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Teaching Students, Training Kittens

By Breanna Norris

© Breanna Norris

Where to begin training a kitten? We started in the same place we would with any other species, a nose target. I brought a variety of target sticks for students to use…After training nose targets, the students went on to work on crate training, shaping going around a cone, stationing to a platform and cooperative nail trims. The crate training progressed quickly for all four kittens, with Bagheera the star. We started with all four kittens on lab tables (although for other training some teams opted to work on the floor). We put yoga mats on the tables, so the kittens did not slip, and took the plastic crates apart, so initially we were just working with the bottom section, where we had placed soft blankets. We trained this just as you would a dog and kept Bob Bailey’s (n.d.) famous phrase in mind, “Click for action, feed for position.” Read article

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