Wednesday, March 19, 2008

"They were selected by nature to use us" - The cat whisperer; Will she be the next TV star animal trainer?

"Her goal isn't to train cats, per se, but to teach their owners to get inside the minds of their feline friends

One thing that I immediately liked about Nagelschneider's approach was her assertion that we focus on rewards, not punishment. She suggested a few "aversive techniques" to try when Thompson misbehaved, but they were pretty mild -- rattling a soda can filled with quarters to startle him, or simply ignoring him altogether. "We don't want to traumatize him," she explained. "The idea is to achieve the desired results with the least amount of invasive measures possible.""

This pro-active approach made sense to Alice Moon-Fanelli, a clinical assistant professor of animal behavior at Tufts University. "Cats are very responsive to positive reinforcement," she said. "Usually what happens is the pet gets attention when it's doing something wrong.""


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