Can Cats Be Trained?

petsidebar18We read an article that blew us away with how improbable (impossible) what it described seemed to be. “Here, Kitty, Kitty, Jump Through the Hoop” by Sharon L. Peters, special for USA Today, January 29, 2008 tells about the newest rage in agility contests for cats.

According to Peters there is now an International Cat Agility Tournament that held twenty-five shows at The International Cat Association clubs in the United States and one hundred shows around the world. The cats, just as with dogs, are trained with clicker training which couples a clicking sound followed by a reward when the cat does what a mere human requests.

Even with all the training and treats, some cats who make it into these shows decide to display their independent streaks. Carol Osborne, a certified ringmaster for the shows, recalls a feline who got the nickname Perimeter Cat. When he walked into the ring at the shows, he’d avoid every obstacle. The cat lovers cheered. Here was an independent kitty just like all the ones they know and love.

In these agility events, there have been purebreds, house cats, shelter cats, a blind cat, and a three-legged cat competing.

Have you ever tried to train a cat? How do you coax cats into doing what you want them to do?

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