Pets.ca - Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 

-->

Kitty Clicker Training

zarhad
April 13th, 2008, 09:13 PM
In my opinion Clicker training best way to train a cat, I helped a friend clicker train their cat, it takes alot of patients, the theory is they relate a specific noise to a treat which lets them know when that have done what u wanted...Ive been at work for 14 hours....so my explination may be a little sloppy...

Anyway...Clicker training is great...but I have one problem...My cat is not motivated by food and thats one of the major componants of clicker training...at first she was motivated by petting, but then after 1 or 2 tricks it wore of cuz she realises she can just hop on my lap for sum petting...she hates treats refuses to touch them, I have like 6 or 7 full containers and packages of treats she refuses to touch...so I don't know how to give her that motivation

Does anyone else here clicker train cats? Any suggestions?:confused:

jessi76
April 14th, 2008, 08:02 AM
many years ago i clicker trained one of my cats. he was a rescue who i took in, cleaned up, neutered, and found a new home. but while he was with me, I clicker trained him to fetch a little ball. it was adorable. and he caught on REALLY fast too. I think i used tiny bits of cheese as a treat.

Then when i got my dog, we spent a year going through obedience lessons with him - all clicker based training. while in class one day, our trainer actually showed us a video of a cat who was clicker trained to run a cat agility course. it was unbelievable!

I think it's a GREAT way to train. Perhaps you just haven't found that special treat your cat will respond to. My youngest cat is picky when it comes to pre-packaged cat treats. she won't touch most of them. but she goes bananas for a taste of tuna, salmon, chicken, and mild cheeses. not to mention that bits of fish or meats that you cook are much healthier than those processed cat treats you buy at the store. For example, whenever I cook a whole chicken for our dinner, I will often boil the carcass when we're done with it, to easily separate all bits of meat from the bones.. these make great training treats.

Lissa
April 14th, 2008, 08:55 AM
My cat is not food-motivated either so clicker training was a bit challenging. I found that using toys and petting as rewards wasn't effective so I had to go back and look at food motivation.

First I stopped free-feeding my cat. I only brought out the clicker when I knew she hadn't eaten for at least 4hrs.
Then I looked at what foods she did like. The list was pretty slim. But she's always loved gravy so I started dipping a mini-target stick in gravy and letting her have a few licks after a click. It actually turned out to be a great way to deliver the reward (quick and easy).
Also, when clicker training a cat, I found that it was extremely important to quit while you are ahead....way ahead... With my cat, after just 2-3 clicks its time to stop because at NO point do I want her bored or walking away from the session or refusing food.
It's also very important to start in a really boring environment, away from everything that could distract (which for cats can be just about anything LOL). I found the best place to be at first was the shower stall, no windows and nothing to bat around - a very sterile environment. :laughing:

Good luck!

CyberKitten
April 14th, 2008, 06:30 PM
I would NEVER EVER clicker train a cat or a dog for that matter. It is cruel and not necessary. There are so many ways to train - if one dares use that work re cats, lol - but clickers , if you mean the one that give the cat a jolt-are dangerous as well as horrible. They are akin to tasers for humans. There is utterly no need , not to mention that a zillion journal articles in vet journals have shown over and obver4 and over again that negative behaviour modification simply does not work in cats! And likely never will. Positive behaviour mod (ie give them food or treats for a good deed) does in fact work but even using water is not a good thing. And it rarely works either because while the cat might stop the behaviour, she tends to associate the water with whoever is holding the water, and not the water - unless one can run and hide really fast. Same for clickers. All you do is make a cat scared of you and why on earth would you ever want to do that?

I have had man many many (can't count em really) cats in my lifetime (in my family growing up et al) and all have been perfectly well trained- two are excellent therapy cats- and let me assure you therapy cats are NOT trained with clickers. It would be banned! (Mostly bec it might turn a perfectly good candidate into a scared cat. Indeed, cats trained with clickers tend to be turned down in applications to be therapy cats. It can alas impact their personality.) So anyone thinking this awful practice, rethink it and do not EVEN consider it,much less try it) Remember that cats have very long memories and are also more fragile (psychologically than they look and a psyh issue in a cat can even make the cat psychically ill)

(I just wrote a plethora of recommendations and lost them all, wahhh)

I would suggest you find out what her fav treats are - if she does not like food or what her fav toys and activities are- does she like to be in your lap, sleep in your bed, where is her fav place? Reward her with all those things when she reacts well to what you want her to do. Say things like good girl and give her love and kisses when she dies does what you want her to do.

