MeeeeeOW Welcome to another Service Cat Monday. We’re really excited today. We got some great questions last week, so we’ll be addressin’ some issues that can happen in any household includin’ those with Service Cats. So far, the sun is shinin’ here, so we’re gonna try to get our visitin’ caught up today. We welcome all your questions, comments and suggestions, so purrlease leave ‘em in the comments section, or send us an email. As with all our Service Cat postys, the followin’ will be written in human English fur translator and reader ease. Our trainin’ posts aren’t meant to be a step by step trainin’ manual, but rather tips, tricks and techniques used and/or developed by mommy throughout her many years of trainin’ animals, cats in purrticular. Trainin’ is all ‘bout Repetition and Rewards. And remember, Rewards don’t always have to come in the form of food. Mommy purrfurs the Love reward system when training any animal, including food motivated dogs. Ifin you’ve missed any of the posts in this series, you can ketch up by clicking the links below. Now, let’s get to the questions.
First, because it’ll only take a few sentences, we’ve been asked why mommy prefers “Love Rewards” over “Treats”. The answer is pretty simple. Mommy realized she might not always have a treat handy, when she needed the animal to perform a certain command, but wanted to be able to reward the animal just the same. And when she started training cats, she learned really quick that not all cats are food motivated. In fact, for every one cat that is, there are nine more that aren’t. Those of you in multiple cat households have probably experienced this yourselves. And besides, who doesn’t want a little extra loving?.
Our second question today comes from our sweet friends, The Tribe of Five at Feline Opines.net. Their sweet Jasmine had been bullied by a previous kitty in the home. Because of that bullying, she lives sequestered in her own part of the house now. When we read that comment, it made us all cry. We know several kitties that live sequestered for a variety of reasons, and it always makes us sad. Let me be clear!!! We know these kitties are well loved in their respective homes and aren’t being “locked away” or sequestered out of meanness or to punish them. Kitties should NEVER be locked in a room for punishment!!! For that matter, Kitties should NEVER be punished. Never the less, it makes us sad to hear about a kitty who doesn’t have the run of the house, and the companionship of all their family members whenever they want. Jasmine’s lady human is really sad about this too. The bully kitty is no longer in their home, but Jasmine is still terrified and when brought out of sequestering, fearfully runs back to her “safe place”. Some of the kitties go and visit with Jasmine in her “Safe Place”, but she doesn’t want to join them out in the rest of the house.
Their question was, Would our training help Jasmine reintegrate back into the family and the whole house? In a word, YES!!! But of course, anybody who has ever been owned by a kitty knows, nothing is ever that simple in a kitty’s mind. So, what and how can they help Jasmine? Mommy says the first thing humans should remember, is that kitties can smell about 14 times better than humans; and scent lingers. No matter how long “bully kitty” has been gone from the home, it is possible for his/her scent to still be present in the house. Mommy recommends deep cleaning everything possible to neutralize the scents in the home. It’ll be kind of like starting fresh. Mommy loves steam, because it’s basically free, can be used on most surfaces and also kills bacteria. Now that you’re starting over, you go back to the beginning and play lots of “Scent Me Up” with all the kitties.
Do Not wash your hands, face, hair or clothes until after you’ve spread your scent as well as all the kitties scents on everybody/kitty in the house. Mommy also recommends wearing something you can live without for a while, because you’ll want to leave those heavily scented clothes with the sequestered kitty afterwards. We love the “Scent Me Up” game and play it several times a day. This helps to form a stronger bond with everybody/kitty involved. Now we’ll be honest and tell you, we’ve not had any luck with those Pheromone plug ins, sprays, collars or drops, but many people have, so if you’d like to implement their use, feel free to try them out. We would be interested in learning in how they work if you choose to use them. Mommy did find a spot on called Beaphar Calming Spot On that worked somewhat on me. They come 3 spot ons to a box and each one lasts a month. (We’re not being paid for mentioning Beaphar, we’re just trying to offer helpful ideas).
The true goal here is to boost the self confidence of the bullied kitty. Mommy says you should make a small out of the way “Den/Hidey Hole” in the Living room, or whatever room the family traditionally congregates in your home. A carrier with the door off/open and towel over the top, is great. A closed box with a small opening cut out is also a good choice. A second “cubby” should also be placed in the sequestered area. Don’t forget to continue to play the “Scent Me Up” game every day. You can’t over play “Scent Me Up”, so have fun. Next you’re gonna want to swap sites and kitties. If at all possible, move the scared kitty in their “Cubby” to the open area and put the rest of the kitties in the “Sequestered” area. Don’t forget to close that area off, so scared kitty can’t get back in. Altho’ it sounds kinda mean, you’re forcing scared kitty to recognize there is nothing to be afraid of (anymore). The big bonus is that the other kitties are spreading their scent all over the “Sequestered” area.
