I cheated and cut & pasted bit of what I had written yesterday in another thread here, but this applies...
"My kitten & I keep coming up with new things as time goes on, but aside from his fuzzy yellow ducky he likes to play fetch with, he Loves when we do training.
People find it hard to believe until they come over and witness it for themselves, but he does a bunch of tricks, and LOVES our daily training sessions.
So far, the tricks he does on command are to:
jump up on my back/shoulders & either sit or lay down depending on my command,
"dig" (sort of like highly animated kneading),
"high stepping" (walk along reaching out high with alternating paws),
"up up up" - he stands on his hind legs,
and we are currently working on perfecting crawling.
He understands "stay".
lol I know this sounds nuts, but he loves doing this stuff and complies 100% of the time to commands.
I can always tell when he is ready to have a new command introduced which is pretty neat. I have video of him doing the above tricks on command, but I'd like to take some digital video too so I can put clips on line. He also knows to jump up onto whatever I pat & either sit or lay depending on my commands, so my sis has been encouraging me to teach him to jump through rings...
It's pretty entertaining."
SO, of course in my opinion, you certainly can teach some cats at least some commands, but many cats are probably like my older cat. My older cat, while a lovely and loving companion, is simply not interactive in the same way that my 9 month old cat is, and he never really learned any specific commands except of course to come when he's called & to more or less behave himself...
Windslow, the one who does the tricks, interacts a bit differently than most cats I've known. He is extremely dog-like in his ways and personality. The whole way I discovered he liked to learn commands was not purposeful. It was because I sort of realized by accident he had learned the command "lay down" when I would say "Lay Down" (and quickly rub, then pat, wherever I wanted him to lay) at night to invite him to lay on me/near me for cuddles when I first climbed into bed. My husband & I thought it was cute and asked him to do it all the time, then I thought, if he could learn "lay down", he was probably open to other things too. The other commands came in time during our daily (10-20 minute) training sessions. Each command I give him has a 1 or 2 word voice command as well as a hand motion specific to that command. The cool thing is that once he knows a command, he never ignores it, he always complies and follows the command. He even does most of the commands for my 5 year old son!
The way I taught my cat to sit was to hold a treat in front of him with both of my hands open/flat (fingers spread, treat held in between thumb & pointer finger) and raise my hands a bit up, and then towards the cats hind end, then down, towards the ground, near his shoulders. This would sort of force his eyes to follow the treat, which would encourage him to sit back in order to keep eye contact with the treat. When he would sit, I would immediately give him a treat and tell him what a good boy he was. He soon learned to follow the "sit" command by just voice command or just hand motion without having to give him a treat anymore.
The way I taught him to understand "stay" was by saying "stay" and waiting a moment to reward him with a treat after giving a previous command (such as sit, or after asking him to jump up onto my shoulders, etc). But I didn't teach "stay" until he was solid in a few commands and had, for a period of time, been rewarded enthusiasticly each time he carried out the command.
Initially "Stay" only required him to pause in order to be worthy of reward, and then I slowly stretched that out into a longer bit of time.
Geez did I start rambling. Sorry!
I do think the clicker training method is worth looking into. I know people who use it with various animals and have quite a bit of success with it.
yeah our cats can fetch and kinda come (they dont come when they're being snobby haha)..
actually my bf's brother went to a bbq a couple weeks ago and this guy there had a couple of Bengals and he let them run around the park like little dogs and then he'd call them to come and they'd come running back. so obedient!
Equestrian, your method of asking (not MAKING! That would be the day, wouldn't it?) is the way dog trainers teach dogs, so you're on the right track! Speaking of dogs, I taught one of my collies to speak when he was about 10 years old. He knew the regular commands, but I wanted to find out if you can teach an old dog new tricks. You can!
I think it's an individual thing with cats. They will do it if they want to, and if's worth their while! (Oh, yum! a treat!) Even if your cat loves you, which is important, as Sweetpea says, they might not like to do tricks.
The cats I have now are the most obedient of all the cats I've ever had. Some people say Siamese are like dogs, but I just think they're smart, loving cats who almost always obey. I think it's part of their personality.
Well, if he saw the treat first, he might be distracted. I would help your cat through the motions, being completely consistent with the "commands," praise highly, (even if you did all the work) Then give the treat. With dogs, you can eventually alternate praise and treats. They love both. When Precious plays fetch, I just praise and pet her. But more complicated tricks will require treats, I believe. Fetch was something Precious did on her own. I have spent more time training dogs, really.
Well, this is embarassing! I went by the book for teaching a dog to walk on a lead and to show for the judges, etc. (You don't teach a show dog to sit!) Also, sit, stay, down, etc. However, I devised my own method for "speak." I held my hand above his head, making him look up, and rubbed my thumb and third finger together and barked myself- after saying, "Laddie, speak." (You always say the dog's name before the command, except for stay, which is your hand up like a traffic officer and the word "Stay.") Then, when he caught on, I patted him and said "Good boy, "Speak", and gave him a treat. When he knows the trick well, don't always give the treat. They love to be loved! So, reinforce the word for the command when rewarding him. Good boy, "Down," good girl, "Speak," etc. English is their second language, of course. :wink: It didn't take many sessions before he caught on, and he was about 10 years old.
I trained my old dog to speak the same way Jeanie did. I held my hand up and would say, "Sammy Speak!" I kept repeating until he got way too excited and started barking. I rewarded him for barking, either with treats or some petting/encouragement. It didn't take him long to catch on.
Sammy barked a lot, but I do believe after I taught him to speak, he barked a whole lot less.
Use your cat's name in conjunction with kitty at first. For example: Kitty, Kitty, Fluffy! Before you say the word sit, say "Fluffy, sit." Good Fluffy sit. Fluffy, fetch." Good Fluffy, fertch. When your cat is on your lap, say Mommy loves Fluffy, good Fluffy. Use her name very frequently until she responds to it. Good luck!
My cats all know thier names.
They all come when called (Mood depending) but if they are outside they come to order, and would follow me to work if I encouraged them to (I walk to work)
They all know the word "no" and "oy"
I am currently trying to teach butch commands as he is the most responsive to his name. If I tried it with pebbles it would a look as is "The chances of me doing that are the same as you liking YOUR butt.... it aint gonna happen"