One of the most useful behaviors you can clicker train your cat is to 'station' or go to a place on cue. This 'place' can be a mat or a bed. Moving it around should be easy. I use my laptop case.
Where would you use this behavior?
1) Use the mat to teach your cat to go into a carrier.
Once your cat knows to go to their mat on cue, you can gradually start to place it into their carrier. Click and treat your cat for continuing to station as the mat moves into the carrier. Imagine being able to cue your cat to go into their carrier by merely putting their mat in there?!
2) Use the mat to curb counter-surfing
Counter-surfing is a problem behavior that many cat owners experience. Cats jump on the counter because every so often they find something exciting up there to make their search worthwhile. Now, what would happen if you created a station for your cat and when they searched there, they found some delicious treats? And while they were up on their station, you clicked and then brought over more of those tasty treats? In no time, your cat will learn that it pays to go to their station. Plus, by clicking and treating the cat for being on their mat, you will encourage them to repeat the behavior. It won't take long before you walk into the kitchen and find your cat waiting for you on their station instead of the kitchen counter.
3) Use the mat to finally get your cat off your keyboard.
As cute as it is when our cats jump on our keyboard, it can also be downright annoying especially when we have to get work done. Once you teach your cat to lie on their station, you can put their mat right beside you as you work. All you have to do is reinforce them every so often, and they will get the benefit of being close to you and spoiled with some rewards. Win-Win!
Not only is station an extremely valuable behavior for your cat to know, but it's also a lot of fun. Here's an easy tutorial for you to get started.