They say that training your cats is about as easy as herding them. But, they are incorrect! Since cats are very responsive to positive reinforcement, it is not difficult to train them when the rewards are in the form of food, special treats, or a favorite toy. Cats can be taught to do everything from staying off the kitchen counter to giving you the high-five!
Since cats do not respond to negative reinforcement, many people are under the impression that the spray bottle—or yelling at them to stop the undesired behavior--just means they do not learn, period. But the fact is, if you get to them with positive reinforcement for good behavior, this reverse psychology will absolutely work, and you can most always get them to do your bidding.
- 1.Show the clicker to Kitty before you click it, then provide a treat after clicking.
- 2.Repeat the practice of clicking and providing treats until Kitty begins to associate the clicking with the treat. Once she realizes that the clicking means good things are to come, you can begin to shape her behavior by association.
- 3.Behavior modification with the clicker: If you want to discourage her from climbing on counters, you can reward her when she jumps onto alternative spots, like her Armarkat cat tree. By not getting rewarded for counter jumping, she learns that it is much nicer to get the clicker treat for jumping onto her cat tree.
- 4.Repetition is key. Be consistent in rewarding the activity you want and ignoring the activity you do not want. Again, negative reinforcement will not work on her.
Always remember to remain patient. Take your time and start with small behaviors. Cats will learn at their own pace. Don’t forget to help with repetitive vocal cues since cats can learn words that are repeated often. But most importantly, make clicker training a good opportunity to bond with your fur baby, and always use it for fun, activity time together.
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