A well adjusted, self assured kitty will have no fear
being in the middle of a room.
Whether scared kitty comes out of their “Cubby” or not, talk to them as if they were right in your lap. Hopefully, they’ll be there soon enough. Start with an hour and work your way up from there. If scared kitty likes treats or some kind of special food, or nip toy, give it to them while they’re in the congregation spot. If kitty’s still inside their “Cubby”, place the treats or food right in front of the “Cubby”, so they’ll have to at least stick their head out to eat. Same with the toy, place it right in front of the “Cubby”. And when allowed, give them lots of extra love. Do Not intrude on kitty’s “Safe Space” to pet them. Gradually allow one kitty at a time to join Scared kitty in the congregating spot. Mommy recommends when possible, that the first kitty should be laid back. Change out the scented clothing at least once a week.
Once scared kitty starts coming out of the “Cubby”, give them love and engage them with interactive play. Wand toys, feathers, mice, or whatever toy is preferred by kitty should be used. We’ve gotta tell you, those nip bubbles are great fun. Each kitty is different, so we can’t tell you how long this will actually take. But, remember, you must be consistent and do this every day. Work your way up to more and more play and feeding in the congregating spot and less and less fun and food in the “Sequestered” spot. If scared kitty hates getting their claws trimmed or brushing, make those the things you only do in the “Sequestered” area, so kitty associates the congregating spot with nothing but good things. And always remember, training is all about Repetition and Rewards. The pay off will be a smart, self assured happy kitty and home. We meowed a lot about the “Scent Me Up” game today. You can find the explanation/instructions in our Training Foundations post (link below).
Close da box so I’s can hide. MOL
We’re gonna call this a wrap. We do hope this helps some of you. And ‘member, you can ketch up on any posts you may have missed by clickin’ the links below. We’ve got some great things comin’ up fur ya’ this week, so stay tuned. We’ll be addressing another reader question next week, so mark your calendars. You don’t wanna miss it.
Till the next time……………………………………….Be Blest!!!
Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses
Deztinee and RaenaBelle
When the Handler Dies Proper Training Methods Pt. 1 & Pt. 2
The Rest of the Story Raena & the Wheelchair Pt. 1 Pt. 2 Pt. 3 Pt. 4
Stop Kitty’s Begging Calling for Help Options Pt. 1
MeOW Raena, did you enjoy your pawrty?
Oh sissy, I’s sure did!!! What fun. And so many of our pawsum furiends came by. I’s such a blest kitty girly.
Yep Raena, we sure are. Me had a great time too, even tho’ it is stormin’ here. Me’s gotta tell ya’, you looked so funny chasin’ those nip bubbles ‘round the house. Mommy even found one you missed this meownin’ when she sat down in the sittin’ lift chair.
Those bubbles sure are a lot of fun. All those red dot kitties don’t know nuffin’ ‘bout disappearin’ prey. Every time I’s thought I’d caught one, it was gone. One even hit me on the nose, but befur I’s could ketch it, it disappeared.
MOL Me saw that, Raena. We don’t play the red dot game here, cuz mommy says we’re too
smart curious. ‘Stead of tryin’ to ketch the red dot, we go straight fur the source; the light in mommy’s hand. Mommy says that’s dangerous fur kitties to stare into the lasered red dot. But we did enjoy those bubbles.
Yeah sissy, it’s too bad mommy ran outta breath, cuz I’s sure was havin’ fun chasin’ all the bubbles.
Well, there was lots of bubbles still floatin’ ‘round in the air even after mommy ran outta breath. Me’s sure she’ll play the bubble game with us again. ‘Specially now that she knows we like ‘em.
I’s sure hope so sissy. Did you see all the cards I’s got yesfurday (blog links listed as comment)? And, I’s can’t wait till the weather clears up enuff fur us to have mine’s Birthday pizza. Awnty Anonymous sent mommy some green papers and told her to get us a Birthday pizza. But since you hang out UTB when it storms, mommy said we have to wait to have it, so you can enjoy it too. Maybe ya’ oughtta think ‘bout not hidin’ away so much.
Me’s not hidin’ Raena, me’s just bein’ safe. All the news peeps say to stay away from windows and glass durin’ storms. So there. Me’s the smartest kitty in the house.
Yeah, Okay sissy, you’re not hidin’, you’re just bein’ “safe”. MOL
You won’t be laffin’ ifin any of those storms actually break our windows while you’re lookin’ out.
But sissy, that birdy that built her nest in one of mommy’s old pot baskets is so much fun to watch. Did you hear her callin’ mommy names the other day?
