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Clicker Training for cats?

Discussion in 'Cat Training and Behaviour' started by Cleo38, May 28, 2010.


  1. Cleo38

    Cleo38 PetForums VIP

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    I've been using clicker training with my dog Toby & so far it has been brilliant, he's learned so much & understood the meaning of the clicker straight away. I've read a couple of short books about clicker training where they mentioned that other animals can also learn using this method, even cats. I laughed at first as I really can't imagine my two cats listening to me tell them what to do at all!! They seem to do what they want, when they want!
    BUT I don't want to be too dismissve of this & thought that maybe it would be worth a try. Just wondered if anyone else has had any success with their cats using clicker training? My two moggies are aged 5yrs (Winnie) & 7yrs (Basil) so not exactly young but I have some hope that they may eventually do what I tell them to ....... one day!
     
  2. Dally Banjo

    Dally Banjo PetForums VIP

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    :lol: good luck with that one ;) Louie always apears from no where if a bit of tin foil is being scrunched up & if he is up to anything he should'nt latest trick is the net curtain in front foom :rolleyes: we just make a hiss noise & he packs it in :thumbup: :rolleyes: well most of the time :)
     
  3. Tje

    Tje Banned

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    I think they use clicker training for those tv-commercial type cats. I am sure there was once a program on Animal Planet or Nat Geo about it.
     
  4. Cleo38

    Cleo38 PetForums VIP

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    I would love to meet or hear of a cat who was responsive to clicker training. I may have a go with mine tomorrow but I really don't think it will be successful.
    When training with Toby he knows that although I have treats in my pocket he needs to EARN them ..... I'm worried the cats will just try & mug me for them! :scared:
     
  5. Dally Banjo

    Dally Banjo PetForums VIP

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    Been thinking about this, I know dangerous :D I can see it working to get the cat to come to you & sit if they think they are going to get a treat but not sure how you would go on with any other commands, let us know how you get on :)
     
  6. Cleo38

    Cleo38 PetForums VIP

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    Tried a few times now, calling the cats & trying to make them sit for a treat ..... as expected Basil just knew I had the treats, panicked he wouldn't get them all, wailed & then tried to bite me to get to the treats.....now he's watching my every move in case he gets some more! I'm not suprised by the lack of replies regarding cats & clicker training!! I'm not going to give up just yet .....
     
  7. Dally Banjo

    Dally Banjo PetForums VIP

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    Keep up the good work :thumbup: there is 5 here waiting for you to train them :D & you can do the spots to :lol:
     
  8. Colette

    Colette PetForums VIP

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    I'm doing pretty well with mine....

    So far they have a very good grasp of sit, touch it (to the point I can lead them up the hallway), and off.
    Jones is pretty good with up, but Bob can't be bothered.
    Jones is also starting to get roll over, but this is slow going since I have to wait for him to lie down first - luring a cat into a down doesn't work like it does with dogs!

    Obviously they are nowhere near dog level standard, they have to want to be involved, but I have noticed they start offering me the "sit" when they want something - throwing the first behaviour they learned just as many dogs do.

    Teaching off was a really handy way to ease the mugging issue.

    Have already promised to post a video if they ever get good enough! A PF cat display team maybe?

    It is fun though, so would definitely recommend it. Good luck!
     
  9. e-maria

    e-maria PetForums Newbie

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    The great thing about clicker training is that one can use it to several different animals.

    I have used it with my cats and my friends cats. They have learned to do several different dricks (sitting, standing, giving a paw, doing high five, fetching, healing, etc.)

    Cat training has become more popular these days. You should check out some book from this subject (by Karen Pryor or Martina Braun).
     
  10. Cleo38

    Cleo38 PetForums VIP

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    I was just thinking of this post & wondered if anyone had updated with success stories with cats!
    I'd be really interested to hear how you are doing it as I tried (unsuccessfully!) for a couple of weeks.
    No probs at all with the dog but the cats .......!!! I just end up with them clamnebring all over me trying to get the treats & nipping me if I don't hand them over :frown:
    I'm obviously doing something wrong, they have no concept of off, I've been tryingg that for years with the kitchen worktops, bookcases, etc ... they just look at me as if I'm mad!
    Can someone give me an idiots guide to how you are doing it with your cat? I really would be grateful as it;'s not just about making them more well behaved (as if!) but I think it would be engaging & entertaining for them to learn .... well, that's my theory. :lol:
     
  11. e-maria

    e-maria PetForums Newbie

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    Wery first thig you should think of is the reward. Cats do not do things because we want them to do them. However they can learn tricks because they want it theirself.

    Some cats love food, some love petting and some love to play. First you must think what your cat is like. Two of my cats are really greedy. that is why they are easy to train.

