Meowllo everypawdy, it’s time fur another Service Cat educational posty. As ya’ know da followin’ will be written in human English. It appears there’s still some confusion ‘bout da difference ‘tween Service Animals, Therapy Animals and Companion Animals. Purrlease see our Service Animal page by clicking on da Service Animal tab on our menu bar or click here to read da full definition of each. Me will give a very brief definition of them later in this posty. It’s very purrtant dat everyone understands da differences. Anyways, we got a few good questions to answer today. And we asked a couple questions dat we think you’re gonna be surprised by da answers. Ifin you’ve missed any of da postys in this series you can get caught up by clickin’ da links below.
So let’s get on with it. First up we need to make a few things clear. Mommy talked to one of our friends this past week and learned there’s a lot of confusion about this subject. First and foremost, If you are breeding your non pedigreed cat, that cat is NOT a Service Animal!!! And please STOP!!! Are there not enough unwanted kitties in the world as it is? True Service animals are spayed or neutered for their health and temperament. Now we know a lot of you just said to yourself, “How can you make that judgment and say that?” Well let us explain. If you need a Service Animal, you need said animal all the time. A mother cat will be out of commission for at least 6 weeks, barring complications; her kittens need her more. And most Service animals are not pedigreed animals but rescues. And to breed your non pedigreed indoor kitty is irresponsible at best, but to supply you with barn cats is the very definition of cruel and unusual punishment. And training is not passed on through DNA.
Secondly, we’ll repeat this again. Any Cat at any age can be trained. The number one requirement is the bond you share. Please see the Training Foundation post. It isn’t necessary to start with a kitten. We did because mommy requires 2 cats to help her and there was just me after sis Lexi went to heaven. Introducing a kitten into our home is easier than an adult cat. If you already have a cat or three, you can train one of those. There’s no need to adopt a new cat or kitten or to breed any of your existing cats. We hope that clears a few things up.
Now awnty Jean, Shoko and Kali of the Canadian Cats asked a couple of questions about training. Mommy got a great laugh at the wording of the question, so we’re going to copy and paste it in here for all of you to read. Me must say that mommy and awnty Jean have had many a conversation so she knows mommy pretty well.
Question: Do you ever run across times when Raena just wants to play and is not interested in learning? How long can she get away with not wanting to be taught? Did you ever have a cat that was more interested in playing?
So this question is specifically asked about Raena because that’s who mommy’s training now, but it could apply to any cat or kitten in training. The answer is Yes, of course there are times when Raena just wants to play, she’s a kitten. The trick is to make learning fun so that at least at first she thinks she’s playing. And remember, training is about repetition not a one shot deal. So it’s better to have many short training sessions than one long one. Altho’ mommy makes a game of training for some tasks, it is very serious, and she doesn’t tolerate nonsense. Mommy looks at these times as an opportunity to “train out” unwanted behaviors; such as, hands are not for biting, toes are not for biting, cords are not for biting, etc.. It’s also a time to train kitty to accept being held down, and other things like pilling and bodily exams. These are things that all pet parents could benefit from not just those that are training Service Cats. Unfortunately as kitty ages, there may be a time when medicine needs to be administered, and it’s so much easier if kitty has been trained to accept whatever you do to them as good.
Raena had been playing but jumped on the small cat perch to be closer
to mommy to alert her to sit down. Mommy had been conducting
a photo shoot when Raena and Dezi felt a change and knew
mommy was going to pass out.
Now, we mentioned cost. We asked what you all thought the average cost for a Service Animal is. We also asked who you thought paid for it. We got some mixed answers here, and a couple that mentioned Companion Animals for Service men and women. We realized that most people thought Service animals were given to the disabled free or that some charitable organization paid any fees, and that again, there was some confusion about the differences between Service Animals and Companion Animals. So, here’s a really simple definition of the three classes.
Service animal: An animal that has been specifically trained to perform duties to assist it’s disabled handler/owner.
Therapy animal: An animal that has no particular training other than basic obedience that after certification goes into places like nursing homes, hospitals, etc. to cheer up people by just being there or allowing people to pet it.
Companion animal: A Pet.
