Thursday 18 December 2008

Cat Clicker Training

Cat clicker training may be the only way to keep your highly active Bengal cat off your computer key board - if you really want that to happen.

Clicker training is normally associated with dogs but can be used for cats. The big issue with cat training is do we want to bother? Do we have the time and energy? This might sound a bit negative but I sense it is a fair question.

If the answer is yes then proper cat clicker training will prove effective. However, some conventional ways to keep Mr. Bengal cat of the computer might be a to put something that cats don't like (in terms of smell) next to the computer. This might be a bowl of oranges or hot pepper flakes perhaps. Maybe suck-and-see testing is required. Another possible alternative is a product called a Scat Mat. They release a static charge when touched. They're about $70 (USA) or £45 (UK). A computer is probably attractive because it is where we are or have been and it is warm. If the attractiveness is neutralized it may put our cat off going near the computer.

Cat clicker training is the real deal though. This is not guesswork but real control using action reward. The clicker seems to act as a reinforcer and marker for the reward element of the training process. The underlying methodology is positive reinforcement. The same process occurs when a dolphin is trained using a whistle, for example. Your cat is "empowered" by finding a way to make you click and then receive a reward. Once cats figure out how the game is played, they may prefer the "game" over the reward. Click-and-treat training is a means of non-verbal communication, which can be followed by voice cues later.

Clickers are cheap and readily available on the internet. Try googling, "training clicker".

Here is a good video on cat clicker training:

Yes, it might take a bit of time but a result would seem to almost certain.

Cat Clicker Training to Home page

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