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 Post subject: Advice needed: keeping the cat off of my board
Post #1 Posted: Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:10 pm 
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Hi folks,

I love my hiba board, but unfortunately, so does the cat. Every time I step away for a few moments, I come back to discover the cat sitting on it. It dents just by looking at it, so nearly every time the cat has managed to get on it, I find small and shallow, but still visible, scratches on it. She knows she's not supposed to get on it... which of course makes it more fun for her.

So, does anyone have any advice? Cat training methods? Covers that won't mess up what I'm studying? Anything?

Thanks!

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Post #2 Posted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 1:53 am 
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Close the door? :scratch:

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 Post subject: Re: Advice needed: keeping the cat off of my board
Post #3 Posted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 2:17 am 
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Get a second hiba board. Or put a cardboard box next to it. Or put a cardboard box over it, if nothing else helps.

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Post #4 Posted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 2:34 am 
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Once I saw a dog-trainer using aluminium foil to stop a dog jumping onto a table. If I understood it correct, dogs do neither like the touch of the foil nor the sound when stepping on it.
The dog learned quite fast, and then the foil was no longer needed on the table.

Probably it's the same with cats?

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Post #5 Posted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 2:47 am 
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tenarofatuan wrote:
Hi folks,

I love my hiba board, but unfortunately, so does the cat. Every time I step away for a few moments, I come back to discover the cat sitting on it. It dents just by looking at it, so nearly every time the cat has managed to get on it, I find small and shallow, but still visible, scratches on it. She knows she's not supposed to get on it... which of course makes it more fun for her.

So, does anyone have any advice? Cat training methods? Covers that won't mess up what I'm studying? Anything?

Thanks!


Cats like perches. Is the board a floor board? Then it is a perch. Is it on a table? That's a different story.

Aversive conditioning, such as shooting the can with a water pistol, is not terribly effective in general. If you wait until the cat is on the board, it is too late. You have to squirt the cat in the act of approaching the board, or at least before it gets settled.

My wife and I successfully trained a kitten not to jump up on a sofa by squirting her from across the room. I don't know how well that would work for an adult cat, however.

One thing that is key is to provide the cat with a perch or other place that it likes to sit on. Your pet store probably has some perches. If your cat is not to sit on your go board, it needs a good alternative. Otherwise, scaring it away may end up just keeping the cat off the board when you are guarding it. Cats are smart. ;) Now, just because you bring a nice perch with soft carpeting and everything home from the pet store does not mean that the cat will like it. (As we discovered. ;)) Still, the cat had a soft bed on the floor that it liked. :) And there was a chair in another room that it liked, as well.

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 Post subject: Re: Advice needed: keeping the cat off of my board
Post #6 Posted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 5:09 am 
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Bill Spight wrote:
Aversive conditioning, such as shooting the cat with a water pistol, is not terribly effective in general. If you wait until the cat is on the board, it is too late. You have to squirt the cat in the act of approaching the board, or at least before it gets settled.

Dear Bill,

Not very surprisingly, it is the same with dogs.
In general, aversive conditioning is not recommended. It only results in the cat's (or dog's) knowledge that she (he) will be punished e.g. if jumping onto the go board, but she (he) will not lose her (his) desire to do so.

However, aversive measures (squirting with water; works also with dogs / causing an unusual, uncomfortable noise) are often used to say "STOP, do not do this!!!" in the very beginning of the training, if the cat (dog) is so immense deep caught in her action that she (he) is totally unable to even hear what you are saying. She (he) has first to "wake up", and to return into the world that is shared with you, before she (he) will be able to respond to your positive measures for training.

Quote:
My wife and I successfully trained a kitten not to jump up on a sofa by squirting her from across the room. I don't know how well that would work for an adult cat, however.

I will also work successfully for an adult cat, but the training process will last longer.

Quote:
One thing that is key is to provide the cat with a perch or other place that it likes to sit on. Your pet store probably has some perches. If your cat is not to sit on your go board, it needs a good alternative. Otherwise, scaring it away may end up just keeping the cat off the board when you are guarding it. Cats are smart. ;) Now, just because you bring a nice perch with soft carpeting and everything home from the pet store does not mean that the cat will like it. (As we discovered. ;)) Still, the cat had a soft bed on the floor that it liked. :) And there was a chair in another room that it liked, as well.

You are totally right here.
If you want your cat to avoid a special behaviour, you have to offer an even better (in HER eyes) alternative.

It's the same with dogs. If you do not want your (often small) dog to bark, as soon as he gets sight of another (often large) dog, you might want to give him a treat (at best something to eat for which he would die) as soon as you notice the other dog (or a changed behaviour in your dog).
You have won once your dog looks at you, when seeing another dog, asking "And where is my treat?". Instead of barking.
In the dogs brain, "large dogs are dangerous" (so I have to bark, sending the signal to the other dog that I do not want it to appraoch me any further) will have been replaced by "large dogs are wonderful" (inducing my human to give me a treat).
There will remain some dogs your dog will still bark at (no dog will like every other dog), but barking will happen much rarer.

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 Post subject: Re: Advice needed: keeping the cat off of my board
Post #7 Posted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 7:23 am 
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Second the advice to provide an alternative perch, something that is superior in terms of view, coziness, softness, and smell. Some cats enjoy hard surfaces, especially if they think you like hard surfaces. You must think like a cat to get a cat to do anything it ordinarily doesn't want to do of its own volition.