These aren’t the full definitions, but hopefully they will help to clear up any confusion anyone still has. Now let’s answer those questions we asked. A few years ago, the average cost of a Service Animal was between $20,000.00 and $50,000.00. This was for a rescue dog purchased through one of the certifying organizations. Dogs trained by individuals could cost exponentially more. Insurance does NOT pay for Service animals. There are organizations one can apply to for financial help, but they’re on a first come first served basis and income based and often require the person in need to pay up to $10,000.00 of the fees. So in the end, the cost of a Service animal is solely on the person needing one. That’s one reason you don’t see more. Most people who need Service animals are on fixed incomes and can’t afford the initial cost. Once a disabled person has a Service animal they can apply to several organizations to receive food and vet care for that animal. These are run by the big pet food companies and are part of their “giving back to the community”. Remember, these organizations only provide for those Service Animals the ADA recognizes as Service Animals.
Anyways, we feel like we’ve given you information overload today, so we’ll wrap it up for now and let ya’ digest all of this. Remember to leave any questions you may have or want answered in da comments or feel free to email us. We’re trying to answer them all as best we can. Raena’s getting’ bigger so she’ll be starting to learn how to use da fone in da next week or so. Mommy’s gonna try to get some good fotos, but since she ain’t da bestest with da camera, we’ll settle fur any fotos. MOL Anyways, da lawn crew’s here. Raena may be fearless, but she hasn’t yet convinced me. Oh, we were asked what mommy did with our fotos in da new editing app yesfurday. She turned our fotos into talking videos.
What would you like to learn (know how to teach your cat or dog)?
How do you feel about the cost of and that insurance doesn’t cover the cost of Service Animals?
Do you think that Service Animals make a difference in the lives of their disabled handlers as opposed to those that don’t have one?
Till da next time…………………………………..Be Blest!!!
Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses
Deztinee and RaenaBelle
Meowllo and welcome to another Blest Sunday. We are so blest to have all of you in our lives and so thankful dat we got to meet you all even ifin not in da purrson. It’s been a very innerestin’ but blest week here. Me has lots to tell ya’. Furst up me wants to say a meowsy big thank you to Herman and his mommy fur helpin’ mommy learn ‘bout a new foto editin’ app. ‘Course dat means mommy’s been goin’ crazy editin’. Just wait’ll ya’ see what mommy’s done. OMC She was laffin’ so hard me thought fur a minute she was gonna pee her panties.
Anyways, Raena’s growin’ like a weed. But let me tell ya’, dat kid just never runs outta energy. It ain’t what she’s eatin’; and me oughtta know dat fur sure, cuz she won’t stay outta me’s food dish. Yeah, really. Every meal, here she comes tryin’ to push me outta me’s plate. It’s not like she don’t have a plate of her own full of da same thing. Me hisses, and growls and even gave her da whacky paw, but alas, she just keeps hornin’ in on me’s meals. Check it out.
So, me decided we should meet at during dinner high noon fur a showdown. Ya’ know settle this once and fur all. When mommy serves our meals we should each eat outta our own plate. Yep, we needed to settle this fur sure. So Raena agreed to da showdown and it was on. There we was in da livin’ room floor squarin’ off and sizin’ each other up. Raena was all poofed up and turned to da side dancin’ like Mohamed Ali, singin’ somethin’ ‘bout butterflies and bees. Me doesn’t know where she gets this stuff. She’s too young fur da butterflies and bees story anyways. And isn’t it birds and bees? (scratches head and looks puzzled) And…it’s not like she’s ever gonna need to know ‘bout da birds and bees anyways. Mommy’s gonna take care of dat befur she ever even thinks ‘bout it. She did to me. Anyways, me’s getting’ sidetracked.
Dezi: You wanna piece of me?
Raena: C’mon sissy I’s not afraid o’ you.
Now where was me? Oh yeah, we were squared off and Raena was all puffed up. Well, me didn’t need a mirror, there was no need fur me to puff up. Raena may be growin’ like a weed, but me’s still bigger than her……by a lot. And me doesn’t have to turn to da side to prove it. C’mon, one of me’s paws is almost bigger than her head. But da kid has no fear. None at all. Befur me knew it, she jumped up in da air and lunged in on me. Me wrapped me’s paws ‘round her and fell to da floor and there we was…wrestlin’. We rolled and pawrted and rolled and pawrted again and again. And then, it was over. Me showed Raena just who da boss in this house is.
