Category Archives: cat treats

Clicker Training Your Cat

clicker train martijnBy Julia Williams

Not many people use the words “training” and “cat” in the same sentence. The myth that cats are untrainable is firmly entrenched in society’s mind, right up there with the false belief that all felines are aloof and unloving. The truth is, most cats are perfectly capable of learning, but most people don’t have the patience, the knowledge, or both.

Is it harder to train a cat than a dog? I’m no expert, but I’d say yes because dogs are typically more eager to please us, which makes them more receptive to learning. I doubt anyone could train a cat using only praise as a reward. Treats are the way to get a cat’s attention.

I became interested in clicker training after watching videos of highly trained felines doing basic stuff  like sitting and touching a target with its nose, as well as fun tricks such as the high five, paw shake and hoop jump. “If these kitties can learn, so can you!” I said enthusiastically to my three cats, who didn’t bat an eye and promptly went back to sleep. Apparently they’d need some convincing. Oh, and lots of CANIDAE cat treats. Rule number one: never embark on a cat training expedition without a stockpile of the cat treats your kitty loves.

Next on the list: a clicker. You won’t get far trying to clicker train your cat without one. Although some say you can use a ballpoint pen, the click doesn’t seem loud enough to me to really get their attention. Clickers are inexpensive, though – I paid a whopping $1.99 for mine.
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Meet Quint, The Painting Cat!

By Julia Williams

I’ve profiled many talented felines here over the years, including therapy cats, photographer kitties, cat burglars, bestselling author cats and even a TV newsCATster.  Today it is my great pleasure to introduce you to another gifted feline – Quint, a cat who paints! Quint’s abstract art is just exquisite, and the kitty himself is quite the charmer. I know you will enjoy getting to know “Quint the Painting Cat” just as much as I have.

Julia: How old are you, and how long have you been painting?
Quint: I turned one year old at the beginning of May. Everyone says I’m still a baby, so I get lots of kisses. That’s not so bad. Officially, I took up painting last October. Unofficially, I’d been practicing my paw-strokes for about a year.

Julia: Your paintings are so beautiful! How did you pawrents discover that you had this artistic gift? 
Quint: Thank you! And thank you for calling it a gift! My pawrents didn’t think it was that at first. I’m not using names or anything but when I was little, I used to watch my dad get ready to face the world each morning and during that time somehow, little white dots would magically appear on the bathroom mirror. Well, no dot is safe with me! I’d touch and pat each one and sometimes, the dots would smear and swirl and that made me want to tug at each one even more. Mom wiped away my art every day and I had a fresh canvas to work on the next morning. When I was a little older, one day I thought the walls of our Cat Den looked boring and needed some help. The way mom tells it, I graduated from toothpaste on a mirror to cat litter smears on her walls. And that’s when I think I finally got through to them – I’m an artist and I needed a more acceptable outlet!

Julia: Why do you like to paint? 
Quint: Hmm, I think most artists don’t know why they do what they do. We just feel the need to express ourselves differently than most. This fall marks one year since I began painting and that milestone excites me. When something excites me, paint helps me express my excitement. Oh, and it’s fun to get colors on my big, white paws.

Julia: Could you describe your painting process? 
Quint: Sure, that’s easy. Usually, mom picks up on my restlessness and pulls my cardboard ‘studio’ together quickly. If I’ve been outside admiring flowers or sitting in my window watching birds, mom uses those color cues to set out a few paint dabs in a shallow bowl along with whatever I choose to paint on that day – small square canvases or heavy artist paper. When she tells me she’s ready, I find one of my mousies to take with me; for extra inspiration, and we get to work! I touch some of the paint and dab it on the paper. Sometimes, I’m in the mood for bold streaks and hard paw prints and sometimes I try to be more gentle and delicate. It all depends on my day!

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How to Choose a Healthy Pet Treat

By Julia Williams

When I give my kitties their nightly snack of TidNips treats, I feel like the best Cat Mom in the world. It’s not because they love these treats (well, of course they do!) or that they all prance around the kitchen doing the feline version of Dancing with the Stars (it’s quite the lavish production!). It’s not because their exuberant meows and purrs let me know they think these things are the best invention since catnip. It’s because I know I’m giving them a treat that not only tastes good to them and makes them unabashedly happy, but they’re healthy for them too. June Cleaver would approve of TidNips, I’m sure of it!

As we all know, our pets –though most are highly intelligent creatures capable of doing amazing things – can’t as yet read nutrition labels. I wouldn’t put it past them to learn how to do that one day, but right now their only criteria for food and treats is that they taste good. Smart humans that we are, we know there are lots of things that taste good but aren’t necessarily good for us. Sure, sometimes we eat them anyway simply because we like the taste. And while I suppose you could do that with pet treats too, there is no reason to – because good, healthy treats exist, and your pet will love them just as much as any treat that has icky ingredients they shouldn’t be eating.

