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Alright so i'm at work and can't give a whole speel about my kitty right now, but if you read former posts you can learn more about her. But here is my newest question ! Keenala is only 8 months old, and she is showing to be a very intellegent cat, I live in an apartment, and she has been watching me and my boyfriend slide the screen door to go in and outside to the balcony. After we do this, she stares at the handle and all around the door, trying to figure out the mechanics of it? She then tries to climb the screen and push her legs to the wall to open it. So far failing. She also tends to watch me go to the bathroom, use the toilet paper, aswell as watch me flush. After I finish up and leave the room, she stays in there staring at everything i've used. I'm curious now to what extent I could train her to do neat things? Is it possible? Or is she just curious as to how I do things and likes to be a part of what i'm doing? I've heard of cats using the toilet before, I think it be awesome if Keenala could learn !

I'd also love to hear some crazy cat tricks anyone else's cats have learned and can do. Or failed attempts at training stuff ! Let me know !

xoxo Jenn
 

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I believe cats are *very* intelligent and can learn to do almost anything, if they wish to learn. We've never really tried to teach ours any 'tricks', but we've had several cats who KNOW the door handles are what control the opening-portals-to-the-great-outdoors and will stand on their hind legs and rattle the knobs with their front feet.
Thank GOD we have door-knobs and do not have handle-latches! 8O
One of our cats, Mister (1995-2006) was one of the first door-knob kitties. He would also listen for the "snick" sound of the closing door actually latching closed with the tab into the keeper...and if he didn't hear that...he would go to the door and 'fish' at the bottom with his claws until he could catch the weatherstripping and pull it open, letting everyone out. He is the cat who gave me the habit of *always* pushing on a closed door ...my door, the neighbor's door, your door, EVERY door :yikes to be certain it CLOSED.
 

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I taught Samson a couple of years back to sit and give Hi-5's on command :D

Meeka plays fetch but that's more of a game she thinks she invented, rather than something we had to teach her to do.. I think it started one day when we threw a toy to get her to chase it and she brought it back.. again & again & again. We now have a daily game of fetch with her!
 

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My oldest cat knows how to open the bedroom door, it has a handle so he jumps up from the floor and opens the door himself, sadly he hasnt learned how to close it :lol: he learned it himself, mostly from us closing the bedroom door so cold air wont come in, in the winter.
 

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My screen doesn't latch, and Nito has learned to open it. He stands to put his claws into the mesh and then falls over so that his weight gets the door open just enough. A paw in the crack does the rest of the job.

It's actually not as hard as some think to train cats to do "tricks" ("feats" as Nito would have them called). I would recommend clicker training- it's all about pretty basic psychology. The first trick will take a week or two, but after that it goes very fast, because they learn that the click means they have done the right thing and that a reward is coming and they can then repeat it. Using a clicker, I have taught Nito the following "feats": Sit, Lay Down, Roll Over, Up, High-Five, Shake, Kiss, Touch, Wave, Circle, and Dance (He stands on his hind legs and does a half-turn). He also will climb into my lap on command, and he will stand and put his paws on my leg when I pat it. Of course, he'll only do all this if treats are present!

If you would like some in-depth info about my methods of training, feel free to ask!
 

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Yes Rachandnito ! I'd love to hear how you did it ! My cat seems to sit on command already! I was trying to teach her to high five for treats, but she seemed confused and got easily distracted. But yes, it would be amazing to hear more about how you taught Nito all that. She is a stunning cat aswell by the way :D
 

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Ok, first you'll need to go get a pet-training clicker. You can get them pretty cheap from almost any pet store. A click-pen also works- really anything that makes a distinguished, sharp sound that your cat can recognize. You'll need a 3-day period to teach your cat the sound of the clicker (longer if you cat doesn't understand right away)

Get out the treats and the clicker, and get kitty's attention. Then click, and give treat. The idea is to get the cat to associate the sound of the clicker with getting a treat. You'll want to get to the point where you click it, and kitty is already expecting a treat. At that point, you are ready to start!

The best trick to start with is the simple "wave" command. At first, you will not be putting any words into your commands. Have kitty sit somewhere high and sturdy, like a barstool or counter so that you are on eye-level with her, but so that she can't walk towards you. Hold out a treat in front of her, about chest level. She will most likely lift a paw to swat at it. Immediately click, reward, and praise. Keep your vocal praise consistent: "GOOD kitty!" "Yes, good girl!" etc etc After a while you will notice that she starts waving on her own, without you holding the treat in front of her. At this point, you can start adding the word command along with the clicker.

Another good beginner's trick is "sit". While kitty is standing, move the treat up and over her head. The idea is that when the head goes up, the butt goes down. As soon as she sits, click and reward. Just as with wave, after a while you may start adding a word command

"Up" is also fairly simple. Just lift the treat above her head so that she has to rise up into her hind legs to reach it. Click and reward. Later in your training, you will require her to stay in the position for longer periods of time, until she gets it how you want her to. After she stands for a treat above her head, hold your empty fingers above her head, making her think it's a treat. When she does it, reward her with a treat held behind your back. She'll start to see that trick comes first, then treat- that's she's doing this because you want her to, not because a treat is above her head.

