How to Train a Cat by Using a Clicker
Dogs have always been considered to be more capable of learning than cats, but this doesn’t mean that’s true. In fact, there is a new cat training method that uses a clicker, which has been giving positive results. Do you want to learn more about it? If so, then continue reading this article.
Using a clicker to train your cat
This training is meant to shape feline behavior. Punishments are not part of this technique. However, this method takes advantage of a cat’s behavior by getting the cat to act certain way through positive reinforcement. Each click means that the cat will be rewarded.
A clicker is a small device that has a strip of metal that makes a clicking when it is pulled. The secret is that this sound is new to the cat — which is a curious animal by nature — will grab the animal’s attention.
Likewise, an owner´s voice is already a common sound to our cat, so it will be more difficult to train at by using your voice. Therefore, the “click” will become the only communication channel.
Of course, doing all this is not easy and it requires patience. Below, you can read some tips to make it easier.
Training your cat by using a clicker
If you already have a clicker and have figured out what treat you will use to reward your cat, follow these steps:
- Find a target. For example, an object that has a straight shape, such as a stick, a ballpoint pen or a spoon. You could put a ping-pong or foam ball on a pen to grab the cat’s attention. It is forbidden to use treats as targets, because the cat would only do the exercises to get something he likes.
- Find the right moment. It is important to choose the right moment to train your cat such as when he is calm. As you train, you should give him a resting period of five minutes between each session. If you do sessions before he eats, the cat will have a greater interest in the prize and will surely respond better to your orders.
- Avoid distractions. Find a room in the house that has less objects and distractions, because the fewer things around your cat, the less distractions he will have, and the easier it will be to train him.
- Sit with him. Being on the same level as you will help him feel confident, and it will be easier for you to start the training.
- Associate the ‘click’ with a treat. To start, just make a click and give him a treat, and repeat this several times until you throw the treat some distance away. The cat will go for it and will continue to understand that the ‘click’ means a treat, but he will have to make a greater effort to get it.
- Don’t talk to your cat as you train him, because the only sound he should hear is the clicker.
- Introduce the target. Once he understands that every time there is a “click”, he gets a treat, you must then set a goal.
- Bring the target closer. To teach him what the target is, you should approach the cat and click as you approach. Then, give him a treat, and he will start associating everything. So, repeat this action several times until the cat understands it.
- Wait. For the next step, the cat will not hesitate before reaching the target, so don’t forget to give him his treat when he does it!
- Move the target. If you begin to move the target, the cat will begin to move. So, keep doing it without forgetting to reward him.
You can do almost anything when using the clicker and a target. You just need time and patience. Nothing is impossible! Not even training a cat…
Source of the main image: hehaden