My parents have two cats, who are great cats, but have learned some slightly annoying habits since I left for college. My parents don't maintain reinforcement of what I taught the cats.
I will have the cats for 2-3 weeks, and plan to use that time to teach them better habits for my parents. Unfortunately, I know that whatever I teach the cats will not be consistently enforced once I return them to my parents.
The habit I'm most interested in addressing now is Silver's tendency to start meowing excessively, and get right underfoot when he thinks someone is about to get out the wet cat food (once a week). I want to make him less of a nuisance when the food is being prepared.
His trained "good" behavior will be rewarded by only giving him his wet cat food if he behaves. My parents will not enforce this rule; he will get wet cat food regardless of his behavior. I plan to convince him that food is a reward for his "good" behavior, so he will maintain the "good" behavior longer.
I can handle the training; my question is, what exact training is most likely to stick, considering the teachings will not be properly enforced?
Another example is if I teach him to sit on a vocal command until he is fed, my father won't use the command until Silver has annoyed him, at which point Silver may have already figured out food is incoming and he doesn't need to listen to get his food. Should I train Silver by putting the can away when he starts begging for it, to try to teach him that begging means he doesn't get a reward; will that stick with him longer then the idea that sitting gets a reward?
In a nutshell, how do I get the most idiot-proof training that will stick to the cats without anyone consistently reinforcing the habits? I plan to continue reinforcements on my weekend visits.