Our cats enjoy or are curious about anything the big cats (us) are interested in so they're in our faces most of the time, trying to find out what we find so compelling because there might be something there to play with, eat, or dominate. I find go stones fun to play with and, given an opportunity, so will the cats.

It has been a long and difficult struggle, since kittenhood, to provide them with and then encourage them to sit and lounge on surfaces made for cats instead of our tables, chairs, and, laps. Some of these perches are heated, activated when they sit on them. Some are tunnels, some are located high near windows, maybe in the sun. We put treats on some of the during the encouragement process (you can't really train a cat, you can just sort of help a cat think it really wants to do something).

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 Post subject: Re: Advice needed: keeping the cat off of my board
Post #8 Posted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 7:31 am 
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I loved the seat of my Citroen C1 back in the day. I bought a used one, hope nobody died while sitting in it, for little money and build myself a comfy desktop chair. Nowadays the ownership of the chair has changed. Her name is Mira. She has got very long black hair and she sleeps all day long on my car/desktop seat, while I have to sit on hard alternatives.

Get an alternative for your cat. She probably wants to play with you when she is sitting on the goban and the stones.

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 Post subject: Re: Advice needed: keeping the cat off of my board
Post #9 Posted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 7:36 pm 
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Thanks for all of the brainstorming! After considering everyone's comments, I think it's less about it being a perch, and more about it being an object of my interest, which isn't something I considered before. The table I keep the (table) board on is directly adjacent to a favorite perch of hers, which is higher, plush, and is next to the window, offering her the only view to the outdoors in the apartment--a far superior perch. However, she likes to sit in my lap when I use it to study, and it's only then when she tries to get on it if I get up to do anything else momentarily. This would probably also explain why she similarly sits on my laptop when I walk away for a minute.

Right now I've taken to putting the hard paper cover over it (stones still on the board lol) when I get up, but I'm always afraid she'll sit on it instead and ruin the cover (and the game underneath). Maybe I'll try EdLee's idea and bring her out of the room with my if I get up...

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Post #10 Posted: Thu Feb 13, 2020 8:40 pm 
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Cassandra wrote:
In general, aversive conditioning is not recommended. It only results in the cat's (or dog's) knowledge that she (he) will be punished e.g. if jumping onto the go board, but she (he) will not lose her (his) desire to do so.


Oh, punishment is particularly ineffective. It sends a message that enjoying sitting on the go board has some negative results, or even that having you around has some negative results. If the kitty was already on the sofa we simply moved her off while petting her. :)

Cassandra wrote:
It's the same with dogs. If you do not want your (often small) dog to bark, as soon as he gets sight of another (often large) dog, you might want to give him a treat (at best something to eat for which he would die) as soon as you notice the other dog (or a changed behaviour in your dog).


In addition, the act of chewing or eating interferes with the act of barking. :)

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Post #11 Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 5:19 am 
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tenarofatuan wrote:
...... After considering everyone's comments, I think it's less about it being a perch, and more about it being an object of my interest, which isn't something I considered before. .......


You're kidding, right? Cats have firm ideas about how their human servant's time is best spent, giving attention to the cat instead of wasting their time with that book, or in your case, that board with stones on it.

I don't have a board and stones left set up for a cat to disturb. But if I didn't understand feline intentions better, could be asking what they have against human literacy. Why the newspaper open on the table is such an attractive perch, or if sitting down with a book, why there is a cat in between me and the book, or between me and the computer screen.


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Post #12 Posted: Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:05 pm 
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cats & dogs

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Post #13 Posted: Tue Feb 18, 2020 4:41 pm 
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I tried covering the board with an interesting tsumego, but my cat didn’t care...
[img]
Attachment:
612410F3-176C-4EA5-A9F2-5629DBA5493F.jpeg
[/img]


Attachments:
612410F3-176C-4EA5-A9F2-5629DBA5493F.jpeg
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Post #14 Posted: Tue Feb 18, 2020 7:10 pm 
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It's neat how the black, white and brown of the board and stones match the cat's colours. Obviously this cat should be sitting on the board.


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Post #15 Posted: Wed Feb 19, 2020 10:43 am 
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A good idea for a website: Cats on Gobans.

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Post #16 Posted: Wed Feb 19, 2020 12:44 pm 
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fireproof wrote:
I tried covering the board with an interesting tsumego, but my cat didn’t care...
[img]
Attachment:
612410F3-176C-4EA5-A9F2-5629DBA5493F.jpeg
[/img]


That's because the problem's too easy! If I've learned anything from watching twoeye, cats are good at quick reading.

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Post #17 Posted: Tue Feb 25, 2020 8:50 pm 
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Some 20 years ago, I saw an ad for a transparent go ban cover. It was basically a plastic box, open on one side. It was tall enough to use over a thick board with legs, and had enough room so go stones would be left on the board.

Maybe you could make one, or have someone make one?

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Post #18 Posted: Fri Feb 28, 2020 10:55 pm 
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Marathon wrote:
Some 20 years ago, I saw an ad for a transparent go ban cover. It was basically a plastic box, open on one side. It was tall enough to use over a thick board with legs, and had enough room so go stones would be left on the board.

Maybe you could make one, or have someone make one?


This is an interesting idea. Turns out custom cases are a tad expensive, but I'll share out if I can find instructions to make one (or if I just give it a go).

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