needed socialization, but a crate trained him, taught him how to walk on a harness and how to come when called. He loved it. The school was part of a program that let kindergardens come visit, and when ever they did I let them into his enclosure.

    A friend of mine continued the work when I left the school. She has since taught him to jump, sit and some other things. Gotta love clicker training!

    Like

  3. He is such a handsome kitty, with that bushy squirrel tail! 🙂 you have made heaps of progress with him! I really should spend more time with Frou training but she already seeks out my attention all the time 😉

    Mittens tolerates the leash, but she does not walk on it like a dog does. She meanders around and we follow her. It’s really the only way we can trust her to be outside short of building her a special kitty enclosure.

    Like

  4. You either have WAY too much time on your hands or you’re a freakin’ genius (I tend to go with genius.) 🙂

    I have had limited success with Bob (although I admit I don’t work enough with him) in that most of the time he will come when I call him, since he will (supposedly) be leaving some time with my daughter I guess I just don’t have the desire to train.

    Great Job on your part Kristine!!

    Like

  5. That sit is more solid than my dogs’ some days. 🙂 Good for you! And try not to be disappointed about not being Kitty’s favorite – yet. I recently observed my cat – the one who I thought favored me – snuggling up to a terrified J. Farleigh, as if he was made of cheese. Cats are complicated creatures. (But oh, so worth it!)

    Like

  6. That’s pretty awesome work. I wouldn’t say my cat was trained but he came when called, and would leave plates of food alone if I fussed at him. He also didn’t use the litter box and chose to go outside to go to the bathroom so that was nice.
    I semi trained my goats I guess, I was able to take them on walks in the woods and they followed well. Especially when a dog spooked them, they they REALLY wanted to listen to me. They also would guess which hand the peanut was in, and would take them from my mouth (outside of mouth of course) too.
    My birds knew all kinds of whistles and were hand tamed does that count?
    Maybe you can teach the cat to jump through a hoop, or walk a walkway… I have seen others do that.
    Good luck!
    Anna
    http://www.akginspiration.com

    Like

  7. I love it! I can honestly say I’ve never seen a cat sit on cue before. Good job! It is so nice that the training sessions are bonding you even closer. Can’t wait to see what’s next. I bet your cat would enjoy fetching, if he doesn’t already.

    Like

  8. Wow, that’s really good. My mom and dad didn’t even think about training cats. Now that we’ve seen you do it, maybe when we get a cat, they’ll be able to teach it a few things too.

    Like

  9. Awesome Kristine – and not a bandaid in site. I am impressed with your skill – especially knowing the wonderful Kitania and his lethal claws.

    Like

  10. Fantastic! I trained my older cat (16) to spin, twirl, touch a target with her nose and with her paw. 🙂 It is definitely one of the most humbling things ever to train a different species, am I right?

    Like

  11. Nice job! You are forging that kitty bond. The thing with cats is you have to make it seem like it is their idea, not yours.

    Like

  12. Is is strange that I want a kitten to be raised with a litter of puppies, given all the exposures and everything that puppies should go through in the first few weeks of life? Seems to me it would make cat training so much easier.

    Like

  13. Hey it is interesting to know that you train a cat opposite to how you train a dog. I do need to get my dog “amped up” for her to be in the mood to do anything, lol. Just wanted to say that I recently saw a video on Youtube where a guy trained a parakeet (believe it or not) using the dog clicker training. So I guess anything is possible 🙂

    Like

  14. Look at you and the Cat!! That is awesome :0) Can you come teach our kitty to not claw me in the arm leaving bloody puncture marks every time I inadvertantly get too lose to him? Thanks a heap!

    Like

Comments are closed.