The rest of the tricks follow the same method, you just have to learn how to get your cat to do it without forcing her. You can push a dog's butt down and say sit, and he'll get it after a while. Try doing that to a cat, and you'll get a nasty look and a quitter :lol: .

Now, that doesn't apply to "Down". This is one of the most difficult tricks to teach a cat, but it can be done! This is the only trick that requires physical "force" but it isn't really force as much as it is just a touch. When the cat is sitting, take 2 or 3 fingers and gently apply pressed to the side of the cat's shoulder, encouraging her to fall to her side. When she does, click and reward! For a while, the cat will need the cue of being tapped on the shoulder to know she needs to lay down, but after a while it will just click. This one can take up to a month or more to learn, because it's not a natural behavior a cat would use to get food (a cat may swat at prey, or have to stand on hind legs to reach it, but never lay down).

"Roll Over" follows "Down". It's a matter of moving the treat over the laying kitty so that she has to roll to the other side to reach it. Immediately click and reward! I highly recommend this trick because it's extremely cute!
VIDEO: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EILGBwoHt8k


Here are a few of the "advanced" tricks.

"Touch" is one of my absolute favorites. It can be a bit tricky to learn, but once your kitty gets it it's quite versatile. This trick leads to "High Five", which is hard to teach without knowing "Touch". Ok, so find a target object. Something round and recognizable. Hold it next to a treat and get your cat to swat at it just like as in "wave". When her paw hits it, click and reward and say "touch". Repeat this, moving the object closer and closer to the ground. The idea is to get your cat to touch an object when you point at it with your finger.
VIDEO: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBLM7ynE4Vs

Wow that's a lot of info! If you need any more specific advice, or info about another specific trick, just ask :)

EDIT: I should mention- in my videos I don't use the clickers. After a while, once kitty has learned the voice command, you don't need to use the clicker any more. I only use it for new tricks.
 

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I should mention that all this training takes extreme patience. Don't expect kitty to learn everything you want her to learn in a day, or to participate in long training sessions. You'll do things at her pace, when she decides she wants to. The key is making the sessions fun and stress free. Most cats, being as intelligent as they are, thoroughly enjoy training. My Nito purrs the whole time. But they do get bored or frustrated, and at that point you must respect that they are done or else they'll get moody with you.

A good time to train is right before a meal when they are hungry!

Good luck! I hope you find the process as rewarding as I have found it. Teaching cats tricks seems to open up a whole new world of communication between you and the cat. It's quite amazing how much more closely they pay attention to you when you speak to them, and how the two of you come to understand each other so much better.
 

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izcaturday said:
And here I am trying to figure out how to teach my cat that when I flush the bowl, it's not a fishing game.
:lol: :lol: :lol:

That, my friend, is one thing that no one can teach a cat. Not even me!
 

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Is there some other reward besides treats that would work? My cat doesn't seem to like any treats and she's not that keen on petting either. Or maybe there are some treats you can reccomend that cats really like? I've tried different kinds, but she just doesn't seem very interested in them. I usually have to kinda convince her to eat some.. 'come on, it says here they're good for your teeth' :)))
 

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I've used little pieces of shredded cheese to reward Fergie since she's not as motivated by treats. She's another kitty who will play catch, although on her terms, of course.

Rach, Nito is so adorable in your videos! I loved watching him chase his tail around the pole! :lol:
 

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Haha, thanks WhiteKitties. That's a daily ritual for him :lol:

Shredded cheese works extremely well, as does little pieces of kraft singles... tiny bits of tuna, shredded chicken.... catnip works for some cats too. Find something that motivates your kitty!
 

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Thanks for the ideas, guys! Cheese sound like it might work. I am just not sure what is safe for her to eat. Is all cheese ok? She really loves feta cheese and tries to sneak it off my plate when I'm not looking, but I'm not sure the salt is good for her. :?:
 

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Dairy is not good for cats, since the vast majority of them are lactose intolerant. However, being lactose intolerant myself, I know that small bits of dairy here and there are okay, and I take that approach with the cats as well. They will get to lick the milk residue out of a glass, or lick off a spoon that's been dipped in plain yogurt, or sometimes as a treat they'll get a small piece or two of cheese. I've never given them more than a teaspoon of any combination of dairy in a day, and I've never had a problem. One of my girls likes Feta, and I haven't had a problem giving her a small piece or two.

If you discover your cat having diarrhea, you know you gave too much dairy! (Best to avoid that though, so just keep it to very small amounts.)
 

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WhiteKitties is absolutely right. But that's why shredded cheese works so well- it's a tiny shred, so you can give them a good 10-15 shreds without worrying about them eating too much. None of my cats have ever had problems with eating bits of cheese, or licking the cereal bowl at the end. Once Elfie got a whole slice of kraft cheese, which was barfed up 10 minutes later.
 

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Thanks for the advice, guys! I always only give her a little bit of any kind of "non-cat" food, but still feel really guilty about it because I don't know if it's bad for her.. I just can't resist when she asks, 'cuz she's so rarely interested in food. Now I can stop feeling guilty :D
 

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I'm the same way with my Chica. She has such exotic tastes- she even likes certain kinds of fruits and veggies (big corn, strawberry, and peach fan) . She'll sit and cry and cry for a little taste and I try to resist. But resistance is futile...
 
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