Help! My Cat is Training Me

Help! My Cat is Training Me

by Michael
(London, UK)

Binnie

Binnie

Yes, is it me or my cats? Am I too soft with with them? And in any event is there anything wrong with a cat training a human? Lots of philosophical questions - sort of.

I think the first question to answer is the last one. We treat cats as members of the family - or should do!

If they are members of the family they are equals. If they are equals they have equal rights to other members of the family including, of course, us, the human animal.

On that analysis, cats have a right to train us and we should accept it. Problem solved. Cats don't know that they are training you, they just do it through persistence but it does require a receptive and loving human at the other end.

And that is probably the key. A person who has a great connection with his or her cats will be susceptible to being trained and indeed might even enjoy being trained by their cat.

What do I mean by being trained by our cat? Well, I have two personal examples:

Firstly, my lady cat who is 18 years old or there abouts, knocks on the door flap to be let out or in. She will do this until I get out of bed and let her in. Being a dawn and dusk girl (as are all cats) I am usually in bed when she knocks (I go to bed early...!).

Secondly, my three legged boy cat, Charlie, has just trained me to carry him (yes, carry him!) from my bed to the kitchen to feed him. He first asks in a pretty insistent voice and when I don't stop writing another post for PoC he then takes up his meerkat position and looks at me hard and screams even harder. Who can resist that?

There are endless examples. I am making a rod for my own back? Should I hold firm? Should I train him? I am confused.

So I ask the cat expert visitors of PoC...what would you do? Are you worse or better (depending on your standpoint) than me?

Michael Avatar

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Help! My Cat is Training Me

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Apr 04, 2011 Me too - my cat is training me
by: Rasem

Same here! My cat - Rustam waits for me to come home from work patiently. Once I'm back, he gives me a chance to change my clothes, sit on the sofa, and then approaches me. He looks me in the eye, then extends his arm, and touches/nudges my hand (i.e. caress me). If I don't, he'll keep repeating it, until I do!


Jun 11, 2010 Your cat is training you...
by: Maggie Sharp

I know how you feel, Michael. When Chilli is hungry in the mornings he'll start with a soft meow and then get louder and louder and if I keep sleeping he'll nibble my fingers, toes or nose to help motivate me, if I ignore him he doesn't give up, he's in charge and he knows that.

You can't help but love them and their authoritative position in the house, can you? Hehe. =)


Jun 10, 2010 my cat trained me to make the bed (pt 2)
by: Valley Girl

What's this about being trained to make my bed? Well, Ms. Cat would find me, and yeowl the "I am not happy with you" yeowl. I eventually figured out that this meant- "you need to make the bed so that the coverlet is flat". Because, see, this is her take off runway and her landing runway when she has the cat crazies, galloping from room to room. The "yeowl" meant not just "make the bed" but "time to toss me twist ties to attack, right now!" Thus I was trained. But I didn't mind. She is absolutely hilarious to watch, it's fun for both of us, and making my bed is not a bad thing. (end of pt 1) pt 2 below...

However, when Tootsie first got into twist ties, she would wake me up in the middle of the night- yeowling. What does this cat want, I thought? Aha! She wants me to toss twist ties onto the floor (wood floors) so that she can play with them in the middle of the night. I did this a few times, and then thought, "this will not work out well in the long term".

So, I refused to be trained on that account. But, I had to put up with a lot of pitiful cat noises in the interim, before she gave up. Oh, and also made sure there were plenty of coiled up cat-safe twist ties scattered around on the floor when I go to bed! And, I do hear her chasing them around in the middle of the night. Uh, maybe I was trained in some fashion after all.

I think that one can't have a mutually happy relationship with a cat unless there is two way communication- sometimes she trains me, sometimes I train her. Give and take. So, of course you have to allow the cats to train you.

As to your specific examples... well, that's up to you to figure out (hehe! laughing because we are both such softies).

Probably not a bad thing that you have been trained to get up and away from the computer from time to time... win win?

As for the hours of the door demands, that's a tough one. If you ignore her for a bit, can you shift her to more sensible hours? Does she really need to go out right then and there? How much complaining can you endure? How much to you really mind this behavior? etc.

My most comparable example to above was Tootsie trying to train me to toss her twist ties in the middle of the night. As I said above, I knew this was a bad idea, and I saw no upside at all!

Allowing a cat to train us is a normal part of the cat- human interaction, imo. But, there might be times when one might need to draw the line- not often, but still- dare I drag out the phrase "cost/benefit analysis"? 😉


Jun 10, 2010 my cat trained me to make the bed (pt 1)
by: Valley Girl

Michael, I divided this into two parts, because I kept getting "exceeds 3000 characters" message, despite Word saying it was less.

I've always been one to pay attention to cat communication, first thought being "what are you trying to tell me?" Sometimes I can figure it out, sometimes I can't. But, of course the cat is telling me something, and it's my job to try to figure it out. If I figure it out, then I see where "whatever" is going.

Sometimes cats are pretty obvious, but they have their differing ways. First, two examples from the cats of another household. Cougar, when she wants to be let out, sits by the door and stares at the door handle. She just sits there, staring. Her humans have been trained to open the door when she does this. But, I suspect this is not the kind of training you mean, because usually it's in the mutual interest of the cat and human.

