November 30, 2018 3 min read
Jackson Galaxy, a cat behaviorist with his own YouTube channel, says clicker training teaches the cat to associate the sound of a click with a tasty treat that results in a response you desire. Clicker training not only entices your cat to perform but it also helps them develop self-control, provides mental stimulation, encourages physical exercise, builds confidence, and reinforces the bond between cat and cat parent, Dr. Frank at Best Friends Animal Society says in a YouTube video about clicker training.
Cats are not known to respond favorably to a firm “no” or a squirt from a water gun that might work for their canine counterparts. In fact, negative-based enforcement or punishing your cat for bad behavior can frighten or confuse your little guy, or worse, cause him to distrust you. Better to use positive reinforcement that teaches your kitty that certain behaviors can result in specific consequences. In clicker training, food is used as a positive reinforcement instead of the dreaded gush of water to the whiskers.
To begin, first gather the essentials: a clicker (an inexpensive gadget that produces a “click” when the metal strip inside the device is pressed); your cat’s favorite treats; and a target stick, which is optional. A target stick is used to keep your cat focused on the task at hand. Both tools are available at pet stores and online.
Clicker train your cat with these tips:
New tricks generally take five to 10 minutes of training a day for up to three days before a cat commits it to memory, according to Jackson Galaxy. Correcting unwanted behaviors may take longer. Don’t give up! Successful clicker training will give you a sense of accomplishment, and your cat will be grateful for the additional attention since they never seem to get enough of it. 🐈
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