People often ask about what kinds of active, healthy things I do with my dogs — walking, playing fetch, meditating. But when I mention Trixie, my cat … well, nobody seems to be curious about how I keep her active. Sure, she probably still sleeps 16 hours a day, but we get in some fun play sessions that get her moving.
Most recently, my husband and I have embarked on a training program with the intention of teaching her to love him. See, Jared is a big-time cat guy, and she was really not so into him. We worked with trainer Mikkel Becker (remember her?) to develop a goal and a plan, and — spoiler alert — we had some pretty sweet success. You can get the full scoop over on Vetstreet, complete with cute video, but the big thing I wanted to share is how cool — and easy — target training with a cat can be.
Not familiar with target training? It’s pretty simple — you use a target stick and treats (and, ideally, a clicker) to lure your cat. You can get her to walk next to you, climb up her cat tree, even jump through hoops, if she’s food-motivated and interested, although in our case, the initial focus was simply to increase her level of comfort around Jared. Just remember, you should always keep the reinforcement positive with lots of praise, affection and tiny treats for encouragement — scolding her is not a part of this plan. Think more Bob, less Jillian, you know?
To learn a bit more about target training with kitties, check this out!
Have you done any training with your cat, either to get her to exercise or for behavioral reasons? This is a first for me, but I can’t wait to try something new. Maybe she’ll like going out on a leash! —Kristen