Oh mommy, me didn’t know you was payin’ attention. (Dezi looks over at mommy and acts embarrassed.)
Wha’cha’ talkin’ ‘bout Dezi? I’s got you good. Sure nuff, didn’t I mommy?
Dezi: Ya’ wanna go again?
I’s sorry mommy. (Raena drops her head but grins) But I’s still eatin’ outta sis Dezi’s plate.
Dat may be Raena, but it’s cuz me lets you. Mommy says sharin’ is carin’ and me does care ‘bout ya’. After all, who’s gonna help me with mommy ifin not you?
Anyways, me was really happy when mommy took me fur a stroll da other day. It was just me and mommy havin’ a little girl time, just da two of us. We haven’t really done dat since Raena got here. It was really nice. Me felt so luvved and blest.
Mommy took me out too sissy.
Yeah she did Raena, but all you did was complain. ‘bout da heat.
Well Dezi it was hot. It still is.
Yep Raena it is. And guess what? It’s gonna get even hotter next month.
No Way Dezi, really?
Really. Anyways, Raena got her furst lesson with da shower this week and yes, mommy’s been takin’ her a few places. She’s at a crucial age and needs to be exposed to a variety of situations and people so dat she’ll be used to it once she is fully trained. We’ll talk more ‘bout all dat in future postys. OMC Me almost furgot. Ya’ know mommy never did drugs. She never even tried them. But, her furst college degree was in criminal justice, so she knows what they look and smell like. Mommy took Raena out da other night and they decided to stop at da dollar general. There wasn’t too many cars in da pawrkin’ lot, so mommy thought it would be da purrfect exposure fur Raena. Not so busy as to freak her out but enuff peeps to let her get used to them. Well while they was walkin’ up to da door, mommy saw a mary-joo-wanna joint right there on da ground. She told da lady workin in da store and then watched da lady run outside and pick it up, look ‘round and then put it in her pawcket. OMC Da lady went and saved dat fur later. MOL Mommy sure was glad she never did drugs. Alley cats and kittens only know what germs be on dat joint. You fur sure wouldn’t ketch any of us puttin’ it in our mouths.
Well me better wrap it up fur now. Don’t furget to take a minute today and everyday to give thanks fur da blessings in your life. We purray fur each of ya’ everyday, and ask God to bless and keep you. Ya’ll are da bestest furiends in da universe. Don’t furget to get your fotos in fur our Pawlympic event: Fly Fishin’, and there’s still time to enter our Give away. We’s joinin’ our furiends da Kitties Blue fur Selfie Sunday.
Vivd Blue: Dezi
Muted Blue: Raena
Black: Mommy A
Till da next time……………………………………Be Blest!!!
Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses
Deztinee and RaenaBelle
Meowllo everypawdy, we hope you’re havin’ a great week. Let me tell ya’ me doesn’t know what this world is comin’ too. Furst sissy Raena hijacks me’s bloggy and now mommy wants to. You know what? It’s okay. After all without mommy me wouldn’t have a bloggy to hijack, and we are all furmily after all. So me’s gonna turn it over to mommy now. She has some great purroducts to tell ya’ ‘bout. And stay tuned, vu we’s havin’ a give away at da end.
Thank you sweety. I won’t make a habit of taking over, and ya’ll did get to try out the new goodies, so you’ll still be a part of the post. Anyways, recently we were given the opportunity to try out a couple of new products from Collage.com’s new pet line. First let me explain a little about the products. We received a bowl and a pillow bed. They are completely customizable as you’ll see by the photos.
This is a sponsored post. We’ve been compensated for sharing. However, we always tell the truth; all opinions are our own. As always we only bring you products we use or have tried ourselves and think would be of interest to you our readers and friends.
When you go to the site and choose the item you want, you’re taken to a screen that allows you to add photos, writing, initials, designs and pretty much whatever your mind can think of. Now you all know I’m no techy. You don’t need to be. It’s a simple and really easy format to work with, and if you have any trouble there’s a number listed on every page for customer service help. You can preview your product and go back and change it all before you finalize it and save it for check out. And if you’re buying more than 1 item, the photos you upload are still available to choose for your next product, or you can choose all new ones.
