Cat Clicker Training – Is It Possible to Train a Cat?

Wed, Jun 4, 2008

Training & Behavior

This video outlines the steps of clicker training a cat. I’ve heard of this technique, but I was never really clear about how it is supposed to work. I always assumed that the clicker was for deterring bad behavior but that is not the case. Clicker training is a positive reinforcement method and the clicker sound is used to communicate when the animal has done the right thing. Positive reinforcement, also known as operant conditioning, rewards the animal for positive or desired behavior. The video helps to clarify.

Karen Pryor, an expert in clicker training, narrates this video made by clicker trainer Catherine Crawmer. You can find quite a bit of information on clicker training at www.clickertraining.com.

Has anyone ever tried this? How did it work for you?

Blog Widget by LinkWithin

 

 

11 Responses to “Cat Clicker Training – Is It Possible to Train a Cat?”

  1. 1
    Paintandsoul

    I have been working on training with my cats, and a clicker is just ONE way to do it. I really think it comes down to just understanding cats! Get a book on cat behavior or on how to understand your cat and once you’ve read it you’ll know how to train your cat (we know our cats, but we still don’t always understand what motivates their behavior). With or without a clicker! I’ve been working on mine for a month or so now and have eliminated all litter box issues and taught my two kitties the Come command. They also know to stay off the kitchen counters, and what blankets are ‘theirs’ in the living room (so they don’t constantly get tons of fuzz all over the couches). It’s really easy once you know what motivates them, and the weirder part is THEY LOVE IT. They love training time! I wrote a blog about it on sparkpeople, and personally I would recommend the How to train your cat in 10 minutes a day book if you want to know how to train them. I’m actually going to work on toilet training as soon as I get back from a trip, they’re already going in an elevated litter box next to the toilet. :)

    http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=1234251

  2. 2
    bere

    im not totally agree with this… not even about dogs… its kinda strange to see a trained cat.. just let them be

  3. 3
    Daisy the Curly Cat

    That agility course at the end was amazing. This was really timely, because we just ordered the clicker training kit for cats a few days ago and cannot wait to get started.

  4. 4
    tesseract

    Just this past Saturday, I was at an animal training center at a nearby college, and they were using this technique on an african lion. The lion could do all kinds of commands and tricks.

  5. 5
    jmuhj

    Why anyone should need to try to bend the will of a very intelligent, naturally clean, powerful, athletic, agile, beautiful creature to their bidding is, to me, pretty twisted. Want a slave? GET A DOG.

  6. 6
    Bea

    I have clicker trained my cats, it’s not only for agility! You can train the cat to IMPROVE behaviour, things like not jumping on counters or darting through open doors, get along with other pets, allow themselves to be examined (ears, teeth, brushing, get in the cat box for transportation without turning into a tasmanian devil!) or just fun games such as paw you for treats, sit or stand up. The cats love it, I guarantee, since they know they’ll be rewarded with food and it’s a great bonding tool!

  7. 7
    Angel

    I have done basic clicker training with my cats – just simple tricks like sit, high-five, lay down, etc. I started because I was having a hard time dealing with my cat’s self-mutilating behavior, and while teaching her tricks was not the solution to her problems it was another way for me to interact with her in a positive way and engage her intellectually. The cats do seem to enjoy it, especially the treats that come with the training.

  8. 8
    yellowduc

    I haven’t heard about clicker training before, but I do have two distinct sounds that I make which my cats distinguish between good behavior and bad behavior. For bad behavior, I snap my fingers (loudly), and they get that whatever they are doing is not acceptable. The other sound I make is by rapidly flicking my index finger against my thumb. That part of my index finger is calloused and a little rough, so the sound is louder than just rubbing my fingers together. It is also soft enough of a sound that the cats find it either pleasing or interesting, but they have learned that it means something good.

  9. 9
    H

    I clicker trained my Salvador how to sit and lie down when he was young. He still does it, even tho he is 8 (he will not do it without a reward). I do not think it is a bad practice at all. You are interacting with your pet in an intelligent way. They are getting rewards and praise. It is a win win situation.

