Photo by Essential Photos.
Believe it or not, cats can be trained. In fact, a new study suggests even older cats who seem set in their ways can be trained too.
The study, led by Dr. Lori Kogan of Colorado State University, and published in the journal Animals, involved 100 shelter cats going through what’s known as “clicker training.” You can see one of the study’s co-authors, Cheryl Kolus, DVM, explain the process in the video below. No matter the age, sex, or shyness of the cat, around 80% of the cats were susceptible to the most basic training (nose-touching, like in the video), and nearly 30% could be taught something more difficult like sitting on cue.
The study’s results suggest just about any cat can be trained, whether they’re older or just super skittish. Kolus tells Zazie Todd, PhD, at Companion Animal Psychology that training sessions will likely help cats cope with stressful environments, like shelters:
“…even if a cat appears fearful initially, many are still trainable, and the social interaction can really help a cat adjust positively to the shelter environment.”
The same could probably be said for a new home too. So don’t think it’s too late to get your cat trained up. All it takes is some dedication and practice.