I have had to find a new home, because my last owners just went on holiday last spring leaving me to fend for myself. But my new humans don't believe in feeding cats titbits. My last humans didn't exactly hand out titbits but they were so disorganised that a lot fell to the floor or was left out in the kitchen where I could find it easily. They did very little cleaning up. Now I am having to start a new training regime. What do you suggest?
We all know the principles of human training - reward good behaviour and ignore bad. But the major difficulty is how to get across to a human exactly what we want. They are not very bright. Indeed, I would go further. Frankly, they are dumb animals.
Some humans understand a little body language. Do they follow your gaze? these are the rare humans (rather like dogs) that are aware of where a cat is looking. For these it is easy to signal what you want. You just stare at it. Then stare at the human. Then take your eyes back to what you want. This is particularly easily done if you are sitting on the table next to your human's plate. If you are very lucky, you will have that kind of alert human.
But it is more likely you don't. Stare all you like, they will ignore it. The next method is to signal by approaching what you want. If the cat food is hidden in a cupboard walk to the cupboard and paw at the door. If the food you want is on the table, jump up and sit close to it. Use your paw to signal which bit you want. Try to point hesitatingly while looking cute.
If cuteness fails, you need to be decisive. Training is all very well but a cat sometimes has to take what he needs without involving human compliance. Some humans are just too stupid for training at all. They can't seem to focus on it. Too busy vocalising, watching TV and generally lounging about.
If your new humans are like this, just get there and help yourself. Some cats take the food off the fork, while the human is transferring it to his mouth. Others just hook it off the plate. There are even cats that try to eat it out of their human's mouths - Spink, a Cypriot cat, used to lick toothpaste off his owner's teeth. But you need to be very bold.
If you are a frightened cat, think devious. Just wait till the humans are out of the room and sneak quietly in and steal it. Well it's not really stealing, is it? What's theirs is yours anyway - all of it, beds, food, chairs, windowsills, house and garden.