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Service Cats: What Is Clicker Training & Operant Conditioning & Do They Work With Cats

Welcome, to Service Cat Monday with RaenaBelle. That’s right, in keepin’ with the thought that sis Dezi is off at Summer camp (it’s really virutal, she’s right here), I’s takin’ over the bloggy includin’ Service Cat Monday. You all ‘member to tell her I’s did a good job, K? Anyways, I think I’s s’posed to get the disclaimer stuffs outta the way furst. The followin’ post will be written in human English fur translator and reader ease. Our Trainin’ posts aren’t meant to be a step by step training manual but rather, Tips/Tricks/Techniques that mommy has used/developed throughout her many years of training animals, cats on purrticular. Training is all about Repetition and Rewards and takes time. Ifin you have any questions or topics you would like us to cover, purrlease leave them in the comments section or send us an email. Ifin askin’ about behavioral issues, purrlease be as specific as pawssible. And, ifin you’ve missed any of the posts in this series, you can ketch up by clicking the links below. Now, let’s get to our question. 

 

 Raena sits on butterfly scratcher in harness

 

Layla, from Cat Wisdom 101 asked, “What are your thoughts on Clicker training and Operant Conditioning?” Well, we explained a bit about Clicker training in a prior post, but we’ll talk a bit about it for those of you that missed that post. First, let me explain what Clicker Training is. The trainer, holds a small clicker in one hand, a treat in the other, and clicks the clicker when the animal performs correctly, immediately followed by a treat as the reward. The hopes are that the animal will eventually learn the behavior and will no longer require the clicker to perform the appropriate action. Operant Conditioning is when behavior is modified based on rewards and punishments.

 

Clicker

Photo courtesy of Petco

 

We can tell you right away, that altho’ mommy believes most actions taken by animals, both of the two legged variety and the four legged, are somewhat a result of Operant Conditioning; it is in NO way a form of training she approves of. The reason for that is the necessity of a Punishment for incorrect behavior. For Operant Conditioning to truly work, there must be the risk of punishment. And as you know, mommy doesn’t like the idea of punishing us. Mommy says there’s a huge difference between Positive Reinforcement Discipline and Punishment. So, that’s our thoughts on Operant Conditioning. Now, what about that Clicker Training? 

 

 Dezi pats Raena on head

Operant Conditioning in action. Altho’ we’re not fighting,

sis Dezi is letting me know, she’s had enough.

 

As we mentioned in a previous post, the idea of Clickers was still very new when mommy began training. She looked into them and found at that time, they were quite costly. While preparing for this post, we looked again, and found they still cost a little more than mommy would pay. And then of course, there’s the treats. When using a clicker, you have to have that tasty reward waiting. If you would prefer to use the clicker method but don’t have the money to buy one, you can always use your fingers to snap, or your mouth to make a click sound. Just don’t forget to do it as soon as the appropriate behavior has occurred, followed by a treat. Also keep in mind, that anytime you use treats during training, meals should be adjusted to account for the extra calories. You don’t want training to result in an overweight kitty or doggy. Because of cost, having to carry treats all the time, and the fact that most of the things we do for mommy occur when she’s not exactly dressed, we’re not fans of Clicker Training either. That being said, it is a great tool if that’s the method you want to use. 

 

 Raena with silvervine on cat tree

Enjoying some silvervine after a training session.

 

So, our thoughts are pretty simple. Clicker Training is a great method for dogs and can be successful with cats as well. But, it’s not a method mommy chooses for numerous reasons. And altho’ we’re probably all acting a bit due to Operant Conditioning, it is NOT a method of training mommy likes or recommends. Please, Do Not Punish your cat or dog, especially during training.

 

 Dezi eats treat atop cat tree

And sissy gets treats even when it’s mine’s training session.

 

Well, I’s sure hope we answered awnty Layla’s question. As most of ya’ know, mommy’s purrfured method of training is the Love Rewards method. It works, needs no extra props and can be successfully used for both cats and dogs. Remember, ifin you have any questions, purrlease leave them in the comments or send us an email. And ifin you missed any posts in this series, click the links below.

