Skip to main content

Operant Conditioning Cat Training

'Operant conditioning cat training" is training cats to do something by giving them a reward for doing it. That is it in its most simplest sense and is an example of positive reinforcement in operant conditioning designed to get a cat to do something. It is the best form it seems to me. Others are negative reinforcement (removal of something that is not nice to cat) to get a cat to do something, positive punishment (squirting water at cat) also designed to stop a cat doing something and negative punishment (removing something that cat likes) to stop a cat doing something. I say never punish a cat.

In a basic way, it actually happens naturally and informally. I'll give an example. You go up to your cat with an empty cat bowl. Cat responds by following you to the kitchen where you put food in the bowl and place in the floor.  The bowl is a focus. The cat knows its production will lead to food so she follows you to the kitchen. The action trained is following you to the kitchen. The positive reinforcement is the food.

Cats train us in a similar way. A cat meows at us at a certain time of the day. Person responds by giving food to cat. Cat meows next day. Person fails to respond. Cat continues to meow. Person realizes that to get their cat to stop meowing he has to provide food so he does. Person is therefore trained to provide cat food when cat meows at certain times and in certain way.

In positive acts of cat training the trainer uses a stick as a focus and a clicker as a "bridge" to facilitate the training process and make it more manageable and successful. The clicker bridges the time between the cat doing something and receiving the reward, usually food. It achieves this by being more precise and quick so that the cat can connect the action being trained with the reward received. Timing in cat training is important so the clicker better enables the connections between action and reward to be made and it also connects the sound of the clicker with the reward, the food.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Cat Ear Mites

Brown gunge. Yes, I know this is a ferret! It does show the build up of dark brown to black ear wax caused by the presence of the cat ear mites in the outer ear canal. This parasite is not restricted to the domestic cat, which makes this photo valid and a useful illustration (I was unable to find a suitable photo of a cat with the condition). Photo Stacy Lynn Baum under a creative commons license. Ear mites (minute crab like creatures) are one of the causes of inflammation of the outer ear canal (scientific term for this inflammation is Otitis externa ). The outer ear canal is the tube that runs from outside to the ear drum (the pathway for the reception of sound), which can be seen when looking at the ear. Otitis externa affects humans and often swimmers as it is called "swimmer's ear" in humans. This YouTube video show ear mites under a microscope. They are not actually in the ear in this video. There are many possible causes of Otitis externa in c

Feline Mange

I'll write about three types of feline mange (a) feline scabies or head mange (b) demodectic mange and (c) sarcoptic mange. The source material is from Cat Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook - the best on the market . Generalised feline mange? Puerto Rico - Photo by Gotham City Lost And Found Feline Scabies - head mange Head mange or feline scabies, is a fairly rare condition in cats, which is caused by the Notoedres mite (head mite) that only reproduces on cats. The female mites burrow a few millimeters (that is a lot) into the skin around the head, and neck to lay eggs, which hatch and lay their own eggs. Their presence and activities causes intense itching that in turn causes the cat to scratch. The scratching will obviously be noticed and it will cause the skin to become red, scratched and worse infected. Symptoms: hair loss and scabs, thick wrinkled skin and grey/yellow crusts form plus the symptoms of scratching. Feline mange (head mange) is contagious and tr

Cat Anatomy

Cat Anatomy - Photo by Curious Expeditions . The picture above was taken at Wax Anatomical Models at La Specola in Florence, Italy. The photograph is published under a creative commons license kindly granted by the photographer. I am sorry if it is a bit gruesome. It is pretty well all I could find as an illustration that was licensed for publication. Cat Anatomy is a very wide ranging subject. The anatomy of a cat is very similar to human anatomy. If you were writing a biology book for students of biology you would go through every part of the a cat's anatomy in some detail. It would be similar to writing a book about the human anatomy. It would be a thick book and pretty boring for your average internet surfer. So, how do you limit such a big subject and make this post meaningful? The answer I think lies in doing two things: Having a quick general look at cat anatomy - an overview and; Focusing on the areas of cat anatomy that are particular to the cat and of parti