Welcome to PetForums

Join thousands of other pet owners and pet lovers on the UK's most popular and friendly pet community and discussion forum.

Sign Up

Teaching a cat recall

Discussion in 'Cat Training and Behaviour' started by Agaj, May 18, 2021.


  1. Agaj

    Agaj PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2020
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    9
    Hi,
    I was wondering if anyone had any tips for how to get a cat to come when called when there are distractions. I have trained my cat to come when I say ‘Olive come’ she does this flawlessly in the house but we are working on lead training and when in the garden she won’t come. She’s been going in the garden for about 2 months now for 30 mins a day on her lead and no matter what treats I bring (even her favourite chicken) she will not come back to me when called. I would like her to return when called so I can take her on outings further afield and know if she somehow gets off her lead she will return to me. Obviously I understand the outside is very exciting for her and I it’ll be a lot harder to distract her from all the fun insects to chase but any tips would be brilliant!
     
  2. Maurey

    Maurey Maine Coon Madness

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2019
    Messages:
    1,070
    Likes Received:
    2,411
    If you live with someone, or can have someone she's comfortable with safely come over, I'd advise starting to train recall indoors while she's distracted by something, though you can do at least the first part on your own.

    Start with small things, like turning on a youtube video with some noise, like cars, then progress to a video of birds or fish. With the bird/fish video, if she shows a lot of interest, be sure not to turn off the video the first time she successfully comes to you and end the session. Let her go back, enjoy the video for a while, and call her to you again. Repeat this a couple times with the high value treats you usually use for recall training before ending the video. If she doesn't show interest in the videos, and doesn't seem particularly distracted, move onto starting to recall her from playing with a toy. Start with something she likes, but isn't her favourite, and move up to a coveted toy. Once she has a good recall from things she's very interested in, you can start training recall outside. Start somewhere very familiar, like your garden, don't let your recall always be the end of her walk, and reward her with something, like a play session with her favourite toy, or a treat, upon your return home.

    The entire idea is first building her ability to focus on you in a noisy and/or distracting situation, then building an association that following recall doesn't mean the thing she enjoys is going to end.
     
    Agaj likes this.
  3. O2.0

    O2.0 PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    May 23, 2018
    Messages:
    9,976
    Likes Received:
    31,424
    Couple of suggestions.
    When you take her out in the garden, make sure it's around meal time and she's good and hungry.
    Don't call her when she's fixated on something, she will learn to ignore you, call her when she's less interested in the world and you have a better chance of success.
    Inside, work on getting her to focus on you. With my cats I've found that trick training really helps them learn the idea of "I do this, treat happens" and it helps them listen to you better too.
    Are you familiar with clicker training? Even something as simple as teaching her to target a ball on a stick or follow your hand really gets them understanding that it's through you that the treats happen, that makes you a more valuable resource and her more likely to respond to you even with distractions.
     
    Agaj likes this.
  4. Rachey

    Rachey PetForums Junior

    Joined:
    May 15, 2020
    Messages:
    70
    Likes Received:
    43
    One word for what worked for ours. Dreamies.

    We'd practice in the house getting them to come to us across a room, then from different rooms and they'd get a treat if they came. At first we'd rattle the treat tub whilst calling their name. They got it fast. Now we can recall from outside and if that doesn't work a shake of the treat tub does
     
    Agaj likes this.
  5. Agaj

    Agaj PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2020
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    9
    These are brilliant thank you guys so much
     
  6. Bertie'sMum

    Bertie'sMum Obedient Cat Slave

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2017
    Messages:
    4,684
    Likes Received:
    11,608
    Beat me too it @Rachey - my Bertie would do ANYTHING for a couple of Dreamies, sometimes just saying "Dreamies" worked without even having to rattle the tin !
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice