According to Matt Davies Harmony Communities, clicker training can be as effective for training cats as it is for training dogs. In fact, although it can take a while to properly train your cats, once you have mastered the basics, you can teach them to do a variety of tricks and behaviors.
Tips & Tricks
Here are a few cat clicker training tips you can follow:
- Make the preparation – The first thing you should do is get a clicker that is specifically designed for training cats. You can easily get these at a pet store or online. Next, you have to acquire a suitable cat treat such as deli turkey or tuna. However, ensure you cut them into pea-sized chunks.
After that, you should acquire a target item such as a pen or spoon that your cat will follow. However, ensure you don’t use the treats as a target. Generally, it is a good idea to start training your cats 20-30 minutes before mealtime since they would respond better to treats during that period. Also, it is recommended that you conduct multiple training sessions of 5 minutes each throughout the day.
- Associate the click with the reward – It is a good idea to sit on the floor with your cat since it would make it easier for you to respond immediately to your cat’s correct behavior. To make the association, you just have to toss a treat to your cat and press the clicker at the same time.
Ensure you wait for your cat to finish the treat before rewarding them again and repeat this procedure several times. However, stop after 5 minutes to give them a break. Also, it is necessary to find a better reward if your cat loses interest.
After a while, you can make your cat work a little harder such as tossing the treat further away so that they have to walk a few steps to get the treat. Also, ensure you don’t speak when using the clicker sound since you want it to be the clearest signal.
- Associate the click with a target – To associate the target with the click, you have to press the clicker as soon as your cat shows an interest in the target. This could be anything such as sniffing, approaching, or leaning towards the target. After the click, ensure you give them their reward.
When repeated several times, they will associate the target with the reward. You want your cat to perform more actions progressively throughout the training session such as touching the target or moving around with the target as you move it around.
- Introduce verbal cues – Once your cat has learned a few tricks, you can use distinct verbal cues to let them know which trick you want them to perform. The verbal cues must be a logical word such as ‘come’ or ‘jump’ when they jump or walk towards you respectively.
Matt Davies Harmony Communities suggests you never try to punish your cats when they don’t follow your command or perform according to your expectations since they don’t respond well to punishments. It is more likely to get them stressed or frightened and backfire on you.