Let’s take a look at the products themselves. First up the Cat Bowl. It’s a high quality plain white ceramic, fully finished large bowl. When I say fully finished, I mean that the bottom is glazed just like the inside, so no scratching your floors. Altho’ it says it’s dishwasher safe, because of the photos and finish, I would recommend hand washing. The bowl is 6 inches wide by 2 1/4 inches tall (deep). So it’s great for food or water. Collage.com’s recommendation is 1-40 photos for the bowl. But you will also have other options as well as changing the color by adding a background.
Now lets take a look at the Pillow Bed. As Dezi would say, OMC It’s amazing. First off at 40” X 30”, it’s huge. And it’s overstuffed and fluffy, with a plush fleece top and natural weave back. And the cover is removable for easy clean up. You can use anywhere from 1 to 200 photos in your design. And remember, you’ll have other options as well. We gave ours a space like background in Dezi’s signature bluish purple and added DezizWorld to the top. You can even choose the font and color of any writing as well as placement. You’re only limited by your creativity. And you all know this is the area where I’m lacking. But we think our pillow bed is great. Actually, I love it so much, I can’t bring myself to throw it on the floor for the girls to use. lol So, at the moment it rests at the foot of the bed where the girls wrestle with it and lay on it while I fold clothes and do other chores in the bedroom. As a testament to it’s softness, Raena kneads and suckles it. And if I’m being honest, my guess is, that Dezi does too. (shakes head) My spoiled little angels.
Dezi: Mommy, you’re not supposed to tell all me’s secrets. Oh well, can me tell ‘bout da give away now?
Yes Dezi, you can tell about the give away now.
Thanks mommy. Let me tell ya’ dat pillow bed is pawsum and so is da bowl. Raena luvs her bowl, and she knows those are fotos of her on it too. Anyways, da pawsum peeps over at Collage.com are lettin’ us give away one of those amazin’ Customizable Ceramic Pet Bowls. Dat’s right, one lucky U.S. reader will get to customize their very own cat or dog bowl dat will then be shipped to your door. Ya’ might wanna check out all da other pawsum customizable purroducts they have while you’re there.
Don’t furget to get your fly fishin’ fotos in fur our Pawlympics event. And we’re takin’ questions fur our next Service Cat posty. We’s gonna go now so you can enter da give away.
Till da next time………………………………….Be Blest!!!
Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses
Deztinee and RaenaBelle
Meowllo everypawdy and welcome to another of our educational postys ‘bout Service Cats. As with all our educational postys da remainder will be written in human English. We got a lot of great questions over da last week, so we thought we’d focus on those today. Purrlease keep da questions comin’. Ifin you missed any of our postys you can read them by clicking on da links below.
First up tho’ we thought you all might enjoy seein’ Raena pawin’ an alert fur mommy. She was a little confused cuz she’s not used to mommy tryin’ to take a foto of her doin’ it, but dat paw there is on it’s way to pat mommy on da face.
See that paw to the right?
Here’s a close up of that right paw about
to reach mommy’s face to start patting
Okay, let’s get on with da questions. The first question comes from our friends over at Eastside Cats. They ask, Can a Service or Therapy Cat be trained by one person and then go to live with another? That’s a great question, and the answer is a bit convoluted. First let’s address the Service Animal part of that question because there is a huge difference between the 2. As you know most seeing eye dogs are trained and then sold to a disabled person in need. Make no mistake, these charges are outrageous. Anyways, this does cause one to ask the above question. On the one hand the answer is Yes. There are tasks kitty could learn to perform that could then be performed for anyone. For instance, a kitty could be trained to drive a wheelchair or alert to a specific smell, answer a phone, open cabinets, etc. and then placed in the home of a disabled person who has need of those things. Such a kitty would most likely be clicker and treat trained so that they are essentially performing a “trick” on command. There would need to be a few days of additional in home training to get kitty accustomed to his/her new handler and performing the trained tasks for them. (We can’t even begin to imagine the cost of such a kitty.) And the new handler would need to spend extra time bonding with kitty once placed.
