Basic Advice on Clicker Training for Cats
Some people may consider cats unattainable of training, but they may not have tried the method of clicker training for cats yet.
Clicker training is based on the cat’s natural tendency to repeat a behavior that has positive results. No punishment is used except reward and an accessory called clicker.
In summary, the steps of this training are the following: “We are alerting our cat that her behavior is desirable by making a click with the clicker and then we reward her with a treat.
Why with a “click” and not with some other sound?
Because unlike the sound of your voice that your cat is listening to all day, it is a distinct sound that can easily connect to her mind with desirable behaviors. With the click, your cat understands that she did something “good”, while the delicacy you give her right away is the positive result of her behavior, which reinforces her tendency to repeat it.
Before you start training your cat with a clicker, you need patience. You will not see results at once. You must also decide at the beginning what behaviors you want to help, what to change, and if you want to teach your cat some simple tricks.
If you decide to train your cat with some commands, it will be better to start with the simplest things. The easiest command is, perhaps, “come”. Once the cat comes, you can reward her with a treat. If your cat has learned to come up with the sound of her food, can etc., it will be very easy to train her to link the “click” with the treat.
Tips to train your cat with a clicker:
- Start with an easy command that your cat can do on her own (sit, come near you, follow a moving target like a ribbon or touch your hand with her face).
- Make just one click. More than one can confuse your cat.
- Ensure that lessons are as short as possible.
- Never push your cat to do something, for example. pushing it or lifting it into your hands. All her moves must be voluntary to gradually begin linking them to the “click”.
- Start by rewarding small progress towards your goal and then raise the lead. If, for example, you are trying to train your cat to get into her carrier, reward every step she does toward that direction.Give her a treat because she is approaching directly to the carrier and, finally, because she gets in.
- Do not punish unwanted behaviors. Focus on the desires, rewarding them. For example, instead of punishing your cat who scratched the sofa, reward her when she uses the cat scratcher.