A woman is wondering if she is being cruel to her cat by deceiving it.
She consulted Reddit’s “Am I the A******” forum for a verdict on the issue. While she believes it’s fine to tease that she will give her cat a treat to get it to do what she wants, her girlfriend disagrees.
“I don’t like my cat roaming around the kitchen when I’m not there just because he might get his less-than-average-intelligence paws on something he shouldn’t,” the woman explained. “So I gotta get him out of there when I leave. On a small shelf next to the door I keep a tiny bag of kitty treats and sometimes when he refuses to come when I call his name, I shake the little bag to get him out and close the door behind him. Enter the problem: I don’t actually give him a treat every time I do this. Sometimes I just pick him up and give him a big ole smooch. Sometimes he gets a treat. My girlfriend thinks this counts and being mean to my cat because he might be expecting a sweet little treat, and that disappointing him is cruel.”
Reddit users chimed in with their opinions on the matter.
“As long as he’s healthy, eats and drinks enough, there’s no harm in fooling him a little,” one person wrote.
“It’s called intermittent reinforcement and it is the best, most predictive training method for long-term results,” another said.
“Using partial reinforcement isn’t a crime,” someone commented.
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