Cats are very intelligent animals that can be trained. Once you can find an effective way of working with them, you’ll be able to teach them a lot. Training your cat will go a long way in helping them become more social and less anxious.
To understand how to teach a cat to skateboard, you should first know that there are differences in the way dogs and cats are trained. Cats are usually less moved by praise, unlike dogs. It is also worth noting that, cats are not as driven to do things in tandem with humans – something that dogs do effortlessly. However, this doesn’t mean that they cannot be trained.
As opposed to what a lot of people believe, cats can actually be trained. They can be able to learn useful behaviours and novelty tricks as well. You can also up your game by training them to participate in tournaments that test their agility.
With the proper methods and some ingenuity from you, your feline friend will be able to surprise you when you see the plethora of things it will be able to learn. Among other things, this can also include the art of skateboarding. We have seen videos of dogs as well as cats riding on skateboards and it is a sight to behold. Your cat can be no different from these skateboarding animals – all it needs is training.
It should be noted that cats respond better to reinforcement on the positive side as opposed to negative reinforcement. They should only learn tricks, behaviours, and skills with positive and incentivised training. Dominance and punishment are neither healthy nor effective methods. Using punishment might create stress which is a very common factor for problematic behaviours in cats.
So, with all these in mind, let’s get started on how to teach a cat to skateboard.
How To Teach A Cat To Skateboard
What Particular Thing Do You Want To Teach Your Cat?
First of all, you need to ask yourself what you plan on teaching your cat. Do you wish to teach them just the basics of skateboarding? Or do you plan on teaching your cat more complex skateboarding moves?
The applied technique is determined by the kind of behavioural action you plan on teaching. Once you have made up your mind on what you want to work on, you can slowly start to brace yourself and your cat for learning.
Keep The Sessions Short
The duration and time of a particular lesson have to be tailored to your cat’s interest and mood. The attention span of cats is shorter than ours and they prefer to do things anyhow and anytime they want to. What this means is that you’ll need to train with your cat whenever they’re interested and for as long as the interest lasts.
The most effective sessions are normally short, frequent, and natural. It is imperative to always be patient, calm, and most importantly, persistent. Even if your cat hasn’t progressed as quickly or as much as you had hoped, don’t give up.
We all know how strong-willed and independent they are, so a lot of patience is needed on your end. The trick to training a cat to skateboard is to remain patient, adopt baby steps, as well as creating habits. Cats – most especially during the beginning – love habit. It is advisable to play to your cat’s strengths and move only at their pace – regardless of how slow it might be.
Having to rush the process or push your feline outside his or her comfort zone might result in long-lasting fears or injuries. It could also even damage the relationship you have built with your cat. So, ensure you take things slow and keep the training sessions short and positive.
Focus On One Action At Once
While it is a possibility that cats can learn a few things at the same time, it is more effective when they learn one thing at a time. For optimal success, allow your cat to learn a particular objective before moving to a fresh one.
Ensure you practice a lot, but let it not be excessive. Repeat the training process multiple times consecutively so your cat can learn why he or she is receiving a treat.
You don’t want to tire your cat, but you want to ensure he/she understands the connection that exists between a behaviour and a reward – including the command that usually comes with such behaviour. It is advisable to teach one thing in exclusivity and limit the session to a maximum of 15 minutes. You will need to repeat this routine the following day and ensure it is regular so your cat can remember all he/she has learned.
Reward Good Behavior
Cats respond remarkably well to positive reinforcement. Our pets like doing stuff that they get good things out of. Therefore, whenever your cat does something right, reward him/her with a treat, scratch, or encouraging praise.
You could use a clicker any time you reward them. With this, they can make a connection between the clicker sound, the reward, and the objective. Any time they hear the clicker sound, they will know that they did a good job.
The most effective reinforcement remains treats – but not any cat treats will do. I found these organic cat treats were an amazing choice for my cat, as it came with no mystery ingredients or animal derivatives.
A lot of cats need special stuff to motivate them. This means that you need to toss the kibble and look for the special stuff that your cat loves. Low-sodium tuna, meat-flavoured baby food, diced turkey or chicken and commercial cat treats can be effective – it all depends on your cat’s preferences.
Get your feline accustomed to receiving treats in response to particular behaviours. Start with the basics like stepping on to the board, then gradually introduce your cat to the movement of the board. Remember to reward them whenever they do the right thing.
Use A Clicker To Reinforce Timing
It is very important that your pet is rewarded as quickly as possible when he/she performs the desired action. However, it is a task for people to precisely time the treats with the behaviour of their cats. This is where a cat training clicker will come in as it introduces a distinctive sound that will tell a cat they completed a good thing.
To ensure your cat learns to recognise the clicker, you can click it and give your cat a treat – without requesting any action. Flowing from this, your pet will recognise that the noise of the clicker means a treat is coming. In due course, the clicker will become a reward of its own.
Do Not Punish Bad Behavior
Typically, cats do not respond well to being punished. This kind of disciplinary method is not regarded as helpful and it even triggers stress and anxiety. Instead, when you see inappropriate behaviour, try your best to distract your cat. For example, if you see them scratching the board, you can make use of a brisk utterance so as to distract them from doing that particular act.
It is important to use a distinct word instead of ‘hey‘ or ‘no‘ so that they don’t get confused when it is used in another context.
It is advisable for other members of the family to be involved in the training. Everybody should be aware of the ultimate goal and the method you’re applying. For instance, any person that spots the cat engaging in bad behaviour should react and use the same corrective measure that you normally employ.
How Cats Can Manipulate You
Frequently, we try to teach cats tricks but give up because the cat lacks an attention span. You might even find that a cat who can normally meow for 30 minutes, cannot focus for just 5 minutes to learn a trick. That should seem odd to you.
That cat doesn’t necessarily lack an attention span, instead, it might be trying to manipulate you. He/she wants the food, but they want you to do all the work. For instance, running after them and trying to put the treat up to their face as they walk away from you.
What should you do in these circumstances? Well, if they’re hungry, you ought to make it clear that the food doesn’t come closer whenever they start to look bored. When your cat starts to walk away or begins to stare at you with a blank look, you can decide to walk the other way or even out of the room. If they follow you, it means they’re still hungry and eager to learn. If they don’t, it means you need to take a break and try again later.
A lot of cats can also look bored when they don’t understand what you want or when they’re not interested in the food reward you’re using. You can try to use something tastier and see if their response improves. If they become more attentive, then the food value was important.
The other major factor in deciding how to teach a cat to skateboard is the technique that you adopt. Do you get the treat to your cat fast enough whenever they do the correct thing? If you’re making use of a treat as a lure, do you position it close to their face to draw their attention and move it in a way that their weight is pushed back? You may need to give them several treats just because they complete the first and most basic part of a task.
When it comes down to it, don’t give up. If a lion or tiger can learn a trick, then your housecat can do the same as well.