Staff at RSPCA Sheffield have been using a clicker to teach ‘intelligent’ cat Justice some new tricks as he searches for his new forever home.
He was taken in to RSPCA Sheffield in June after an inspector found him in a terrible condition when he was living as a stray cat.
Adam Spencer, of RSPCA Sheffield, said: “This poor lad had large, necrotic wounds on both sides of his face caused by abscesses. It must have been so sore.
“Weeks of pain relief and antibiotics helped him to slowly heal but this nervous boy had obviously had it tough and he found it difficult to trust humans.
“He would hiss and lash out when he felt frightened so the staff spent time with him daily having a chat and offering him tasty treats to make him feel less upset.”
After six months of love, care and attention from the RSPCA staff, Justice has now been taught how to do new tricks with the help of a clicker.
Katie Osborn, animal care assistant at the Sheffield Animal Centre, started clicker training Justice to encourage him to hide less and become more used to people.
She said: “When I first started using the clicker with Justice, he was still very worried about being touched but I used clicker training with a red ball on a target to encourage him to touch on command or sit on a mark.
“It has really worked. He knows what to expect when we are clicker training so he feels more comfortable. I didn’t expect him to come as far as he did, now he’s much more friendly. It’s brought him out of his shell so much that he will now headbutt my hand for strokes.”
Justice has been looking for a home for about two months, but so far hasn’t had much interest.
Katie added: “He was one of our most withdrawn cats and without clicker training we wouldn’t have been able to see what a big personality he has.
“He loves people, as it turns out. He was just fearful before.”
Justice can now sit on a mark, turn in a circle and stand on his back legs for a tummy check. He is also learning to put himself in the cat carrier and ring a bell.
Katie said: “Clicker training can help keep Justice’s mind active and encourage him to bond with humans. It’s also a great way to make life much easier, for instance when you need to take the cat to the vets.
“He is an extremely intelligent cat, he got the hang of the target trainer in about ten minutes which is brilliant.”
If you can offer Justice what he needs, call 0114 289 8050.