If this is your first time looking into Cat School, welcome! I'm Julie, the Cat Teacher, and my assistant teacher is a black cat named Jones.
If you're wondering "Is my cat trainable?" you are not alone! The biggest hesitation that keeps people from signing up for Cat School is the thought that their cat can't be trained. Cats have been branded to be independent, aloof, unwilling to learn. This is just not the case, and is proven time and again with my students in Cat School.
"But my cat REALLY can't learn!"
I get it! If you haven't seen your cat's capacity to learn, it feels like they never will. But you CAN teach a cat new behaviors if you can figure out why they don't seem willing to learn.
Ready to find out if your cat is trainable?
5 Tests to Find Out if Your Cat is Trainable
A series of five tests are in the YouTube video below to get to know your cat's trainability and to help you prepare your student for school. Don't worry - the marks don't go on their purrmanent record.
The CUPS Game
CUPS is a problem-solving game where you want to see if your cat will use their paw to get a treat out of a cup. The point is to see if your cat can get the treat out of the cup, not just play with the cup or target it with their paw.
The Magnet Method
This is a way to measure your cat's attention span. It's known as the Magnet Method because, by holding the food directly in front of your cat's face, the food acts like a magnet drawing your cat towards it. You can use it to teach skills like sit, spin and rollover.
Ping Pong Kitty
To play this game, you toss a treat away from you and see if your cat comes back. This is an important foundation step for many future behaviors and training we do in Cat School.
Put a Treat Down
Place a treat down on the floor and see if your cat walks over to get it. Use a finger to point to the food. If your cat goes to the treat, then you know your cat values their reward and will be willing to learn and work!
Follow The Spoon
This test can help with seeing if your cat is motivated by different foods. Can your cat can follow a spoon with wet food? A few licks of your cat's wet food can be an excellent training reward. If you've ever worried your cat would get too many snacks at school, this method will be purrfect for you.
Watch the video below and follow instructions for a total of 5 tests and see how trainable your cat is. If your cat passes any of these 5 tests, you have a trainable cat!
How Did Your Cat Do?
If your cat didn't seem to be into pop quizzes, it's likely because they aren't that interested in food. The good news is we can build your cat's motivation for food and find some treats they love simultaneously.
You might be surprised to learn that I use lots of different rewards. There is no purrfect treat. More challenging jobs require bigger paychecks, and the value of the food you use will depend on the situation. Plus, giving Jones different foods keeps our session dynamic and exciting.
Focus On Their Meals First
If your cat isn't willing to work for their food, the first place to start is looking at their meals. Read the article linked below to learn my five tips to help you build your cat's food motivation so you can start a fun and rewarding training journey with your cat.
The article is a preview of what I go into more in depth in Cat School. So even if your cat seems unmotivated, we can start there in Cat School!