Veterinarian Says Cats, Like Dogs, Can Be Taught To Fetch
According to Mashable, cat owners are now teaching their cats how to fetch with success. Dr. Andrea Tu, a medical director and resident in animal behavior at Behavior Pets, is a proponent of training felines.
"It's a misperception that cats can't be trained," she said. "Cats can easily be trained. You just have to understand cats."
Dr. Tu says her own cat can high-five and jump through hoops on command. Tu says the key to training is remembering that domestic cats have historically different roles in our lives than domestic dogs.
"[Dogs] have been living with humans for a very long time," she explained. This means that dogs are more adept at reading human body language than cats, who were domesticated thousands of years later than dogs. Therefore, cat training attention span is much shorter than that of dogs.
"With cats, you're lucky if you get five minutes before their kitty minds go elsewhere," Dr. Tu said.
Still, training a cat, like training a dog, is all about reinforcement. She suggests using a clicker to help cats get a clear behavioral marker.
"Any time you make the clicker go off, you give your cat a piece of a treat," Dr. Tu said. "They'll learn that every time that thing goes off... treats fall from the sky."