Warning: Trying to access array offset on value of type bool in /home/homesinc/1000pets.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-word-count/public/class-wpwc-public.php on line 123

While cats might be thought by some to be more challenging to train, clicker training for cats can be surprisingly practical.

For many years, clicker training has been employed with lions in several zoos and water shows, dolphins, and other animals. It can also work as a positive reinforcement method with dogs. Cat training may be thought to be implausible. Still, some of the behaviors natural to cats, coupled with their innate intelligence and natural curiosity, can be utilized for mutual benefit to pet cats and keepers using cat’s clicker training.

Cat Clicker Techniques

Clicker training cats use the same basic principles as clicker training with dogs and other animals. Still, to be successful in cat training, it is beneficial for the clicker trainer to understand the behavior of the pet cat. For example, many cats will become bored or disinterested very quickly, so sessions using the clicker should be short and focused. By having a good idea of how the cat is likely to react to the situation, the trainer can make much more effective use of the clicker in the time available.

The distinctive sound of the clicker makes it a rapid training aid with cats if used shrewdly by the cat’s keeper. The objective should be to use the clicker sparingly to make it all the more significant to the cat. Timing and keen observation are critical, as the clicker should be clicked immediately on seeing the desired response.

To introduce the pet cat to the clicker, and for clicker sessions in general, it is best to begin the session when the cat is alert and most likely to be responsive, so after meals is a terrible idea. A tasty reward is used to persuade the cat into familiarity with the clicker.

Immediately as the cat takes the reward, the clicker is used so that the clicker’s sound gets linked to the goodie to the cat. Accompanying the click with a sound or gesture, which with some thought beforehand, can be planned to indicate a particular required response in different circumstances, can prove very useful in future training.

With the clicker as a training aid, the short training sessions might be concise with a cat. If the catwalks away, it is best to leave any further attempts until another time. An immediate attempt to persevere will not work, frustrate the trainer, and potentially undermine future sessions, particularly as persistence may appear to the cat to be random clicking and nothing other than a minor annoyance.

Building the Behavior

It’s worth noting that numerous documented cases of teaching behavior, even with some problematic individual animal characters, in less than six three- or four-minute sessions spread over a few days. Of course, it is not to say it can all be done like this, but it does demonstrate that progress can sometimes be made quickly with a focused effort.

One particularly appropriate method with some cats is to use a stick as an object in which the cat is interested. When the end of the stick is offered to the cat, it will usually touch it with its nose. At this point, clicking the clicker and giving the reward will enable the stick to be introduced as a pointer so that the stick can then be used to lead the cat somewhere. Among behaviors that can be relatively quickly trained using this idea are:

  • for the cat to stay in a place, or
  • lie down to be handled, or
  • go to a particular place

To achieve the required focus, it is necessary to plan or at least think through the sessions as much as possible before trying to train the cat on each occasion. Concentration is also required for the best results, so having an alert trainer and an alert cat will help!

Humor aside, the trainer can begin to use the clicker at the beginning and end of behavior with practice. In a short time, in many instances, the cat will start to react to the command or gesture without the clicker being required at all. However, the clicker will have been instrumental in achieving the desired outcome.