(and thank goodness, unlike mine,m she is not a meezer )(Kidding since I am thinking of the saying that a There is no denying a Siamese - which mine have down to a science itself, lol) I would add flavours or scents she likes to the places you ant her to go, say if it is a litter box or scratching post.
Always give her lots of love when she does what she is supposed to and pick her up - if she likes that that - (Mine will meow to BE picked up, lol) - If it is clawing issues, clip her claws weekly and have a few scratching around so she can use them. Use items like aluminum foil (cats hate the noise) to dissuade her from clawing your good furniture.

Cats usually hate citrus so if you do not want them eating plants (and there are some plants dangerous, even lethal to cats so make sure you have none of those), you can use citrus to dissuade her from playing with those. If you do not like the citrus smell, use shells from the ocean because they are so large that cats dislike them and give up digging the earth there.

Another web site columnist has wonderful advice re electric cords which were great for my bunny more than my cat to be honest- he thought my phone line was competition bec I talked to IT and thus he was not getting attention so my line would go dead, lol

She writes: "There is a product specifically designed to hide and cover external electrical wiring. It will work for electrical cords also. It is a long rectangular tube. The cover snaps or bends in place. You can permanently affix it to the wall with either nails screws or sticky two-sided tape. Once the tube is in place just put the cord inside and closes it. You will have 99% of the cord covered. There is the side benefit that you don't have to look at the unsightly cords anymore. Try asking at your local hardware or electrical supplies store." It is also great for computer wires! And I have seen some of this stuff at Dollar stores.

(I used to buy telephone cords at the dollar store because they were chewed so regularly by my rabbit. (and yes, I had a wireless but it needs a charger somewhere)!

Anyhow, good luck! I have more but this is the Cole' Notes ver of what I lost, sigh! (You may thank me for losing them tho, lol)

zarhad
April 14th, 2008, 11:16 PM
cyberkitten there is no jolting or anything like that clicker training is treat basked a clicker is an actual thing that makes a clicking sound...u click it when they have done what you wanted, and then give them the treat, ...when I get a chance I will post a link..

zarhad
April 14th, 2008, 11:17 PM
jessi and lissa thanks soooo much, glad im not the only one who has issues with this!

yah i think I will try some of you guys suggestions n let you know how they work. thanks again :highfive:

zarhad
April 14th, 2008, 11:23 PM
Clicker training videos



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q787R2DNDJI


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RB9NcTkjWaw


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vja83KLQXZs&feature=related

Lissa
April 15th, 2008, 06:47 AM
I would NEVER EVER clicker train a cat or a dog for that matter. It is cruel and not necessary. There are so many ways to train - if one dares use that work re cats, lol - but clickers , if you mean the one that give the cat a jolt-are dangerous as well as horrible. They are akin to tasers for humans. There is utterly no need , not to mention that a zillion journal articles in vet journals have shown over and obver4 and over again that negative behaviour modification simply does not work in cats! And likely never will. Positive behaviour mod (ie give them food or treats for a good deed) does in fact work but even using water is not a good thing. And it rarely works either because while the cat might stop the behaviour, she tends to associate the water with whoever is holding the water, and not the water - unless one can run and hide really fast. Same for clickers. All you do is make a cat scared of you and why on earth would you ever want to do that?

I have had man many many (can't count em really) cats in my lifetime (in my family growing up et al) and all have been perfectly well trained- two are excellent therapy cats- and let me assure you therapy cats are NOT trained with clickers. It would be banned! (Mostly bec it might turn a perfectly good candidate into a scared cat. Indeed, cats trained with clickers tend to be turned down in applications to be therapy cats. It can alas impact their personality.) So anyone thinking this awful practice, rethink it and do not EVEN consider it,much less try it) Remember that cats have very long memories and are also more fragile (psychologically than they look and a psyh issue in a cat can even make the cat psychically ill)

(I just wrote a plethora of recommendations and lost them all, wahhh)

I would suggest you find out what her fav treats are - if she does not like food or what her fav toys and activities are- does she like to be in your lap, sleep in your bed, where is her fav place? Reward her with all those things when she reacts well to what you want her to do. Say things like good girl and give her love and kisses when she dies does what you want her to do.

