Clicking with Cats!

Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.  Isaac Asimov

how to train a cat

Who says you can’t train cats??
… A lot of people.

Most people I meet (even my cat and dog clients) believe you can’t train cats to do a darn thang.   Here’s the truth: Folks who believe this are not properly communicating with the cat, they’re not listening to the cat, and they’re not reinforcing the right behaviors.  Also, they have yet to learn that cats are crazy cool, wicked smart, and very easy to train.  But I have hope for the nonbelievers.

One of my clients is a believer; she is seeing the proof in action.  She also has an advantage because she is very familiar with the world of felines.  She works at one of the best cat veterinary practices, Just Cats Clinic.  Taking into account the needs of my client, the cats’ needs, and what I see possible, my client and I have been working together to create consistency, health, harmony, and a lot of fun in her life … and the life of three of her cats, Coco, Brighton and Disco.

Brighton and Teri_Cat Clicker Training
This clever kitty and their dedicated person say You Can train cats!

Coco and Brighton are two of three cats in my client’s home who are learning various behaviors, all with the help of clicker training and target training.  Coco is 9 years of age and Brighton is 8 years of age.  They are a breed of cat called the Cornish Rex.  If you haven’t heard of the Cornish Rex, they are very cool cats. They’re incredibly affectionate and very clever. –Check ’em out here.

Coco has a book out right now, so she and her person travel a lot for book signings, and meet and greets.  This training program is geared toward helping Coco to feel safe, secure and content, while creating a better connection with the people who come to see her.  This training process is also teaching Coco’s person to recognize when Coco has had enough during her public appearances.  Brighton and Disco (the male cats) don’t have a book deal, but they are just as eager to learn new behaviors.  Clicker training and target training are allowing all of this to happen!

clicker training for cats_how to train your cat
Coco and her person learning together

Cats of Any Age Can Learn

Do you have an older cat?  Do your friends or family members live with an older cat?  Please share this with them: If you believe that an older cat cannot be trained, have fun in his/her senior years or learn new behaviors, think again.  Cats of all ages are capable of learning.  Just ask our senior cats Beaux and Albert, or Brighton and Coco!

Ok, so you can’t ask them, but I am here to tell you that older/mature cats are easily trained, enjoy learning new behaviors, and they need this kind of mental and physical stimulation.  This kind of training changes your life and their life, far beyond what you thought was possible.

Feline Fact:  Older cats (7-10 years) are considered “mature” or “middle age”. “Senior” cats are 11-14 years of age.

senior cats_how to train my cat
My client working on new behaviors with Brighton before she heads off to work for the day

There is more to come about what we are training these clever cats, what they are teaching us, how we do it, and how you can do it, too!  Be sure to stay tuned!

Time spent with a cat is never wasted. ― Colette

Feline High-Fives!

Cat Greeting

We have all seen it, or we have had it done to us. You are minding your own business and a cat sticks his or her butt in your face.

Cats do this when they are greeting a person, another cat, a dog, etc.  They will also do this when you are petting them.  Most of us think that cats do this because they want you to scratch that area, but this is simply not true.  (By the way, do not touch “that area” unless you want a paw to the jaw).  

So why do cats offer us their rear end?  Well, simply put, a kitty derrière in your face is the feline version of a high-five in cat language!

Cats have scent glands at the base of their tails that produce their own “signature” scent.  When they offer this posture to you or another animal they are saying, “I trust you.  Go ahead.  Check me out.  Get a good whiff of what I have goin’ on.”


So the next time a cat offers their rear to you, don’t be offended.  It’s a compliment!

Cat tails are expressive, but you have to look at the whole cat to see the full story: A cat with a straight-up tail is displaying confidence and friendliness. But if the cat is also displaying an upright tail with erect fur, dilated pupils, and ears folded back, this cat is exhibiting fear or aggression. We must read all of our cat’s signals to see the full story!


Does your feline family member offer you their derrière?