 

Till the next time…………………………………..Be Blest!!!

 

 

 

Luvs and Hugs and Kitty Kisses

 

RaenaBelle and Deztinee 

 

Service Cats

 

What to Look For      Training Foundations      Train Kitty To Massage

Smelling Disease      Do You Need One      Who Bears the Cost

Housing Laws & Exceptions      Accommodations & Common Sense

When the Handler Dies      Proper Training Methods Pt. 1 & Pt. 2

Easiest Task to Train      Getting Kitty Ready for an Outing

Discipline: Stop Countersurfing Kitty      Internal Disputes

Calling Emergency Help      Just What Is Kitty Capable of

Shad: Original Service Cat      Harness, Vest, Leash or Stroller

Dezi, the Wheelchair & Chest      Round and Round We Go

Tumble & Fall Response      Raena Calls for Help

The Rest of the Story     Raena & the Wheelchair Pt. 1 Pt. 2 Pt. 3 Pt. 4

When to Train      Explaining Rewards & Kitty’s Feelings

Stop Kitty’s Begging     Calling For Help Options Pt. 1

Medicating Kitty

Training the Pig Headed, Stallion Strong, Submissive Pup & Conniving Cat

Cats Love Training & Social Media Downfalls

Reintegrating the Scared or Bullied Cat      There’s No Bully Cat Breed

Going for a Walk When in a Wheelchair     Calming the Tiger Pt.1 Pt. 2 Pt. 3

Surviving A Remodel      Taming A Feral Cat

Designer Cats & Scent      DNA Doesn’t Change     Fighting or Porsturing

Goats and Cutlets #ChewyInfluencer

Hey, is anypawdy out there? It’s me, RaenaBelle. I’s sure wanna fanky fank everypawdy fur your well wishes and patience. This teethy sitch sure got mommy’s goat. I’s didn’t even know we had a goat, but mommy said it was got and she was shot. Not shot, like with a gun or anythin’, but just like, down fur the count.

 

 Dezi and Raena lay together on the floor

 

 

          Raena, we don’t have a goat. That’s just another one of those human sayings like the shot thingy.

 

 Raena lays on floor

 

Well Kittens!!! Humans sure do have a lot of funny sayings sissy. I’s don’t know why they can’t just say what they mean. I’s was really lookin’ furward to meetin’ our goat.

 

 Goat clip art

 

 

          Me wishes humans didn’t have so many colorful words too Raena, but me fur sure ain’t sharin’ anythin’ else with anypawdy else!!! Fur sure, me ain’t sharin’ with no goat!!! Me hears they eat everythin’. And we got new treats to try. It’s bad enuff me has to share everythin’ with you, me’s not sharin’ with mommy’s goat, and that’s that. 

 

 Beyond Chicken Cutlets

 

Are you meowin’ ‘bout those white meat chicken Cutlets from Purina Beyond we got from Chewy, sissy?

 

 

 

This is a sponsored post. We received the Beyond Cutlets in exchange for our fair and honest review. As always, we only bring products we use or have tried. We always tell it like we see it and neither Chewy or Purina is responsible for the content of this post unless otherwise stated.

 

 Beyond chicken cutlet

 

          Me is Raena. As most of our furiends know, we eat freeze dried raw noms, and our favorite treats are also of the freeze dried variety. Well, anypawdy who knows anythin’ ‘bout freeze dried foods and treats knows, they’re quite ‘spensive. Fur some reason, the cost to dry out a chicken can be quite outrageous. Anyways, cuz mommy wants to give us the very bestest she can with the limited funds she has, she offen checks the doggy aisle when buyin’ us treats. Ya’ heard me right, the doggy aisle. See, when it comes to propurr freeze dried treats, meanin’ single ingredient, they’re the same whether they’re in a teeny package fur kitties or a huge bag fur woofies. The only difference is size and purrice. So, even tho’ the Purina Beyond all natural grain-free white meat chicken Cutlets have a doggy on the bag and be listed in the doggy treat section, they’re purrfectly safe and edible fur all us felines. Y, the only ingredients are Chicken, glycerin and salt.

