Why is it essential to make clicker training fun for a cat?

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Actually, it’s essential to make any kind of training fun for your cat for the simple reason that you are not working with a dog. Using methods that would work with a dog and expecting dog-like responses from a cat is a fundamental mistake many people make.

Dogs are pack animals. In the wild, they live in packs led by an alpha who is the undisputed leader. The other animals are submissive and loyal to that leader and have a genetically encoded need to please him. Our domestic dogs should, in a healthy human / dog relationship, see us as the alpha.

When a dog learns a behavior and repeats it over and over at our command, he rarely needs more than our pleasure in his performance to be happy. Not so with a cat. Felines are small, solitary predators. They have no need to please anyone but themselves, and will not repeat a behavior that does not offer them a perceived benefit as a return.

Additionally, cats are very stubborn. They do not like to be “made” to do anything. Verbally admonishing your cat to the point of annoying him is a sure way to put him off his training routine. Your cat needs to feel that you are interacting with him in a positive and enjoyable way if you are going to get the level of response you desire out of the sessions.

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