Yeah, that’s what we said when one of our staffers suggested this as a hot topic to cover. Play fetch with a cat?
Well, as a matter of fact cats are very trainable despite their leisurely attitude at times. If you’re a feline parent interested in more interactive playtime with your kitty, here’s some info you can use to start training and enjoying it.
One of the best ways to train a pet … even a goldfish … is to use something that’s a staple in dog training: A clicker. This device is a small plastic box with a metal tab that you depress with your thumb.
<Also Read: Top Reasons Why Clicker Training Works>
When your pet responds the way you want him or her to respond, you click and then give them a treat. They will come to know that responding will get them a treat. The goal is to train your pet to respond without a treat being offered but that’s for a different post.
Before you poo-poo the idea of feline fetch training, remember that it’s a natural thing for a cat to hunt something that’s moving, grab it and bring it back to a nest. You’ve seen your own cat run after a catnip mouse that’s been tossed, pounce on it and take it with them where they can, well, get high.
Here’s the deal. You’ll be doing what comes naturally to a cat but adding one more step: The art of returning to you with their prize and dropping it so you can toss it again.
Fetch training is done in a similar fashion to clicker training. Begin by finding her fave toy … a lighter toy like a foam ball that’s easy to carry and hold in her mouth is best … and drop it close to you. Encourage her to sniff it and then click and treat.
What’s important at this stage is that your cat is gaga over the toy. It’s something she is rarely without and covets for the best play time ever.
Now, some folks think that giving your cat treats for this training isn’t as effective as it may be for shake hands or sit up. We still like the idea of a treat because it will ingrain her to come back to you time and again.
Watch this cute short video of a cat playing fetch.
After you’ve completed the sniff and treat angle, start getting her to change her position for a treat so she has to drop her toy to get that tasty morsel. Once your kitty gets the hang of it, make sure she knows how proud you are of her.
The next step after the drop, click and treat is to put the toy a few inches away from you and encourage her to go pick it up. You can even use a command here like “fetch” or anything else you think she’ll respond to. Once she picks up the toy and you see she has started turning toward you, click and treat.
As Time Goes By
Continue working this way for a while – it really depends on the cat how fast or slow this is learned – but make sure the toy goes farther away each time. State your command and when she brings it to you, click and treat.
The end goal is to get her to release her toy into your hand but just having her bring it back to you to toss again may be enough for the two of you.
This is a fun way to interact and play with your cat and amaze friends and family with how well trained a cat you have!
Reference links: http://www.cat-health-detective.com/felinefetching.html