Me sure did Raena. Now that was funny. Mommy went out to trim the wisteria, and that ole momma bird was so mad. She flew into the big old oak tree in our front lawn and squawked and cackled at mommy the whole time she was out there. Guess she didn’t know that mommy would never hurt her babies. The really funny pawrt was when she came flyin’ in fur the attack when mommy was tryin’ to take fotos of her babies.
Oh sissy, that was funny. Mommy was tryin’ to swoosh her away with one hand and focus on the babies with the other. Mommy’s wanted to take more fotos, cuz the baby birds be growin’ so fast, but she doesn’t wanna face the wrath of momma bird again. MOL Mommy didn’t get any fotos of the momma bird. Mommy says she wouldn’t coopurrate. MOL
Yep Raena, mommys’ sure can be furocious when they’re purrtectin’ their young; no matter what size they are, or the purredators size.
You’re so right sissy. And mommy unnerstands that cuz that’s the way she feels ‘bout us.
Sure ‘nuff, Raena. We are blest to have such a pawsum mommy. Speakin’ of mommy, we need to update everypawdy ‘bout her complications. Ya’ know, we told everypawdy that mommy’s upper teeth has roots that were embedded in her sinuses. That’s not a good thing. But mommy was followin’ all the instructions and bein’ really careful, so when she went in fur her recheck, the surgeon was really purrleased with how well mommy was healing. But, she had a stitch that had been hangin’ down, and rubbin’ her tongue fur days. When the doctor looked at it, she said it was ‘bout to fall out, so she went ahead and removed it. They thought everythin’ was fine till the next meownin’. Altho’ thinkin’ it was a fluke, mommy didn’t call the doctor that day. And then the same thing happened off and on all last weekend. So furst thing Monday, mommy called the doctor to report that she now had an openin’ into her sinuses. ‘Pawrently, that stitch was holdin’ that hole closed.
I’s got really worried ‘bout mommy, sissy. Cuz she said it’s not just gross and aggravating, it also hurts. Fankfully, the dentist put mommy on another round of antibiotics, more Sudafed and told her not to blow her nose fur another 2 weeks.
Yep, Raena. They’re hopin’ the hole will close on it’s own so mommy won’t have to have another more serious surgery. And the antibiotics are to help make sure mommy doesn’t get an infection. Seems the Sudafed is harder to get than mommy’s purrscription meds. ‘Pawrently, the active ingredient is used a lot here to make meth. What does mommy know ‘bout meth and drug makin’? Anyways, mommy can only buy a certain nummer of boxes a day, week and month. And she has to sign fur them, and purrvide her drivers license and get her foto taken each time. One box lasts one day. Is that crazy or what? Me sure hopes she doesn’t have to take this stuff fur long.
Me too sissy. We’ve been so blest, that mommy hasn’t had any more purroblems, so we’re purrayin’ really hard fur this hole to close soon, so mommy can start feelin’ better and get on to the other bad teethies.
Yes we are Raena. And we’re so blest to have so many furtastic furiends to help us purray fur mommy. Every time we think ‘bout our furiends, we are so humbled to be so blest. From purrayers to luv and suppurrt and even gifts, we have the bestest furiends in the universe. We wanna remind you all to take a minute today and every day to give thanks fur the blessings in your lives. We’re gonna wrap it up now and get some rest. We’re all pawrtied out.
Speak fur yourself sissy. (Raena yawns) I’s not pawrtied out. MOL We’re joinin’ the Kitties Blue fur Sunday Selfies.
Till the next time…………………………………….Be Blest!!!
Dezi: Vibrant Blue
Raena: Navy Blue
Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses
Deztinee and RaenaBelle
Hey, are ya’ll out there? It’s me, RaenaBelle, the Birthday girly. Are you ready to pawrty?? I’s know we’re late gettin’ mine’s pawrty posty out. Mommy’s havin’ some complications from her recent surgery that we’ll tell ya’ ‘bout in another posty, cuz today…it’s all ‘bout ME!!! Mommy and sissy said so. I’s such a blest kitty. I’s can’t hardly believe I’s been alive a whole year. And what a year it’s been. From a stinky dark corner cage to a furever home with a mommy who luvs and adores me, and the wide world of bloggin’. I’s could have never ‘magined how mine’s little life woulda turned out the day mommy came to save me.
I’s showed up and you all welcomed me with open arms. I’s blest to have furiends and awnties and uncles who luvs me. I’s even get to be a review kitty fur lots of great products. And I’s even got some purresents to celebrate mine’s big day. But befur we get to all the goodies, let me meow a meowsy big Fanky fank ya’ to awnty Vonda, awnty Anonymous, Chewy, and OMC awnty Ellen. