February 2010 Issue

Do Our Cats Actually Train Us?

Surprisingly, giving your cat only occasional rewards for some behaviors can actually intensify his desire to repeat.

Do you ever find yourself playing servant to your cat? Maybe youíre working on the computer and your clever cat lies down across the keyboard to get your attention. Next thing you know, youíre stroking the cat instead of striking the keys. Perhaps youíre watching TV, sleeping or just relaxing and your feline rubs up against your leg, hand or even face to let you know itís time to eat. Or your cat may follow you from room to room, pausing to wind around your ankles. Sometimes cats, after getting the attention of their human companions, actually lead them to their food dishes. So what do you do? You feed your cat, of course. The loud purring that follows is music to your ears.

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