Ken Ramirez, Karen Pryor Clicker Training (KPCT) Executive Vice President (EVP) and Chief Training Officer, is quoted in the March 5, 2018 issue of the Wall Street Journal (WSJ). In a front-page article about “adventure cats” that travel and participate in far-flung outdoor exploits with their families, Ken weighs in on the viability—and history—of training cats.
Leash training is an essential skill for keeping cats safe on these escapades. While some believe cats lose control and independence on leash, Ken says, “Despite their independent streak, cats can be trained. The trick is finding the right treats or toys.” Acknowledging that “[d]ogs generally take a leash more naturally than cats,” Ken believes it is because “dogs have been domesticated much longer, since around the time humans were mostly hunters. Cats joined once more permanent settlements were established, possibly attracted by rodents who [sic] also found a home. Cats were natural hunters and people took advantage of that,” explains Ken.
The WSJ article, written by Sarah Toy of the news site’s Health & Science Bureau, includes stories and recounting from people who have been successful preparing their cats for adventure and travel. Vladimir of the Hofman family has been to 50+ state parks and enjoys rappelling. According to his owner, “Vladimir stays relaxed and has never ‘tried to claw his way out.’”
Karen Nguyen’s cat, Waffles, hikes and camps, although her pace is slow as she stops for smells and to eat grass. Sirius Black, named for a character in the Harry Potter book series, kayaks and camps overnight, according to his owner Johanna Dominguez.
The full Wall Street Journal article can be read by subscription.