[dropcap]I[/dropcap]f you have always thought cats are only good at eating and sleeping, think again. The tricks showcased in this video were taught using clicker training and positive reinforcement. Kaiser is an energetic 6-year-old Bengal cat with an incredible disposition. He knows an astounding amount of behaviours and can be cued to do virtually anything! Kaiser performs a couple of his incredible cat tricks and he thrives on doing it.
Right paw, left paw, walking backwards, rolling over, closing the door, riding a skateboard, climbing a ladder… this cat does it all! Kaiser’s repertoire of trained behaviours exceeds 70 different tricks. His owner has been training cats for more than 10 years. Positive reinforcement teaches the animal that if he does this (desired behaviour), something good will happen in the form of a reward.
She rewards him for offering behaviours on his own and shape them into tricks. But what thrills me more than the tricks she teaches is that she loves her Bengal beyond measure. If he doesn’t choose or enjoy doing a behaviour, he just won’t do it. It’s what she calls a “gentle, hands-off training approach” even though she doesn’t like the term “training” precisely because it is ALWAYS his choice.
The Bengal cat breed is especially smart, diligent and high maintenance. Mental stimulation or learning behaviours such as the ones in this video, is vital for providing these special cats of excellent intellect and athleticism, with a good quality of life and preventing boredom. A bored Bengal can quickly become highly destructive and these cats either end up in shelters or are euthanized.
Well done Kaiser!
For more informations about clicker training, you can visit Karen Pryor’s website