Robert Gentel wrote:
What do you want the li'l fluffball to do?
Play Bach? Hellifino. Like I said the only thing that ever occurred to me was to come on command. I'm not sure what else would be common to teach a cat.
Maybe to play fetch? I had a friend whose cat would do this.
Don't all cats come on request?
Mine always have.
Offering a tiny food treat ought to fix that.
Mine have naturally played fetch, too.
The thing with cats is most get way bored before a dog, for instance, would, so a key is very short training sessions. Also, the more time you spend with your cat, the more socialised it will be, and the more rewarding just your company will be, and the more relaxed it will be with you.
Teaching to fetch would be about staying close to the cat, and rewarding serendipitous behaviours. Eg...cat happens to bring object you have thrown closer to you...you are close enough to praise and reward instantly. Next time, cat is rewarded for bringing object a tiny bit closer to you and so on. If cat naturally fetches, it is easier. Of course, if cat comes when you ask, it will be easier, since it may well be carrying object when it does so.
Just stop way before the cat gets bored....this will vary from individual to individual.
They are very curious, so will naturally explore any object and love to climb. Go with that.
Oscar, for instance, loved climbing ladders, so it was easy to "train" him to do so just by moving closer to one (he would naturally follow) and rewarding his natural impulses. When I was painting, it was simple to train him to climb one ladder when I asked him to (by chirping at him and acting excited near the ladder), run along the scaffold board thingy, and run down the other ladder.
Phoebe just naturally learned hand signals for come here, stop, and go away. She hated going away, so she would stop every few steps and yell at me when she was going, which was very funny.
She also naturally learned to jump up from the floor into my arms. She did it when she was especially loving, and soon was happy to do it when I looked at her intently and chirped at her. Er...you may need to discourage the cat from doing that when your back is turned and you are stepping out of the shower.
Your cat's natural behaviours will indicate to you what it will be easy to train it to do.
Another funny one that all my cats like is so dumb I am almost ashamed to mention it. It's dumb of me, not them.
I can lie on my back and put my legs in the air, then place the cat over my (bare) feet. They relax and sort of lengthen and dangle.....then you can do an accordion imitation by lengthening and shortening them by moving your feet further apart and closer together.
That's just about having the cat love being handled and being really trusting, and practicing until they are really relaxed up there. Even Miranda, who doesn't like being held, relaxes happily when I do that.
I think Bach may be too much to ask. I don't think those wittle paws would span an octave.