What is clicker training

Clicker training is a positive-reinforcement-based system of training. Animals are more likely to repeat a behavior which resulted in pleasure. The clicker is used to create a bridge connection between the desired behavior and the reward. So clicker trainers provide consequences desired by their animal in exchange for actions or behaviors desired by their trainers.
After establishing the clicker as a conditioned reinforcer for operant behavior, it is much easier to train your pet to perform on command actions like sitting, jumping, shaking hands or fetching toys.

How to train a cat to operate a light switch

This is an example of what you can do after clicker training your cat.
The cat in the video is clicker trained to operate a light switch. He had previous clicker training, so now he knows to associate the click with the desired action.
The training consisted of approximately 5 min sessions over a period of 3 days. All the training was videotaped. The total training time to get the results you see at the end of the video was 28 minutes and 34 seconds.
In the beginning any approach to the switch results in a click followed by food. By the end of the training, only pawing the switch attracts the food reward.

How not to train the cat to operate the light switch

Humans can learn only by watching. Yet, asking a cat to do so does not bring in any results. At least it did not for the cat in the below video.

Things you can train your cat to do

Sit, jump, or shake hands is easy, after the cat had the clicker training established. Later on, as you can see from the video below, you can give up the clicker and use only vocal cues.

Did you ever try to clicker train your cat? Share your results here, so we can all enjoy them. I’ll also share mine, as soon as I get any (my dear kitty is going to have a hard time over the next weeks, as I intend to use clicker training to teach her some tricks)

About the author

Violeta Matei is a freelance writer with a technical background. In the beginning of her working career, she had the opportunity to learn Microsoft Excel, Word and Powerpoint and to apply these learnings in her daily work. She even wrote two e-books on the most useful keyboard shortcuts in Excel and in Word. Since embracing an online career path, Violeta has been writing detailed guides on using and troubleshooting Windows, MS Office and WordPress and she started to learn photography. Since she works from home, she shares various tips and tricks that can help people improve their life and make their homes better.