You CAN Train Your CatBy Gregory Popovich
Don’t get me wrong. I like Gregory Popovich. He rescues cats (and dogs) from shelters and uses encouragement and positive reinforcement to train them for his Las Vegas show. I even featured his act in one of my recent posts. But sheesh! The title to his book is a little off-putting if you’re a kitty. As you know, I am in the human training business so it appears to be the opposite of what I teach my fellow felines. But look inside the book, and for the most part it boils down to the same tricks I tell cats: human behavior modification is generally the best way to “train” a cat. Popovich knows that we cats do what we want, and it is up to humans to accommodate us. And if you do that, we are more than happy to work with you. Most of the book is meant for new cat owners, and it covers the basics of cat ownership: choosing the right cat, introducing her to a new home and family members (human and animal), the language of cats and such. (Although I confess, I don’t agree with him about food — he says dry food is acceptable. I consider a grain-free, wet food diet far superior.) There is also information on how to travel with your cat, how to stop him from scratching the furniture, and how to stop him from begging at the table, all of which involves humans doing something different. If you humans are interested in, ahem, “teaching” your cats some tricks similar to what Popovich does in his act, there is a brief chapter in the book for you. And guess what? It involves taking whatever strengths your cat has… and making a game out of them! Sounds like a win-win situation for me. Now, if only someone would tell Popovich to stop referring to humans as “masters.” Cats do not have “masters,” we have assistants and staff, and no one should know it better than him. After all, who is getting the most applause at the end of his shows?