Now for the convoluted part of that answer. A kitty trained elsewhere and placed with a disabled person may not actually “work” right away. Unlike dogs, cats aren’t fans of change and do take a bit to feel comfortable in their new surroundings and with their new person/people. Kitty is performing tasks, but is doing so much like a doggy performing sit/stay. There is nothing wrong with this method, but mommy prefers a kitty that performs because they want to help as opposed to one expecting a treat or other reward. Mommy prefers a bonded kitty so that kitty can anticipate and learn what mommy needs as her condition changes.
Now let’s get to the Therapy cat part of that question. A Therapy Cat Does Not perform any specific duties or trained tasks to assist a disabled person. No real training is required to be a Therapy Cat. A therapy animal is one that visits hospitals, nursing homes, etc. with their handler to make people feel good. This can be achieved by letting people pet them, hold them, or just be in the room with them. A Therapy Cat and it’s handler Must attend a training session/seminar to learn the rules on how to prepare for entry into these places and what is allowed and not. Therapy cats and other animals must be bathed regularly, must have a calm and sedate temperament, etc.. Since Therapy Cats and their handlers must attend this training together, then No, Therapy cats cannot be trained by a second hand party. Most of the training for a Therapy Cat is for the human handler. The only real training required for the Cat, is that they be calm and allow people to pet and handle them without scratching or biting. Some breeds are better at this than others. For a full definition/description of Service Animals, Therapy Animals and Companion Animals, please click here.
The next question we were asked is: Would mommy train Service Cats for others? The answer is yes, she has trained cats for others in the past and would consider it again in the future. Depending on the required tasks, mommy may have kitty in training live with us temporarily, or she may go to them. As we’ve said many times, mommy prefers the bonded training method over treat training. And generally when one is disabled their condition get worse through the years and not better. A bonded kitty will adapt and almost train themselves to meet your “new” needs.
We were also asked about a specific condition (Neuropathy) and if a Service Cat massaging them would be of any help and if so could they train their current cat. First we need to state that mommy is not a medical doctor and cannot diagnose anyone’s medical condition. We also cannot determine whether a Service Cat would benefit you if we haven’t met and spent time in person with you. That’s a decision only you and possibly your doctor can decide. We have continually said that any and all cats can be trained, so the answer to that part of the question would be Yes. But we do recommend starting from the very beginning and re-bonding with your resident cat before moving to the next step in training.
This person also asked about training their resident dogs to alert for seizures. Again, without meeting everyone in question we can’t give a specific answer. We will say that the dogs may already be alerting and it’s so subtle no one is recognizing it. And then again, they may not be. We’ll say again that you don’t have to have any particular breed of cat or dog. Altho’ some breeds do make better Service Animals than others. A “smashed faced” cat or dog shouldn’t be expected to scent alert. They can, but but they may not be 100% accurate. A Service Animal must perform their trained tasks every time. Be realistic in your expectations of a Service Animal. People don’t train toy dogs to be guard dogs. Why? Because they’re not scary and can’t deter criminal behavior. So don’t expect the animal or breed you’ve chosen to perform duties beyond their physical capabilities.
The Kitties Blue asked about training massage, but we’ve covered the basics of that in the Training Kitty to Massage post (click link above), so we won’t go over it again here. However, we will expand on it in a future post. They also asked if the trainee had to be a kitten. As we’ve said before, No, any cat can learn at any age. We do recommend starting at the beginning with the bonding process before moving forward with training. And yes, even with your resident cat.
Well, we’re gonna wrap it up fur today. We’ve covered a lot of information here so we’ll give ya’ some time to digest it all. We’ll say in closing that Service animals are Not provided to the disabled for free. The charges, as we’ve stated earlier are outrageous. This is one of the reasons mommy believes in home training. Most disabled people we know live on a fixed income and can’t afford thousands of dollars for a Service Animal. Anyways, we hope you enjoy our post. Please leave any questions you have in the comments. We love hearin’ from you and reading your questions.
Do you (Does your kitty) have the temperament to be a Therapy cat?
Are you still confused about the differences between a Service Cat, Therapy Cat and Companion Cat?
What do you think is the average charge for a trained Service Dog?