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Clicker training of cat

With a background in having trained dogs with clicker training, I have a great interest in trying it out with the cat as well. I have seen with my dog how much joy and activation it gives, while giving a strong bond to your pet

On this page, I do not go in depth with the theory, but show my process with our cat Knutt. I thought from the start that he would be good at clicker training as he is incredibly motivated by food. The reward in the clicker training does not have to be food, it can be cuddles, toys or something completely different - but it is with treats that I have experience with and therefore have the easiest time using

The videos are shortened a lot, but I do not train more than max 10 min. at a time and sometimes less. It is very important to be able to see when Knutt is filled with impressions from the training, as he will not be able to learn from the training if he is mentally too tired or overstimulated

I also hope to be able to show that ragdolls can be super smart and teachable and that clicker training is fun for both cat and human

First training

At the first training, the cat must be introduced to the clicker

This is done by what is called "charging the clicker". That is, you make the cat understand that every time there is a * click * it means reward - here in the form of a treat

The cat does not have to do anything specific, but just gets a reward every time you click

It is also incredibly important that you give a reward every time after a click - even if it was a mistake to get to it.


This is done about 10-15 times


To get a feel for whether Knutt has put together clicks with rewards, I'm looking at how he responds to the click

Knutt is quick to respond to the click sound and expects a reward to come right afterwards.

Second training

I introduce here a 'Target Stick'

It is used as a tool to teach the cat different types of tricks

It is good to use in the beginning to teach the cat to work for the click. He must now start to find out that there are certain things that give clicks / rewards and if you do more of that, then he gets more

He needs to start thinking more about what makes the click come and try something more forward

I click here for him to dab with his nose on the ball (on the target stick). Naturally he is curious and will go to it when I lower it

Once I have clicked "I restart" and remove the ball. When I see he is ready again, I put it down to him, so he is again curious and has a greater chance of success with a click

When I see he has caught him going to it, I only start clicking if his nose touches it. Here he has to think and try a little harder again and thus we are well on our way to clicker training

Third training

I now have a good feeling that Knutt understands that * click * means reward and that he wants to work with the clicker

At one point he gave me a 'dut' on the nose which I here try to work for him to do again

My ultimate goal is that he should dabble with his nose on mine and with a command called "Kiss"

I take my head down to him. When he gets to my nose, I click

After a short time he has caught it but starts licking on my nose, which is not what I want. Therefore, I have to be more consistent with my click and fast if I have to catch him when he only naps with his nose and does not lick.  

It's hard and I'm going to click for the wrong one quite a few times

The next step is to polish. Knutt knows that he gets a reward for licking / napping on my nose but I want him to just come and nap. I therefore need to be fast and right in my clicks

I'm going a little too fast here and start putting his trick together with a sound (* Kiss *). It is more important to polish it first so he is completely sure of it, as otherwise it can be difficult for him to know what * Kiss * really means

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