  10. 10
    Stephanie

    To anyone that thinks using a clicker is quivalent to bending the will of an animal and creating a slave, you obviously have no understanding of animal behavior. First off, you’re not making a cat do “tricks.” These are behaviors that your cat already knows how to do and you’re just isolating them. The whole process is extremely stimulating for your cat and is just like playing with a string or feather. The cat is interacting with their human and is figuring out ways to make their human give them rewards. Your cat is thinking “Good Human, I touch my nose to this target now give me a treat!” As with all training sessions, the animal dictates the end point. You can’t force an animal, especially a cat, to continue. If it is no longer fun or rewarding for your cat they will not follow the target.

  11. 11
    Lina

    I love Karen Pryor. Took a class in college about Experimental Analysis of Behavior. We read her book, Don’t Shoot The Dog. I recommend it to everyone. She is a genius. I have trained goats, cats, and humans with the techniques she taught me.


Leave a Reply

PHVsPjxsaT48c3Ryb25nPndvb19hZHNfcm90YXRlPC9zdHJvbmc+IC0gdHJ1ZTwvbGk+PGxpPjxzdHJvbmc+d29vX2FkXzMwMF9hZHNlbnNlPC9zdHJvbmc+IC0gPC9saT48bGk+PHN0cm9uZz53b29fYWRfMzAwX2ltYWdlPC9zdHJvbmc+IC0gaHR0cDovL3d3dy53b290aGVtZXMuY29tL2Fkcy93b290aGVtZXMtMzAweDI1MC0yLmdpZjwvbGk+PGxpPjxzdHJvbmc+d29vX2FkXzMwMF91cmw8L3N0cm9uZz4gLSBodHRwOi8vd3d3Lndvb3RoZW1lcy5jb208L2xpPjxsaT48c3Ryb25nPndvb19hZF9pbWFnZV8xPC9zdHJvbmc+IC0gaHR0cDovL3d3dy53b290aGVtZXMuY29tL2Fkcy93b290aGVtZXMtMTI1eDEyNS0xLmdpZjwvbGk+PGxpPjxzdHJvbmc+d29vX2FkX2ltYWdlXzI8L3N0cm9uZz4gLSBodHRwOi8vd3d3Lndvb3RoZW1lcy5jb20vYWRzL3dvb3RoZW1lcy0xMjV4MTI1LTIuZ2lmPC9saT48bGk+PHN0cm9uZz53b29fYWRfaW1hZ2VfMzwvc3Ryb25nPiAtIGh0dHA6Ly93d3cud29vdGhlbWVzLmNvbS9hZHMvd29vdGhlbWVzLTEyNXgxMjUtMy5naWY8L2xpPjxsaT48c3Ryb25nPndvb19hZF9pbWFnZV80PC9zdHJvbmc+IC0gaHR0cDovL3d3dy53b290aGVtZXMuY29tL2Fkcy93b290aGVtZXMtMTI1eDEyNS00LmdpZjwvbGk+PGxpPjxzdHJvbmc+d29vX2FkX2ltYWdlXzU8L3N0cm9uZz4gLSBodHRwOi8vd3d3Lndvb3RoZW1lcy5jb20vYWRzL3dvb3RoZW1lcy0xMjV4MTI1LTQuZ2lmPC9saT48bGk+PHN0cm9uZz53b29fYWRfaW1hZ2VfNjwvc3Ryb25nPiAtIGh0dHA6Ly93d3cud29vdGhlbWVzLmNvbS9hZHMvd29vdGhlbWVzLTEyNXgxMjUtNC5naWY8L2xpPjxsaT48c3Ryb25nPndvb19hZF91cmxfMTwvc3Ryb25nPiAtIGh0dHA6Ly93d3cud29vdGhlbWVzLmNvbTwvbGk+PGxpPjxzdHJvbmc+d29vX2FkX3VybF8yPC9zdHJvbmc+IC0gaHR0cDovL3d3dy53b290aGVtZXMuY29tPC9saT48bGk+PHN0cm9uZz53b29fYWRfdXJsXzM8L3N0cm9uZz4gLSBodHRwOi8vd3d3Lndvb3RoZW1lcy5jb208L2xpPjxsaT48c3Ryb25nPndvb19hZF91cmxfNDwvc3Ryb25nPiAtIGh0dHA6Ly93d3cud29vdGhlbWVzLmNvbTwvbGk+PGxpPjxzdHJvbmc+d29vX2FkX3VybF81PC9zdHJvbmc+IC0gaHR0cDovL3d3dy53b290aGVtZXMuY29tPC9saT48bGk+PHN0cm9uZz53b29fYWRfdXJsXzY8L3N0cm9uZz4gLSBodHRwOi8vd3d3Lndvb3RoZW1lcy5jb208L2xpPjxsaT48c3Ryb25nPndvb19hbHRfc3R5bGVzaGVldDwvc3Ryb25nPiAtIDEtZGVmYXVsdC5jc3M8L2xpPjxsaT48c3Ryb25nPndvb19hc2lkZXNfY2F0ZWdvcnk8L3N0cm9uZz4gLSBTZWxlY3QgYSBjYXRlZ29yeTo8L2xpPjxsaT48c3Ryb25nPndvb19hdXRob3I8L3N0cm9uZz4gLSBmYWxzZTwvbGk+PGxpPjxzdHJvbmc+d29vX2F1dG9faW1nPC9zdHJvbmc+IC0gdHJ1ZTwvbGk+PGxpPjxzdHJvbmc+d29vX2NvbnRlbnQ8L3N0cm9uZz4gLSBmYWxzZTwvbGk+PGxpPjxzdHJvbmc+d29vX2NvbnRlbnRfZmVhdDwvc3Ryb25nPiAtIHRydWU8L2xpPjxsaT48c3Ryb25nPndvb19jdXN0b21fZmF2aWNvbjwvc3Ryb25nPiAtIDwvbGk+PGxpPjxzdHJvbmc+d29vX2ZlYXR1cmVkX3Bvc3RzPC9zdHJvbmc+IC0gMTwvbGk+PGxpPjxzdHJvbmc+d29vX2ZlYXRfaW1hZ2VfaGVpZ2h0PC9zdHJvbmc+IC0gMjAwPC9saT48bGk+PHN0cm9uZz53b29fZmVhdF9pbWFnZV93aWR0aDwvc3Ryb25nPiAtIDUwMDwvbGk+PGxpPjxzdHJvbmc+d29vX2ZlZWRidXJuZXJfaWQ8L3N0cm9uZz4gLSA8L2xpPjxsaT48c3Ryb25nPndvb19mZWVkYnVybmVyX3VybDwvc3Ryb25nPiAtIDwvbGk+PGxpPjxzdHJvbmc+d29vX2dvb2dsZV9hbmFseXRpY3M8L3N0cm