(and thank goodness, unlike mine,m she is not a meezer )(Kidding since I am thinking of the saying that a There is no denying a Siamese - which mine have down to a science itself, lol) I would add flavours or scents she likes to the places you ant her to go, say if it is a litter box or scratching post.
Always give her lots of love when she does what she is supposed to and pick her up - if she likes that that - (Mine will meow to BE picked up, lol) - If it is clawing issues, clip her claws weekly and have a few scratching around so she can use them. Use items like aluminum foil (cats hate the noise) to dissuade her from clawing your good furniture.

Cats usually hate citrus so if you do not want them eating plants (and there are some plants dangerous, even lethal to cats so make sure you have none of those), you can use citrus to dissuade her from playing with those. If you do not like the citrus smell, use shells from the ocean because they are so large that cats dislike them and give up digging the earth there.

Another web site columnist has wonderful advice re electric cords which were great for my bunny more than my cat to be honest- he thought my phone line was competition bec I talked to IT and thus he was not getting attention so my line would go dead, lol

She writes: "There is a product specifically designed to hide and cover external electrical wiring. It will work for electrical cords also. It is a long rectangular tube. The cover snaps or bends in place. You can permanently affix it to the wall with either nails screws or sticky two-sided tape. Once the tube is in place just put the cord inside and closes it. You will have 99% of the cord covered. There is the side benefit that you don't have to look at the unsightly cords anymore. Try asking at your local hardware or electrical supplies store." It is also great for computer wires! And I have seen some of this stuff at Dollar stores.

(I used to buy telephone cords at the dollar store because they were chewed so regularly by my rabbit. (and yes, I had a wireless but it needs a charger somewhere)!

Anyhow, good luck! I have more but this is the Cole' Notes ver of what I lost, sigh! (You may thank me for losing them tho, lol)

:shrug: Huh?????

I have never read anything that has linked the words clicker training with a "jolt". I think you must mean shock collars or something of that vein which is not at all what this thread is about.
Clicker training is reinforcement based and since all of our posts have been about rewards and motivation, I think it would be fairly obvious that none of us are using "jolts" to train our kitties. You may want to edit your post - I'd hate to think that that someone who is learning would come across your post and think that clicker = jolts!

CyberKitten
April 15th, 2008, 01:05 PM
To me a clicker is a clicker is a jolt. That is what we call it here and that is why when I explain info to patients or to people here, I explain what words sometimes mean where I live. This is a global village and we cannot ever expect or assume people automatically understand what we mean. I have prob made some mistakes too but I do wish you had explained what you meant. I worried about that poor cat last night! (to be absolutely honest.)

I learned when I first went online to be careful with words. And I urge everyone else to do the same. But a clicker to me is still a clicker. I know no other term. This whole thing frustrates me- and I am not blaming anyone- just asking that someone tale a few minutes to outline what they mean. We have some colourful terms in the Maritimes and sometimes I just give up and use Upper Canadian or or other ones but if I do utilize ones specific to here, I explain what we mean (or if I use an Irish term, for example.)

None of that post made sense to me because the OP seemed to love her cat yet she was using a clicker and I thought, "well maybe she just does not understand"....It can happen and ever the educator and not familiar with any other clickers except the TV ones, I was both appalled and sad and trying to figure out how to figure to all out. I am relived though. (But still frustrated :frustrated::frustrated::frustrated:

BusterKitty
April 16th, 2008, 08:47 PM
Cyberkitten: It's not a shock or anything. When the cat does something good, the owner makes a clicking sound and the cat knows that they did something good and will be rewarded. It's just a sound(like snapping your fingers whenever your cat does something good is the same thing) not a jolt of any sort. It doesn't hurt the cat in any way but alerts the cat that it has done something good and will be rewarded for that. I think that's how I should explain it. But then again, I'm not very good at explaining anyways:D

CyberKitten
April 18th, 2008, 04:31 PM
No Buster, your explanation is just fine. Thanks! :thumbs up