When it comes to training and teaching tricks, a lot of pet owners will immediately associate with dogs. Some people who are not familiar with Ragdoll Cats think that they are not smart enough for tricks. Most cat owners would say that their Ragdoll Cats are just too stubborn to learn tricks. Ragdoll Cats are generally independent when they need to be. While Ragdoll Cats are actually very social, they have roots of being solitary hunters. As such, it may really seem that Ragdoll Cats just have a mind of their own. At times, it might even seem as though they see your attempts at teaching them tricks to be silly. But actually, with a lot of patience, Ragdoll Cats can respond really well to training.
‘Dogs’ of the cat world
Ragdoll cats have earned the nickname ‘dogs of the cat world’ for their loyalty and their love for their owner’s company. They enjoy spending time with their owners and the family around them. Similar to a dog, Ragdoll cats love being close to their owner. They would often stay at arm’s length or even right beside their owners. They are also very playful. Ragdoll cats would usually entertain their owners with their silly antics. But one other thing that makes them similar to canines? You can teach them tricks!
Can I teach my Ragdoll cat to do tricks?
Short answer is ‘yes.’ Long answer is ‘yes, it definitely is possible for your Ragdoll cat to be able to learn tricks. But you would have to be very patient and consistent. Soon, with constant training, your Ragdoll cat will be dazzling your visitors with its impressive tricks.
What are some tricks that you can teach your Ragdoll cat?
Remember we said, ‘Ragdoll cats are the dogs of the cat world?’ They also say that ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.’ Having said that, it will be easier to train a kitten compared to an adult Ragdoll. It doesn’t mean, though’ that it’s totally impossible. A lot of people find it easier to train their Ragdoll cats using a clicker. With a clicker, there’s a more obvious connection to identify the behavior you want them to learn with the reward.
You can start with simple tricks when you want to begin training your Ragdoll cat. One example of a trick you can start with is teaching your Ragdoll to shake its paw or to touch a target. Have your clicker ready or if not, your voice can act as the signal. Alternatively, make a clicking sound with your tongue.
Call out your Ragdoll’s name and give out the command. At first you would have to demonstrate the command. In this case, place your cat’s paw in your hand. Then identify this behavior of placing the paw in your hand with a click. Follow it up immediately with a treat. Make sure the treat is something your Ragdoll cat really likes. And don’t schedule your sessions when your Ragdoll cat is full. By then, your Ragdoll might not be as enthusiastic or interested to get a yummy treat. Be consistent with this process of giving the command, clicking to identify and rewarding with a treat. Soon enough, your Ragdoll cat will identify that the action you are clicking to is associated with receiving a delectable treat.
With tricks like touching a target, you can make use of sticks or other similar objects to serve as the target. It will pinpoint the action that you will then identify with a click. When you present the target to your Ragdoll cat, it will most probably want to sniff it. Once the nose touches a target, identify that with a click and reward with a treat. Again, consistency with the process is the key.
With constant practice and a heap of patience, your Ragdoll cat will soon associate your command or the target with the action they must do to get a click that signals their reward. Once they get the hang of these starter tricks, you can begin teaching other tricks like high five, sit and fetch. As you also become more confident of your training skills, you can teach them tricks like jumping on a chair or even jumping through a hoop!