Since Thursday or Friday I have practiced with Hiro and the Nekoflies. The fluffy toy on the end of the rope makes Hiro growl and he never wants to let it go. I’m not so bothered by the growling, but what bothered me was that he never wanted to let it go anymore. Like it was a real prey. So I often had to stick my fingers in his mouth to open it up and to quickly pull it out. I decided that I was pretty much done with that, and went ‘training’ with him. Hiro is smart, smarter than you might think. He knows how the door works, and he often tries to reach for the door handle (but he’s not big enough). He also has no problem figuring out food mazes, so I wanted to give it a try.
I went training with him in the evening before dinner time. That’s when he’s the most hungriest. I got the Nekoflies and my bag filled with treats and kibble. So every time he got a hold of the nekoflies, started growling and holding onto it tightly I replied with a firm ‘no’. If he let go of it within the three ‘no’s', he’d get a treat and let of petting and ‘good boy!’. If he didn’t let go, I’d simply ignore it, or pause the game for a few seconds and ignore him. Cats aren’t able to link the punishment with what they have done. So I thought that being positive and praising him for the good things would work best.
Within 30 minutes he got the hint and he let go of the nekoflies faster! I even saw that he started playing with it again like he used to play with it. We were having fun again, and it wasn’t that much about catching the prey and being all territory. It often got worse when Suki he saw Suki. Even though she was not playing with it. So I often tried to bring Suki in and continue the training, and even that went very well. Bonus point: Less fighting between those two. I also noticed that Hiro has A LOT of energy and he can go on for hours. Sadly our place isn’t big enough to go all crazy with the Nekoflies.
I filmed Hiro while playing — you can hear him growl. He let’s go after the first ‘no’. (The floor is a bit of a mess. We vacuumed Saturday, but cat litter is everywhere again! — so guess what I’ll be doing today? Oh the joy of two litter-boxes…)
I’ve also got something else to mention. Some of you already know, because I secretly couldn’t wait. But…
I’ve registered to a cat behavior study. I went to visit the academy last Friday and it was very fun! I was able to ask the questions I had, and they were all very, very friendly and I immediately felt at home. The study starts in January, so I hope I can get my driver license in time! I am very excited and happy that I finally get to do it. I don’t want to jinx it, but I just couldn’t keep it to myself.