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Basic Human Training
Start out simpleSome cats are of the opinion that humans can not be trained, that they lack the ability to benefit from cat input or behavioral modification training. We take a more positive approach. We feel all humans have the potential to learn from cats provided cats stick to simple concepts. If you try to teach your human to catch mice, you are bound to be disappointed; humans lack the speed and agility for mousing, as well as the necessary motivation.
Start out with things you know your human can do. We suggest you start out with door training, since you know your human can open and close doors already, they do it all the time. Start simply; tell your human WHEN to open (or close) the door. At first you may have to issue several orders, both visual (stare at the offending door, then at your human) and auditory (try different meows) only resorting to tactile commands as a last resort (scratching first the door, then if that proves ineffective, the human). Once your human accepts door-training, you should be able to command a door to be opened (or closed) with just a glance, although it may require some patience on your part to get your human to that level of training.
Doors are only one area in which humans can be trained, you can also expect to be able to teach your human several other "tricks" such as throwing or waving toys for your entertainment. Do not neglect the basics though - make sure to teach your human the commands for "clean the litter box" and "you should have fed me an hour ago". A well trained human will not need reminders for either of these most basic of their duties, but in the early training stages you may have to use discipline to correct any shortcomings.
Cover the BasicsThe command for food is likely to easiest to communicate, for any sounds you make while standing or sitting next to your food bowl will eventually be understood to mean you want food. Humans eat frequently and you may find it effective to remind them of your food needs while they eat, but don't let them pawn you off or distract you with their food, you want your own cat food (people food isn't good for you).
The litter box training is usually harder for your human to grasp. many cats make the mistake of confusing the humans in the process. No one wants to pee in a dirty litter box, and the obvious solution might seem to be to pee on the humans carpet, but this is the wrong approach, because it will inevitably confuse the humans. They will almost certainly misunderstand and clean their carpet, and not the litter box. We recommend instead that you use auditory commands while next to your litter box. Like the food bowl, your proximity to the litter box will aid your humans to grasp the basic commands. Save peeing on the carpet for after your humans are fully litter box trained.
RewardsAll training systems need rewards, and humans are no exception. Remember to reward your human with purrs, affection and head bonks when they get it right. Without positive reinforcement training your humans will be a much slower process.
Good luck with your humans!
Flick, Dot & Buzz
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