    When you know what is the perfect reward, then you have to make things easy for the cat. Start from easy things. First you can teach the cat how clicker works. Push the clicker & give the cat a reward. Do this atleast 10 times.

    Then for an example you can buy or make yourself a tarket. This can be a pen or a small stick. Then attache a wooden pearl at the end of it (this makes your observation easier).

    Put the stick really close to the cats nose. When it smells the pearl, push the clicker and give the cat a reward. Keep the stick so close to the cat that this exercise is easy. When the cat repeats this action for 10 times in a row, you can put the stick a little bit further a way.

    Don´t make the sessions too long! one minute is enough! Then keep a break. If the cat tries to steel you treets, hide them in your pocket or somewhere else!

    I attach here video clips about training session I have done (3 years ago & few weeks ago). In the firs one the cat is training with stick (he has done it approx. 10 training session before this one). In the second one the same cat has done training for 3 years and is learning to touch the mattress. As you can see he know almost right away knows what I expect him to do.

    omat koulutusvideot :: fedjajakosketuskeppi.flv video by emjapp - Photobucket

    omat koulutusvideot :: koskalustaFEDJA.flv video by emjapp - Photobucket

    As you can see, you have to be patient! The cat will learn from trying different ways!
     
    #11 e-maria, Jun 21, 2010
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2010
  12. LouJ69

    LouJ69 PetForums VIP

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    Have a look at this site: Cat Training Overview | Karen Pryor Clickertraining
    Karen Pryor is the one who basically brought clicker training into domestic animal training after working with dolphins using similiar methods. Her book, don't shoot the dog is interesting.
    She tells a funny story about how her daughter was trying to teach their dog how to rock a rocking chair I think it was. She was trying for ages & didn't really notice the cat sitting in the room. When they were finished training, the cat jumped up on to the chair, rocked it & looked at her daughter as if to say "easy peasy"! Well, the story was something like that anyway!
     
  13. Cleo38

    Cleo38 PetForums VIP

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    Thanks ever so much for the replies - they are really useful. I'm going to try again.
    I think maybe try also when they are not too hungry as then they just get food obsessed & won't look, listen to anything other than the food/treat.
    I'm not expecting miracle I just thought it would be good for them to add a bit of inerest to their evenings.
     
  14. Colette

    Colette PetForums VIP

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    "Off" is probably a good one to start with if you have mugging issues, as they should (in theory) automatically do what you want.

    Here's how I did it:

    Stand at a surface they usually jump on (preferably not something out of bounds in case you encourage it) and prepare treats. I break up NM treats or Thrive prawns.
    The cats will probably jump up on said surface to steal them from you.
    At this point grab the treats, clicker in other hand. Hold one treat visibly between thumb and middle finger and use index finger to point at the floor. (Hold you hand low enough so its at cat-on-the-floor level.
    Cat should see the treat and jump off to get it. (Stand a bit further bakc so they can't reach you from the surface if necessary).
    As soon as their feet hit the floor click and give the treat.
    Reapeat.

    Once they get the idea you can start adding a verbal cue, like "off".
    you can also then stop luring, ie do not have the treat visible but otherwise keep the verbal and hand signal the same.

    "Up" is just the first part of that process.
    Get the treats ready at the surface of your choosing. As soon as the cat crouches ready to jump, pat the surface. As soon as the cat gets up their click and treat.

    These two are pretty safe as you don't have your hands close enough to the cat to get savaged, and they seem to be pretty easy for them to grasp. It should also help to give them an idea of how the clicker etc works, which should make it easier to teach other behaviours.

    I'm doing ok, but slowly - although that's my own fault for not practicing nearly as much as I planned to.

    "Sit" is very good - they will both routinely sit for their meals now, and most of the time will sit anywhere when told - assuming they are already focused on me at the time!
    I've now started "wait" although we're only up to 4 seconds max and I can't move or they give up.

    I've pretty much given up on "roll over" for now - at least until I work out how to put "down" on cue. I am hoping to get them jumping through a hoop though if I can find or make one the right size - should be a nice party piece if it works.

    Keep us updated how you get on!
     
  15. ArwenLune

    ArwenLune PetForums Senior

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    I'm clickering with my cat Tijgje. He's taken to it fairly well, but you can tell he's always considering if something is worth it to him! It's not as fast or fanatic as with a dog.
    He has gotten good at targetting, he does sit, paw, 'fall over' on his side for petting (offers that all the time, very cute), go in a box, go onto a platform, off the platform, and jump from one platform to the next. Nothing much on cue apart from 'paw' (though the fall over is starting to get there) but we're having fun with it. I've been working with the platforms because I'm thinking about doing some homebuild cat agility things with him :)
     
    #15 ArwenLune, Jun 26, 2010
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2010
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