9uZz4gLSA8c2NyaXB0IHR5cGU9XCJ0ZXh0L2phdmFzY3JpcHRcIj4NCnZhciBnYUpzSG9zdCA9ICgoXCJodHRwczpcIiA9PSBkb2N1bWVudC5sb2NhdGlvbi5wcm90b2NvbCkgPyBcImh0dHBzOi8vc3NsLlwiIDogXCJodHRwOi8vd3d3LlwiKTsNCmRvY3VtZW50LndyaXRlKHVuZXNjYXBlKFwiJTNDc2NyaXB0IHNyYz1cJ1wiICsgZ2FKc0hvc3QgKyBcImdvb2dsZS1hbmFseXRpY3MuY29tL2dhLmpzXCcgdHlwZT1cJ3RleHQvamF2YXNjcmlwdFwnJTNFJTNDL3NjcmlwdCUzRVwiKSk7DQo8L3NjcmlwdD4NCjxzY3JpcHQgdHlwZT1cInRleHQvamF2YXNjcmlwdFwiPg0KdHJ5IHsNCnZhciBwYWdlVHJhY2tlciA9IF9nYXQuX2dldFRyYWNrZXIoXCJVQS0yOTM2NTE0LTFcIik7DQpwYWdlVHJhY2tlci5fdHJhY2tQYWdldmlldygpOw0KfSBjYXRjaChlcnIpIHt9PC9zY3JpcHQ+PC9saT48bGk+PHN0cm9uZz53b29faG9tZV9vbmVfY29sPC9zdHJvbmc+IC0gZmFsc2U8L2xpPjxsaT48c3Ryb25nPndvb19pbWFnZV9zaW5nbGU8L3N0cm9uZz4gLSB0cnVlPC9saT48bGk+PHN0cm9uZz53b29fbG9nbzwvc3Ryb25nPiAtIGh0dHA6Ly93d3cubW9kZXJuY2F0Lm5ldC93cC1jb250ZW50L3dvb191cGxvYWRzLzM0LUhlYWRlcl83MDB4OTNfTmV3SnVseTIwMTEucG5nPC9saT48bGk+PHN0cm9uZz53b29fbWFudWFsPC9zdHJvbmc+IC0gaHR0cDovL3d3dy53b290aGVtZXMuY29tL3N1cHBvcnQvdGhlbWUtZG9jdW1lbnRhdGlvbi9mcmVzaC1uZXdzLzwvbGk+PGxpPjxzdHJvbmc+d29vX3Jlc2l6ZTwvc3Ryb25nPiAtIHRydWU8L2xpPjxsaT48c3Ryb25nPndvb19zaG9ydG5hbWU8L3N0cm9uZz4gLSB3b288L2xpPjxsaT48c3Ryb25nPndvb19zaW5nbGVfaW1hZ2VfaGVpZ2h0PC9zdHJvbmc+IC0gMTAwPC9saT48bGk+PHN0cm9uZz53b29fc2luZ2xlX2ltYWdlX3dpZHRoPC9zdHJvbmc+IC0gMTAwPC9saT48bGk+PHN0cm9uZz53b29fdGFiczwvc3Ryb25nPiAtIHRydWU8L2xpPjxsaT48c3Ryb25nPndvb190aGVtZW5hbWU8L3N0cm9uZz4gLSBGcmVzaCBOZXdzPC9saT48bGk+PHN0cm9uZz53b29fdGh1bWJfaW1hZ2VfaGVpZ2h0PC9zdHJvbmc+IC0gMTAwPC9saT48bGk+PHN0cm9uZz53b29fdGh1bWJfaW1hZ2Vfd2lkdGg8L3N0cm9uZz4gLSAxMDA8L2xpPjxsaT48c3Ryb25nPndvb191cGxvYWRzPC9zdHJvbmc+IC0gYTozMjp7aTowO3M6ODA6Imh0dHA6Ly93d3cubW9kZXJuY2F0Lm5ldC93cC1jb250ZW50L3dvb191cGxvYWRzLzM0LUhlYWRlcl83MDB4OTNfTmV3SnVseTIwMTEucG5nIjtpOjE7czo2ODoiaHR0cDovL3d3dy5tb2Rlcm5jYXQubmV0L3dwLWNvbnRlbnQvd29vX3VwbG9hZHMvMzMtSGVhZGVyXzcwMHg5My5wbmciO2k6MjtzOjYzOiJodHRwOi8vd3d3Lm1vZGVybmNhdC5uZXQvd3AtY29udGVudC93b29fdXBsb2Fkcy8zMi1NYXN0aGVhZC5qcGciO2k6MztzOjY0OiJodHRwOi8vd3d3Lm1vZGVybmNhdC5uZXQvd3AtY29udGVudC93b29fdXBsb2Fkcy8zMS1IZWFkZXJfSFAucG5nIjtpOjQ7czo2NDoiaHR0cDovL3d3dy5tb2Rlcm5jYXQubmV0L3dwLWNvbnRlbnQvd29vX3VwbG9hZHMvMzAtSGVhZGVyX0hQLnBuZyI7aTo1O3M6Nzk6Imh0dHA6Ly93d3cubW9kZXJuY2F0Lm5ldC93cC1jb250ZW50L3dvb191cGxvYWRzLzI5LUhlYWRlcl83MDB4OTNfTmV3T2N0MjAxMi5wbmciO2k6NjtzOjc5OiJodHRwOi8vd3d3Lm1vZGVybmNhdC5uZXQvd3AtY29udGVudC93b29fdXBsb2Fkcy8yOC1IZWFkZXJfNzAweDkzX05ld09jdDIwMTIucG5nIjtpOjc7czo3OToiaHR0cDovL3d3dy5tb2Rlcm5jYXQubmV0L3dwLWNvbnRlbnQvd29vX3VwbG9hZHMvMjctSGVhZGVyXzcwMHg5M19OZXdPY3QyMDEyLnBuZyI7aTo4O3M6Nzk6Imh0dHA6Ly93d3cubW9kZXJuY2F0Lm5ldC93cC1jb250ZW50L3dvb191cGxvYWRzLzI2LUhlYWRlcl83MDB4OTNfTmV3T2N0MjAxMi5wbmciO2k6OTtzOjgxOiJodHRwOi8vd3d3Lm1vZGVybmNhdC5uZXQvd3AtY29udGVudC93b29fdXBsb2Fkcy8yNS1IZWFkZXJfNzAweDkzX05ld0RlYzIwMTEtMy5wbmciO2k6MTA7czo4MToiaHR0cDovL3d3dy5tb2Rlcm5jYXQubmV0L3dwLWNvbnRlbnQvd29vX3VwbG9hZHMvMjQtSGVhZGVyXzcwMHg5M19OZXdEZWMyMDExLTMucG5nIjtpOjExO3M6ODE6Imh0dHA6Ly93d3cubW9kZXJuY2F0Lm5ldC93cC1jb250ZW50L3dvb191cGxvYWRzLzIzLUhlYWRlcl83MDB4OTNfTmV3RGVjMjAxMS0yLnBuZyI7aToxMjtzOjc5OiJodHRwOi8vd3d3Lm1vZGVybmNhdC5uZXQvd3AtY29udGVudC93b29fdXBsb2Fkcy8yMi1IZWFkZXJfNzAweDkzX05ld0RlYzIwMTEucG5nIjtpOjEzO3M6Nzk6Imh0dHA6Ly93d3cubW9kZXJuY2F0Lm5ldC93cC1jb250ZW50L3dvb191cGxvYWRzLzIxLUhlYWRlcl83MDB4OTNfTmV3RGVjMjAxMS5wbmciO2k6MTQ7czo3OToiaHR0cDovL3d3dy5tb2Rlcm5jYXQubmV0L3dwLWNvbnRlbnQvd29vX3VwbG9hZHMvMjAtSGVhZGVyXzcwMHg5M19OZXdEZWMyMDExLnBuZyI7aToxNTtzOjc5OiJodHRwOi8vd3d3Lm1vZGVybmNhdC5uZXQvd3AtY29udGVudC93b29fdXBsb2Fkcy8xOS1IZWFkZXJfNzAweDkzX05ld0RlYzIwMTEucG5nIjtpOjE2O3M6Nzk6Imh0dHA6Ly93d3cubW9kZXJuY2F0Lm5ldC93cC1jb250ZW50L3dvb191cGxvYWRzLzE4LUhlYWRlcl83MDB4OTNfTmV3RGVjMjAxMS5wbmciO2k6MTc7czo3OToiaHR0cDovL3d3dy5tb2Rlcm5jYXQubmV0L3dwLWNvbnRlbnQvd29vX3VwbG9hZHMvMTctSGVhZGVyXzcwMHg5M19OZXdEZWMyMDExLnBuZyI7aToxODtzOjc5OiJodHRwOi8vd3d3Lm1vZGVybmNhdC5uZXQvd3AtY29udGVudC93b29fdXBsb2Fkcy8xNi1IZWFkZXJfNzAweDkzX05ld0RlYzIwMTEucG5nIjtpOjE5O3M6ODA6Imh0dHA6Ly93d3cubW9kZXJuY2F0Lm5ldC93cC1jb250ZW50L3dvb191cGxvYWRzLzE1LUhlYWRlcl83MDB4OTNfTmV3SnVseTIwMTEucG5nIjtpOjIwO3M6ODA6Imh0dHA6Ly93d3cubW9kZXJuY2F0Lm5ldC93cC1jb250ZW50L3dvb191cGxvYWRzLzE0LUhlYWRlcl83MDB4OTNfTmV3SnVseTIwMTEucG5nIjtpOjIxO3M6ODA6Imh0dHA6Ly93d3cubW9kZXJuY2F0Lm5ldC93cC1jb250ZW50L3dvb191cGxvYWRzLzEzLUhlYWRlcl83MDB4OTNfTmV3SnVseTIwMTEucG5nIjtpOjIyO3M6Njg6Imh0dHA6Ly93d3cubW9kZXJuY2F0Lm5ldC93cC1jb250ZW50L3dvb191cGxvYWRzLzEyLUhlYWRlcl83MDB4OTMucG5nIjtpOjIzO3M6Njg6Imh0dHA6Ly93d3cubW9kZXJuY2F0Lm5ldC93cC1jb250ZW50L3dvb191cGxvYWRzLzExLUhlYWRlcl83MDB4OTMucG5nIjtpOjI0O3M6Njg6Imh0dHA6Ly93d3cubW9kZXJuY2F0Lm5ldC93cC1jb250ZW50L3dvb191cGxvYWRzLzEwLUhlYWRlcl83MDB4OTMucG5nIjtpOjI1O3M6Njc6Imh0dHA6Ly93d3cubW9kZXJuY2F0Lm5ldC93cC1jb250ZW50L3dvb191cGxvYWRzLzktSGVhZGVyXzcwMHg5My5wbmciO2k6MjY7czo2NzoiaHR0cDovL3d3dy5tb2Rlcm5jYXQubmV0L3dwLWNvbnRlbnQvd29vX3VwbG9hZHMvOC1IZWFkZXJfNzAweDkzLmpwZyI7aToyNztzOjY3OiJodHRwOi8vd3d3Lm1vZGVybmNhdC5uZXQvd3AtY29udGVudC93b29fdXBsb2Fkcy83LUhlYWRlcl83MDB4OTMuanBnIjtpOjI4O3M6Njc6Imh0dHA6Ly93d3cubW9kZXJuY2F0Lm5ldC93cC1jb250ZW50L3dvb191cGxvYWRzLzYtSGVhZGVyXzcwMHg5MC5qcGciO2k6Mjk7czo1ODoiaHR0cDovL3d3dy5tb2Rlcm5jYXQubmV0L3dwLWNvbnRlbnQvd29vX3VwbG9hZHMvNS10ZXN0LmpwZyI7aTozMDtzOjc1OiJodHRwOi8vd3d3Lm1vZGVybmNhdC5uZXQvd3AtY29udGVudC93b29fdXBsb2Fkcy80LU1vZGVybmNhdExvZ29fMjAweDIwMC5qcGciO2k6MzE7czo2NzoiaHR0cDovL3d3dy5tb2Rlcm5jYXQubmV0L3dwLWNvbnRlbnQvd29vX3VwbG9hZHMvMy1IZWFkZXJfNTIweDgwLmpwZyI7fTwvbGk+PGxpPjxzdHJvbmc+d29vX3ZpZGVvX2NhdGVnb3J5PC9zdHJvbmc+IC0gU2VsZWN0IGEgY2F0ZWdvcnk6PC9saT48L3VsPg==