Reggie is learning to fetch!

January 19, 2017

Reggie seemed like a pretty good candidate for playing fetch. He's full of naughty kitty energy, used to be an outdoors cat and is now confined to a small apartment. (Reg is FIV+, so we're keeping him indoors for now, we also live near a busy highway). He already liked to carry his "prey" around in his mouth - and if it was the kind attached to a string on a wand like a fishing pole we'd have to patiently be lead around the apartment until he dropped it and we could continue playing. 
Reggie and his Rainbow Mouse. It's short a few tail feathers these days

I'd been cutting recipes and other interesting things out of magazines, and occasionally ball up a page to throw for him. He'd gallop after it, bat it around, and when he'd murdered it sufficiently, he'd trot back to me expectantly for me to throw another one. Since he was already chasing it down and coming back to me, fetching seemed like the next logical step. 

The first day I followed this instructables tutorial, where I'd throw something, he'd chase it down, and then I'd show him how to return it by...and yes I did this... getting down on all fours, picking it up in my mouth and crawling back. We did this a few times, until Husband pointed out that the tutorial had done a very good job of teaching me to fetch.

The next day I threw his rainbow mouse for him, and he chased it down, batted it about, and then brought it back to me! He didn't return a second time, but I feel like we had one solid fetch on the books.

Day three, he brought it back to me twice, before I threw it and he didn't chase it, just kept staring at me expectantly. I only faked him out once on the first day (I swear!) but he seemed to think I was pulling his furry little kitty leg. I left it where I'd thrown it, and went back to work, but a few minutes later he found it and brought it to me to throw again! I threw it a couple of more times before my husband took over. Eventually Reggie got tired and went to lie down under the coffee table. I'm so proud of my little boy learning to fetch in just three days!


Quite often, the mouse manages to escape from him around the coffee table, and he spends a few minutes hunting it down again, and eventually chasing it under the coffee table where it must be extracted by a human. For an inanimate object, it sure is good at escaping and hiding.

Day 2 was also Reggie's 3 month anniversary of coming home with us, before he was living outside, splitting his time between under a rhododendron bush and my MIL's porch. Over the next few days we played some more fetch, with him sometimes bringing it back, an sometimes looking at us like we were crazy. Once or twice Husband would throw it, Reggie would sit still looking unimpressed, and then 10 minutes later come back with the mouse and dropping it at the closest human's feet.

We're hoping we can add this to his repertoire of games, so it might replace such favorites as "attacking important papers," "attacking ankles of someone carrying hot tea," "hiding in the electric cords" and of course, the classic "knocking things over because I can".

9 comments:

  1. Reggie is clearly quite a guy, and very clever and willing to enjoy life too. I often wonder how my toys end up where they do, but never have found out for certain, but I suspect my peep knocks them under the furniture whilst cleaning! purrs ERin

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  2. Oh, yes. Cats play fetch on their own terms ... and their own time schedule. I didn't train Bear to play fetch ... he picked it up on his own ... but it's been downhill since then. At first, he'd run and return every time (sometimes a few feet short of me, but still!). Then he'd only bring it halfway back ... or only after I pretended I was busy with something else ... or only the first couple times. Now, he runs after his mousie every time ... he just doesn't bring it back anymore. Drives me nuts! He chases it ... but refuses to bring it back! So, to make sure he runs a bit for exercise, I essentially play fetch with myself and get it myself after he runs after it. {sigh}. Bear loves showing off his prey too ... which is hilarious with the wand toy ... he'll snatch the wand out of my hand and drag it around :) Thanks for linking up to the Showcase this week!

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    1. Just wanted to let you know this post, from the last Blogger Showcase, is one of my featured favorites in today's Showcase :)

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  3. good luck with your training! I tried to teach Frodo but so far no go!
    hairballsandhissyfits.com

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  4. Reggie is a cutie. That is cool that he can fetch.

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  5. Way to go Reggie! My Angel loves to play fetch - she was raised by a dog who taught her. Her favorite fetch toy is a small catnip mouse. I tried to get her to fetch other items, but only the catnip mouse will she bring back. One time when I was gone, she gathered all her mice and put them in a row in the kitchen. All five of them.

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  6. Yes! My daughter has a cat that plays fetch, and it is the cutest thing ever! She has a little foil type ball for him and you could throw it down the stairs and he would run down, then carry it back up in his mouth. So dang adorable.

    I have Labs and they are supposed to retrievers, Sampson will do it once or twice, and then he lies down on whatever you are throwing. Delilah will play, but not to obsession, however, if you have her retrieving in water, she will swim until she drops.

    Good job teaching Reggie how to fetch!

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  7. He is too cute with that mousie in his mouth. My kittens like to carry their foam balls around. I should getting working on fetch with them and see if they are as smart as Reggie. :)

    Thanks for joining us in the Pet Blogger Showcase!

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  8. How cute! My cat plays soccer with hair ties. We kick them back and forth to each other on the kitchen and bathroom floors :) Sounds like you have a smart guy on your hands!

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