Saturday, October 17, 2015

Kitty Treats for Cats / Training Your Cat

In an effort to train our cat Victoria we have tried rewarding her with Whiskas Temptations (seafood flavour).

What we have determined is that the cat exhibits positive behavioural characteristics when kitty treats are involved. Even the rattle of the treats inside the bag is enough to change the cat's mood and suddenly she is very friendly, less aggressive, and easier to deal with.

In contrast when she is misbehaving she gets the water gun. We tried using a spray nozzle, but determined it doesn't quite work all the time and doesn't spray very effectively. Instead we adopted a Walter PPK plastic water gun as our method of negative reinforcement of behaviours.

At present, just the sight of the water gun or the spray nozzle causes the cat to scurry away - and her negative behavoural traits (aggressive biting) have been reduced significantly compared to when we first got her.

As a rescue cat from the Toronto Humane Society they warned us that she does like to bite - mostly as a way as expressing her dominance, but also as a way of expressing displeasure - and sometimes she just bites because she is feeling playful.

When we got her we were tempted to name her Luisa Suarez, after the soccer player Luis Suarez who is known for biting people.

However we felt that naming her after a vampire who plays soccer was a little too much, so instead we opted for a more regal sounding name - thus we chose Victoria, after Queen Victoria.

Although sometimes I think it should be Queen Bitoria.

Anyway, back to the Whiskas Temptations (seafood medley) - Victoria goes nuts for this stuff. Her behaviour completely changes and using it as a treat for behaviour modification (rewarding her for good behaviour) appears to be working. Thus we are giving it a thumbs up.

We may try other brands / flavours in the future, but for now seafood seems to be working just fine.

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