 

 Raena sniffs Beyond chicken cutlett

 

That’s right sissy. And they come in a 2.7 oz bag like we got or 9 oz. bag fur $3.57 or $9.99. Larger and cheaper than ifin they had been packaged fur kitties. Anyways, let’s see what Chewy has to say ‘bout these treats.

 

Key Benefits

  • A snack that’s simply made and genuinely good

  • Purina’s treat specialists use all-natural white meat chicken in every batch

  • Natural, grain-free dog (and kitty<we added this part>) snack that offers both great taste and quality ingredients you can trust

  • Chicken is the #1 ingredient

  • No poultry by-product meal

 Raena sniffs beyond chicken cutett

 

 

Now, as ya’ know, us kitties do have smaller mouths than our woofie counterparts, so there’s fur sure gonna be some breakin’ needed befur we kitties can begin eatin’ said treats, but mommy says that’s not a purroblem. The white meat chicken Cutlets were easy enuff to break apart. That is, after we each had a go at the whole cutlet. Ya’ know, they smelled so delishus, we couldn’t help ourselves. I’s quite enjoyed a few tasty bites of mine’s cutlet. But fur some reason, I’s won’t take another bite. How ‘bout you sissy? 

 

 Dezi takes a bite of the beyond chicken cutlett

 

          Fanks Raena. Me kind’a liked the idea of the whole cutlet to0, but it was a bit chewier than me likes. The normal freeze dried chicken me likes kind’a melts in your mouth. Ya’ know, it’s dry and then when me’s spit mingles with it, and it turns into a real piece of meat. This was chewy and kind’a oily.  

 

 Raena eats treats from hand

 

Yeah, mommy said they felt a bit greasy, and thinks I’s might have got a taste of said grease and now I’s want nuffin’ to do with ‘em either. They’re also not the typical freeze dried chicken breast we normally purrfur. These are more like a large strip of jerky. But, sissy and me had a nice long meow and decided that fur ingredients, cost and size, the Purina Beyond Cutlets deserve a paw up from both of us. Mommy agreed and lends her thumb up.

 

 Dezi eats treat atop cat tree

 

          And of course, we always give Chewy an all paws up. They have purroducts fur all the furry, feathered, scaled and finned furiends in your home. And speedy furee shippin’ fur all orders of $49.00 and over and speedy flat rate shippin’ fur all other orders. And there’s a toy of every box. You know how us kitties luv a good box. We hear lots of the woofies do too. Chewy also offurs an auto ship program so you never have to worry ‘bout runnin’ outta your pets faves. But don’t worry, you can skip, cancel or delay anytime. And, of course we think Chewy’s customer service peeps are the cat’s meow. 

 

 Raena eats treats on cat tree

 

Meowin’ of auto ships sissy, I’s think we have one on the way.?

 

          Me thinks you’re right, Raena. Let’s go see ifin Fedex is here yet. 

 

I’s right behind ya’ sissy. I’s just gonna check fur that goat. Ya’ never know with mommy.?

 

Till the next time…………………………………..Be Blest!!!

 

Raena: Navy Blue 

Dezi: Vibrant Blue 

 

Luvs and Hugs and Kitty Kisses

 

RaenaBelle and Deztinee 

Chatting Cats: What Fun Are Rules

Hey Raena, wha’cha’ doin’? 

 

 Dezi sits in wheelchair while Raena sits atop the stroller beside the printer

 

          I’s checkin’ out this funny machine. Didn’t you hear it start up all by itself? It’s been doin’ that a lot lately. It starts makin’ these funny noises and then it suddenly spits out paper at ya’. Why do ya’ reckon it does that sissy? 

 

Me’s not sure Raena, but it always does it after mommy says “The printer’s fixin’ to kick on girls.”  Me thinks she means that strange machine, cuz after it spits out paper, she usually goes in there and gets it. 