If a responsible pet owner goes to the trouble of feeding a high quality food because they want their four-legged friend to be in good health, why wouldn’t their standards be just as high for their pet’s treats? One reason is that while many pet owners will take the time to carefully research a particular brand of pet food before deciding to buy it, they don’t always do the same thing for treats. Pet treats are sometimes viewed as the potato chip or candy equivalent, i.e. a “treat” so it doesn’t have to be healthy. Personally, I view treats as an important part of a healthy diet, and I wouldn’t buy my cats “junk” treats even if they meowed for them by name.

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Guest Blogger Dog Dishes on TidNips Treats

By Keikei Cole

Well, it’s taken me way too long to convince the boss to give me a chance to sniff around on the computer. I love looking at all the cool things on that thing in front of her. Just because dogs don’t have thumbs, humans think we can’t type. I mean, how hard can it be to…hold on…now I see what she means. qw2450tkgfjgvmqv’iorp. I can’t spell, and having thumbs is good. Woof, a compromise then! I’ll speak and she can type. OK, so what I wanted to tell you all about is so cool. CANIDAE Natural Pet Food Company has new treats out called TidNips™ and they are rolling on the floor terrific! With all the sit, stay, shake hands and that other stuff the boss makes me do, a dog has to have nourishment to keep it up. And I’m tail wagging happy to sit for a TidNips.

Some of you have read about me here, and I know the boss has told you how great I am. My name is Keikei, and I’m the boss’s favorite dog. I know I am, because she’s always talking to me and giving me smooches on the nose, but I also know it because I get yummy chicken or lamb treats just for sitting. Of course, I do have to share with everyone else and she gives them smooches, too, but I guess that’s alright…Grrrr – woof.

Did you know this thing she stares at all day has dogs and fleabags (aka kats) running around on it? I sure wish I could figure out where they are. Every time I go looking for them, they aren’t there and the boss just laughs at me.

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Are Treats the Cat’s Meow? Or a Dog’s Delight?

By Julia Williams

Does your pet go bonkers for treats? When the treats come out, do they immediately transform into half-starved wild beasts that practically maul you to get at the goods? Does the sight of the treats make them act like their last meal was at least a century ago, and they need those treats RIGHT NOW and not a moment later? Do you not dare offer the treats with your bare hand, lest you find it missing a finger? Do treats make your pets prance madly around you and implore with soulful eyes that could melt the hardest heart, let alone an animal lover like yourself?

Well…do they? Or are my cats the only creatures who exhibit such “to die for” love for their treats? I sure hope not. That would make me feel odder than I already do as the Crazy Cat Lady (CCL) who prefers feline friends over many of the two-leggers I know. Please tell me I’m not the only pet owner who gets a kick out of doling out the treats, precisely because of the over-the-top reaction this elicits.

My cats love their treats so much, sometimes it seems as though if they didn’t get them, they’d throw their sparkle balls and catnip toys into their little kitty suitcases and go live at the neighbor’s house. I feed my cats two square meals a day, and although they do make quite a racket when I’m dishing out their FELIDAE canned food, it’s nothing compared to the wake-the-dead meowing that ensues at treat time. I was talking on the phone one time while getting out the treat canister, and the person on the other end thought I had turned my home into a cat sanctuary because it sounded like 300 cats instead of just three!

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How to Teach Your Cat the High Five Trick

By Julia Williams

I’ve never been very successful at teaching my cats tricks. It’s not because training cats is impossible – I’ve seen plenty of performing cats in videos and at cat shows to know that felines definitely can learn tricks. My cat training failures stem mostly from a lack of patience and motivation. Since my cats run and hide from nearly everyone who comes to visit us, the payoff of teaching them tricks doesn’t seem worth the effort.

That is, until now. I’ve actually found a cat trick that is pretty easy to teach, most likely because it’s a fairly natural behavior. One of my cats, Rocky, is picking up the High Five trick quickly, and although we’re not at the “perform on command for your friends” stage, I’m betting it won’t be long. Of course, then I will have to find a way to keep Rocky from hiding under the bed when people come over.

If you want to teach your cat the High Five trick, keep reading for my step-by-step instructions. But before you actually start your cat training, make sure you have plenty of their favorite treats on hand. Cats are not usually motivated by praise, but most are quite motivated by food, especially if it’s something they love. So keep the cat treats handy, because you’re going to need them.

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