After seeing on the show "Must Love Cats" how easily kitties can be trained using a clicker, I was determined to try it at home. I started by ordering myself a copy of the book Cat Training in 10 Minutes by Miriam Fields-Babineau. I highly recommend this book as a terrific resource.
The one other item I really needed to lay my hands on, Blog, was a hoop. Now this proved a daunting task. It seems that no one actually sells sturdy plastic hoops suitable for being jumped through by housecats. Go figure. In fact, there's not even anything (until NOW!!!) on the Internet about how to make one.
Blank, confused look. "Okay," she said, "let's ask Jim, he's the specialist on PVC tubing." We found Jim. The H.D. Lady said, "She's looking for 1/2" plastic tubing," and he said, "What sort of thing do you need it for?" I told him, "I'm training my cat to jump through a hoop so I need to make a hoop."
So, I have trained with Cody maybe 5 days a week, for five to ten minutes a day, for about five weeks. Honestly though, Blog, he learned each new trick in a couple days...continuing training is simply helping him focus so he's less distracted and confused. You can see in the video how well it worked! And the video will also show you a few things about how clicker training works.
The coolest thing I learned from training Cody is that a cat really does care enough about your opinion to want to learn to do what you ask. It's not just about the turkey. He really seems to love our training sessions and getting to play along and do things that get a pleased reaction from his best buddy (me). I'm looking forward to teaching him more tricks like high five, shaking hands, jumping from chair to chair, etc.
So I highly recommend you try this with your cat! And if you do, or already have a cat that does tricks, please share in the comments. Say it with me, Blog: "Yay Cody!"