My new Feral cat turning into a indoor cat - clicker training - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-24-2014, 12:42 AM Thread Starter
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My new Feral cat turning into a indoor cat - clicker training

Hi Everyone! I know, Oreo, how un-original but she responds to it! Any who, Oreo was a feral cat in a very cold city. My girlfriend walks to school almost everyday and one day Oreo walked up to her and brushed against her. And we both got hooked and wanted to take her in. So we took her in and took her to the vet and she had fleas so we got her treated along with a few other things. Vet thinks shes about 9 months and weighs 6.5lbs. Shes a pretty small cat. Most of the days she likes to lay around, look out the window and then some play time. As loving as she is she gets scared sometimes. Any sudden movements or loud sounds scares her a little. She dosen't like any jackets that makes sounds.

We're trying our best to get her super comfortable in her environment and let her mark things up. We usually dont want her up on the tables but we just see her sniffing and checking things out instead of be destructive and knocking things over. Better to let her check everything out right?

Shes a really sweet cat though, never hurt us in any way and during play time she is never aggressive. I can take the toy out of her mouth at any point and she wont bite or anything. She doesn't show any dominance over us and just mainly playful.

I think the cutest thing she does is her trilling. It was the first time I have ever heard a cat trill. She trills when she jumps up onto the bed and down. I guess its almost her saying hey im coming up and bye im going down. Any ideas? Do your cats do this? My girlfriend just realized that she trills when we sneeze.

She sort of like paper balls also, likes more toys that move around like a feather and string. Sometimes at night we can hear her running on the hardwood floor hitting paper balls around and chasing them.

Currently I'm just playing with her, feeding her and getting her comfortable with her kennel that she will need to go in when i take her for travel soon. I'm able to use her favorite toy and have her interact with the kennel and sometimes i can get her to jump on in and gently nudge her into the kennel and play with her and she will rest which is nice.

As a first time cat owner (previous dog) they are such different creatures. She does seem like a dog in some aspects but more cat. Sometimes I find her laying and just starring at a wall or just into nothing. Right now shes starring at a drawer. She loves to lay on the ground a lot. Another thing thats really nice is that if i whistle and make some sounds and call her name she will to me.

Any tips on training her how to sit?

Last edited by marie73; 12-26-2014 at 03:01 AM.
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-24-2014, 05:53 AM
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Sounds like you have a wonderful house cat in the making. The chirrup is a contented sound for sure. I have one who does this, announces she has arrived. She also calls to find us when we go to another room. Your little friend will be a bit nervous for a while, as to survive as a feral / stray you need to be wary and apprehensive of everything. She may always be a little like this but from what you say she may relax far more with time and trust. I am a believer in letting my girls smell and check things as IMO when stopped a cats curiosity can get higher and where there is a will.... both mine are pretty good but we have had the odd breakage happen, mainly because Kiki our 11 mth old is a bit clumsy. As for training to sit, well as you said cats are not dogs and tend to do what they want but you could try teaching her using clicker training and treats. Lovely to hear a feral making a forever home and can't wait to hear more in the future
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-24-2014, 07:32 AM
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Hi Misterious,
I found this clip on YouTube, using clicker training as a way to teach cats learn to sit. I've done it similarily, simply by using small treats and holding it up above their heads so they "get into position", as you will. Can't say I've used it much lately, but it sure helped me when my cats were much younger and got crazy during mealtimes, lol.

As for the trill, my Maya does this often as a way to greet me or if she is looking for G. Strangely, I haven't heard G trill before, or his version just sounds completly different.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-24-2014, 10:26 AM
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Hi there!

My cat Merlin just started trilling. I had no idea that was what he was doing until I read your thread. I just thought he was being a weirdo. He does it when it is meal time.

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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-24-2014, 11:11 AM
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Oops, I messed that YouTube link up with something else, sorry! (Hard to cut & paste using a phone!)

Here's the link I meant to attach originally:
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-25-2014, 08:33 PM
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I wonder if your newly found kitty was indeed feral or just abandoned. Glad you found her and took her in.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-26-2014, 01:48 AM Thread Starter
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Her marking and sniffing is pretty cute. Watching her daily she just roams around the floor sniffing new things and when I'm holding something she likes to come and smell it especially my phone. If it makes her feel more at home I'm all up for it. I was always worried I would get that cat that would just knock everything over.

Ahh the clicker! Would a App work the same?

I love her trills its the cutest thing. Hopefully she will trill to find me one day. Calling her by whistling, the tongue against the roof of your mouth sound and her name gets her to trill and come to me which is adorable.

The only back story I got for Oreo was that she may of been part of a litter and she got lost, abandoned or something. The person has been leaving food out for any stray cats to eat and in the area is seems to be a common thing. So Oreo has been feeding there then going somewhere else for shelter possibly. But the fact that she had fleas and a bad coat tells me if there was a owner they weren't doing a great job.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-26-2014, 11:54 AM
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Love the trill! And lucky you, landing yourself a cat who doesn't knock things over on you. My Jake takes joy in knocking my things over, especially when I'm ignoring him for studying or any other activity and he wants my attention.

As for clicker training, I use it, and I just use a free clicker app on my phone. You don't technically need a "clicker" they're just recommended because it's a sound that you can ensure your cat only hears when you want them to i.e. when they're going to get a treat.

Awesome video on how to train a sit, and you do it much in the same way you would clicker train a dog, it just might take a little bit more time. But once it clicks in the cats head that "Oh.. If I do this, I get a treat" they become very willing learners. The biggest thing I found was getting my cat to associate the behaviour with the click and the treat, but once he did, it was amazing how much focus I got from him. It was like a could see the gears turning in his head like "Oh if I do this I get a treat. What if I do this? Will this get me a treat? No... How about this?" after he started understanding, things went a lot more quickly, it just requires a little patience. Especially when you start fading out the lure.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-26-2014, 08:37 PM
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My former feral cat trills too! She does it when she jumps on and off the bed as well, it's so cute. She also 'chatters' when she's watching a bird out the window or stalking a feather toy. One of my other cats chatters at me when I sneeze... I get the impression she's angry at me for sneezing. But anyway, it sounds like you're doing a good job with your new feline friend! You'll find that cats love rubbing everything interesting or new with their faces... Some figure out how to do it without knocking everything over, some don't! Sounds like you got lucky with one that isn't clumsy.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-26-2014, 10:27 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah seen some videos cats being jerks lol. Today we didn't get to spend a lot of time with her and I think she wanted her play time so she grabbed my hand and rolled over and starting to nibble my hand. Nothing painful but it was her way to tell me I want play time lol. Oddly I found out today she likes to eat tape
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