Thursday 4 May 2023

Sing to your cat while you are petting her?

Here's a thought. It is no more than a thought but it is something that I do these days. I sing to my cat while I pet him. I pet him in a certain way which I know he particularly likes (put pressure on the back of his neck). It is our solemn duty to make our cats happy after ensuring that they are safe.

And I think that if you sing to your cat while you pet them in a way that they particularly like they will associate your singing voice with something very pleasurable.

The advantage of that is that if you sing without petting him it should please him. It's a form of training. Of conditioning.

I think this tip would be very useful for somebody who likes to sing around the house. I don't particularly do that. I only sing when I pet my cat (sometimes). However, I do know a lot of people like to sing occasionally because they've got nice voices.

You can link that nice voice to something nice for your cat by petting them at the same time. Just a thought.

The concept is based upon reward training i.e. positive reinforcement. If you want to train a cat to do something new, get them incrementally to do certain things and at each stage you reward them with a food treat. They link the food treat with doing a certain action which you want them to do. This encourages them to do the thing that you want them to do. That's training through reward.

It is the link between doing something and the reward which makes it work. It is the link between singing and petting which makes singing an enjoyable experience for a cat. That's my theory.

Having written this, I have just noticed that quite a a lot of people sing to their cats. Or, they sing to the four walls of their home and their cat likes it. So clearly, cats are making a link between the human caregiver that they have learnt to love and singing by that person. 

It's an association. I'm pleased because I didn't know this when I dreamt up the idea for the article. It seems that I am not alone.

For example, one person says that when she sings her cat comes up to her for a cuddle. That's the point I'm making.

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