To train this behavior, you will need a clicker, a small towel or blanket, and small, high-value treats that your cat can eat easily (diced chicken, bits of tuna). Begin by placing the mat between you and your cat so that your cat is encouraged to step on the mat as s/he approaches you. Click the moment your cat steps on the mat; toss the treat away from the mat to reset the behavior. Your cat will likely return to you for more treats; again, click the moment his/her paw touches the mat and toss the treat away. Cats are quick learners, so it won’t be long before your cat realizes that contact with the mat equals yummy treats and starts touching the mat with vigor. As you will see in the video, once Frankie is touching the mat reliably, Gretchen begins to move the mat to different positions. In Part 2 of this video series, Gretchen will teach Frankie to settle on a mat. Stay tuned!
Learn more fun and useful behaviors to teach your cat in KPA’s Train Your Cat course.