I know a lot of people believe you can't herd cats, but that isn't true. If they are trained, they can be herded. We started training our cats while we were still living in our house. They were allowed supervised visits in our fenced backyard. We did not like the idea of our cats running around the neighborhood. Plus, I would never sleep if one of our cats happened to spend the night outside.
|I heard you!|
So, how did we train our cats to stay in the backyard? It wasn't easy and it took a lot of persistence on our part. During their outdoor time, we tried to keep the cats away from the fence area. Less temptation if they are not near it.
|Wait! I need to sniff this tree first.|
As soon as one went over the fence, we would bring them back. We never had a problem with picking them up or getting them to jump back over the fence. After fetching a cat back from a neighbor's yard, they had to wear their leash with a small object tied on the other end if they kept insisting on jumping the fence. Dragging the leash and object did not bother them until they tried to jump over the fence.
|Oh....Did you call?|
Like training a dog, repeating the same words and using the same signals taught the cats what we wanted them to do. When it is time to go indoors, we say loudly "House!" and clap our hands.
|Come on Dusty, time to go in.|
|He says he doesn't want to go in!|
That's why 3 of our 4 cats are not on leashes right now. Since we are the only people on the Preserve in the evenings and the space around us is open fields, we feel it is safe enough to let our cats wander off-the-leash.
|Oh look! Birds!|
|I thought I saw a puddy tat! You did! You did!|
Then there's Hitch, our youngest, full of energy, loves to climb trees, and thinks he is a great hunter. He is still wearing a harness and a leash. He is getting better about going into the motorhome, but he has his moments. I'm still arguing with him about going under the motorhome and trying to catch birds. For most of the time, I just follow him around to keep him out of trouble.
Every time one of the cats rolls in the dirt, I hear James Brown singing "I Feel Good"... You know the song, right? So, put your hands together and "sing-along-with-Hitch"! (did I just date myself?)
Yep, I end up with a dirty place to clean, but it is worth it to see them enjoying themselves.
I sho’nuff feel good
I feel good like I knew that I wouldn't
I feel nice, like sugar and spice