Smoot would sit on the floor at the kitchen sink, stare up, and yeowl. I caught on right away. His humans had been well-trained - turn on the tap so that it drips "enough" and "I" (Smootie) will then jump up on the counter and drink from the faucet. This was allowed.

When I got Tootsie, I really wanted to learn how to communicate with her, and give her plenty of toys and such, so she wouldn't be bored. You may remember the "twist tie" triumph.(Cat safe twists ties, and she is nutty for them.)

What's this about being trained to make my bed? Well, Ms. Cat would find me, and yeowl the "I am not happy with you" yeowl. I eventually figured out that this meant- "you need to make the bed so that the coverlet is flat". Because, see, this is her take off runway and her landing runway when she has the cat crazies, galloping from room to room. The "yeowl" meant not just "make the bed" but "time to toss me twist ties to attack, right now!" Thus I was trained. But I didn't mind. She is absolutely hilarious to watch, it's fun for both of us, and making my bed is not a bad thing. (end of pt1)


Jun 10, 2010 We are willing slaves
by: Ruth

Our cats have us very nicely trained too Michael and we are their willing slaves lol

For example, in our house we all go to bed at the same time, after Walter and Jozef have both come in from their evening stroll.

Walt sleeps with Babz and Jo sleeps with me.

Well this is Jo's bedtime ritual and for the life of us we can't remember how it started.

We always take a tray upstairs with a cuppa each for us,the library books we are currently reading and some ovenight snacks for the boyz.

Walt runs up to his room, Babz usually carries the tray, then the ritual begins.I announce 'Taxi for Mr Ockendon Laycock' and Jozef stands up in his pick me up position.I pick him up and hold him high and he rides upstairs sitting on one arm kneading it and with my other arm holding him safe, and giving me 'love butties' on my face all the way. Then we have to do 'spiders' I'll say 'any spiders ?' and he rides in his 'taxi' doing a check around all the upstairs walls lol Only then am I allowed to deposit him on my bed. By then Babz and Walt are in their bed but I have to go and play peek a boo with Walt round their door.He then jumps off to escort me to my room and then goes back to his own.

Thankfully our house is too small for any guests to stay overnight,I'm sure they would think we are crazy ! lol

Kattaddorra signature Ruth


Jun 09, 2010 Help! My cat is training me.
by: Rudolph.A.Furtado

Honestly, i have adjusted a part of my "Lifestyle Living" in harmony with my cats "Matahari" and "matata".Its absolutely true, 'a cat owns you, while you own a dog"!I have reared both, dogs and cats in my household and while i could train my dogs, the cats forced me on manny occasions to adapt to their way of living.

non petowners might call me eccentric, but,the joy of owning pets is infinite.

Rudolph avatar


Jun 09, 2010 My Training is complete
by: Merrily

Two months ago I brought a new cat "Music" into my home. "Faith" who had been an only cat for the previous year was obviously upset about this.

She would give me that "Why did you bring HER here look" and walk away in disgust.

Feeding time was a riot, Faith would charge in and chase Music from her dish in an obvious attemt to show her who was boss.

I started picking Music up, and putting her on the table with her food so that I could guard her while she ate.... now when I put her food out she stands there and looks up at me waiting to be picked up so she can eat her meal!

Faith loves treats, and you can see when the thought crosses her mind, at first she comes to me while I am at the computer an stares at me, if that doesn't work she gently bites my arm, finally she runs to the kitchen meowing loudly as if to scream "I need a treat, NOW!"

Cats are very bright, and know how to get what they want, but they are a little more cunning than dogs.

A true cat lover soon learns that cats are willing to share your home with you as soon as you have the proper training, and if treated with respect they will be your best companions.


Jun 09, 2010 Who's Training Who
by: Joyce Sammons

So did your cat train Furby how to manipulate me or did your cat read Furbys stories and train you?

Furby is THE ruler here. He even outranks Dreyfuss. I think Dreyfuss passed on the job when Furby came. I know this because Furby has, from day one, walked over or under every animal I have to get where he wanted to go. He has no fear. If any of us get too close to his tail he hisses really LOUD. And whats with the 15 minute massage he has to have at night before he allows me to go to sleep. He even lays on my should and reads with me. He even tells me when to turn the page.

I had to put the cover back on my door while Darla slept with me. Furby told me in no uncertain terms a few hours ago that I need to remove it again. He knocked so loud my daughter came to see what was wrong. I didn't let him in as I was taking a long nap but he used his mind power to tell me to remove the cover so he can visit me during the night.

I was eating a hamburger tonight and you should have seen us. I was eating from one end and him from the other. He's NEVER full. When I fix something for a snack he jumps on the chair, across the bar, across the counter to the front of the sink to see what's in it for him. I'm sure he thinks I fix all the food for HIM and I only take a few bites myself while he's busy chewing.

Every nap he took Tuesday had to be in my lap. Its hard to type left-handed while I cradle him like a baby. He is my baby. I call him SON. Or little man.

Do we all have cats like this?

I guess no reward is too great for the cat that saved my life.



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