 

 Dezi sits in wheelchar while Raena checks out printer from atop the stroller

 

          I’s wonder what that paper says, sissy? You know, mommy gets all beside herself when I’s try to stop it. Y, The other day, that silly machine popped open and scared me. It caught mine’s tail and wouldn’t let go.

 

Dezi bathes paw while laying on Yeowww nip toy

As me recalls Raena, mommy had been tellin’ you to get down and leave it alone. Me may not unnerstand why mommy has the rules she does, but they usually purrtect us in some way. Ifin you had left it alone like mommy said to, me bets your tail wouldn’t have gotten caught. 

 

          But sissy, what fun would that be? Mommy has soooooo many rules. “Don’t get up there. Don’t touch that. Leave it alone, it’s mine.” Kittens!!!  It’s like she doesn’t want us to have any fun…Ever!!! 

 

 Dezi and Raena look outside from their perches near the door.

 

Purrleeeeeease Raena (Dezi meows with sarcasm). We’ve got lots of toys to play with. Truth is, we don’t have that many rules. Mommy says the Don’ts are there to purrtect us and keep us safe. (Suddenly, there’s a loud noise outside and Dezi looks out the door from atop the cat tree while Raena looks out the door from her small perch. Dezi meows loudly as she takes off running towards the bedroom) Run fur your life…the lawn crew’s here!!! 

 

 Raena eats breakfast

Fur some reason, da food always tastes better outta sissy’s plate.

 

 

          (Raena jumps down from her perch and looks around for a minute. As she saunters over to Dezi’s breakfast plate she meows) What’s all the x’citement fur sissy, they’re here every week? You’d think you’d be used to it by now. Oh well, more noms fur me. MOL  (Raena meows loudly towards the bedroom) Hey sissy, why don’t we ask mommy fur some treats. We still have a bag left. 

 

(Dezi lays at the bedroom door and meows) Yeah, sure Raena. Treats sound great. You go ahead and ask, and me will be waitin’.

 

 Raena scratches on the butterfly cat scratcher

 

          Why am I’s the only one that ever has to ask fur treats sissy?

 

Why would me go to all that trouble of givin’ mommy “the look” and dancin’ ‘round, when me can just hang out and wait. Ifin me waits long enuff, you’ll do all the work fur me. MOL 

 

          Sissy?!?! 

 

 Dezi hunches on the floor watching over mommy

 

Uh, Oh, Uh, Did me say that out loud? Uh, me just means you do a much better job at askin’ fur treats…Yeah, that’s it. You know, who could say no to your bootyful face? 

 

          Aaaaaaaaaaaaaw Fanky fank you sissy. That’s so sweet of you. 

 

Whew (Dezi wipes her paw across her brow and meows) She bought it. That was a close one. Guess me better go with her this time. She might be askin’ fur and gettin’ treats that me’s not gettin’ sometimes. Hey Raena, are you goin’ with mommy tomorrow? 

 

 Dezi and Raena eat treats while on the liberty cat tree

 

         Well, I’s sure hope so. Least that’s the plan fur now. I’s hope all our furiends will keep mommy and us in their purrayers tomorrow. Mommy’s believin’ the ‘pointment’s gonna go well, and that everythin’ is gonna be okay. It’s been a long time comin’, but we can furinally see an end to it all.

 

 Dezi and Raena bathe atop the Liberty cat tree

 

Me knows mommy’s gonna feel a lot better when it’s all over. Maybe not at furst, cuz there’s gonna be more of that no nose blowin’ and Malt O Meal cereal fur a while. But that won’t last furever, and then she won’t have to worry ‘bout any more teethie infections. And, we’ll be havin’ that play date pawrty all weekend. Let’s go make sure all the toys you haven’t broken have good batteries. 

 

Till the next time……………………………………………Be Blest!!!

 

Dezi: Vibrant Blue 

Raena: Navy Blue 

 

 

 

Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses

 

Deztinee and RaenaBelle

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