Learn the Clicker Training!

What is the clicker of training? It is very simple, really. We are learning Clicker training right now. Even though Figaro is not so smart, he is actually good at this because he gets treats and he looooves treats. It is good for toilet training kitties because good toilet behavior can be reinforced with click and treats ("c/t"). It is also good to make better friends with your kitteh. I learned this from a book I got at Barnes and Nobles, and also from the Clicker Training Yahoo Groups.

Items Needed:

1. A Kitteh. Please adopt if you do not already have one.
2. A clicker. We got ours at Petsmart for $1.49. They also sell some for $3 but the $1.49 ones are near the cash registers and say "Petsmart." You can also buy it online.
3. A stick. Any stick, we use a skewer with the tip cut off.
4. A mat. Anything will do, like a towel. But we have this mat from IKEA.
5. Treats. Anything small that your kitteh likes, preferably something that doesn't make a mess. We sometimes use bits of cheese or else some Whiska Lickins treats - we would use all natural treats but we don't like the taste so we make an exception for treats.


First, make sure you are in a quiet place with your kitteh. Make sure there are no distractions and the kitteh is pretty hungry.

Then, make sure kitteh has your attention, give a click with the clicker and immediately treat. Repeat and repeat and repeat. After a few minutes stop and continue at a later time. If you continue short training sessions like this, your kitteh will realize that "click" means "treat"! That's perfect.

Now you can try the tricks part! First start with a target stick (the stick from #3). Put the stick close to the kitty's nose and watch the kitty touch her nose to the stick, then click and treat. Don't put the stick right in her face, and let her come to you to touch the stick. You can put the stick high, low, to the right, and to the left. Do a couple of training sessions. EAch training session can be just a few minutes long.

Next, you can teach "go to mat". Get out the mat, and start rewarding kitty anytime the kitty does something related to the mat. If kitty looks at the mat, give a treat. If kitty goes a little towards the mat, give a treat. Soon kitty will learn she must go sit on the mat for her treat. Once you have a more difficult behavior (like walking to the mat), don't treat anymore for just looking at the mat. Once you have sitting on the mat, don't treat just for walking towards it. Now kitty knows two tricks!!! You can get kitty to do the mat trick by tapping with your hand on the mat at first, and then after she has that down, go to just pointing and then tapping, and then once she starts going there when you just point, you don't have to tap!

After that...you can teach many things! Right now we both "go to mat" and we are learning to "Sit Pretty."

Your best bet is to join the Yahoo Clicker Training Group! We are on it and its great!


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