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#1 Demian Barba

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Posted 05 June 2008 - 07:07 PM

Hi,


I need a trained cat for 2-3 days for a thesis i am shooting and directing in mid july. i found one but she asks for 2 grand. that is 25% percent of our budget. If anyone has any leads as for where to find a cheaper one i would really appreciate it.



thanks,

demian barba
www.demianbarba.com
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#2 Hal Smith

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Posted 07 June 2008 - 09:44 AM

If you don't need highly elaborate behavior it's not too difficult to train cats. I've got a neutered male who comes on command and will climb to the top of his scratching post and stand up like a circus lion when he hears "Go to your post Moseley".

Amazon has some used copies of the book I used to learn how to train cats at: http://www.amazon.co...2...9751&sr=8-1

The basic ideas of cat training are: Infinite patience and Operant Conditioning. Never punish a cat and always use delectible treats like pinches of canned tuna for desired behavior.
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#3 Jim Keller

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Posted 07 June 2008 - 02:50 PM

Frankly, most trained cats come from the Humane Society.

Now, that doesn't mean you can go in, pick up a cat, use it, and take it back. That means congratulations, you've got a new pet, and you will love it and care for it for the next 10-20 years.

But training cats is quite easy if you identify a cat that has a tendency toward the behavior you need anyways. (Need the cat to stay put, find one that you need a shovel to get to move. Need the cat to climb? Find one that tends to climb. Need one to cuddle? Find one that's cuddly. Etc.) If you teach the cat a signal to do the desired behavior and reward it for doing so, you should have it performing the trick (reasonably) reliably in a couple of weeks.

You will never teach a cat to perform a trick it doesn't do naturally. A hyperactive cat won't learn to sit still, etc.

Generally, the wranglers who adopt from the humane society will walk in and look for a cat that is attentive, and tending to do the sorts of things that will be needed (making noise, keeping quiet, reaching, jumping, etc.) The good ones are always honest with the staff about the fact that they're wranglers (or filmmakers) but assure them that the animal will have a loving home, not kept in a cage when not performing.

And, if you take this approach, you've got the added advantage of having saved a life.
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#4 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 07 June 2008 - 03:35 PM

I did a NHU shoot a few years back with cats. The conclusion I came to was that there is no such thing as a trained cat, no matter what the owner tells you. They may or may not do what you want, depending on how they feel, or how hungry they are, but ultimately neither you or the 'trainer' has the slightest control over how they behave.

Enjoy....

;)
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#5 Ben Monday

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Posted 09 October 2008 - 12:52 PM

not to hijack anything here ... but along the same lines, does anyone know of a trained squirrel for hire?
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#6 Damien Bhatti

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Posted 09 October 2008 - 02:17 PM

Its a pity you dont live in Russia:




moscow cat circus

;)
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#7 Mike Simpson

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Posted 09 October 2008 - 03:11 PM

Back in school I had my cat in a film. I just let the camera roll and eventually he did the right things...
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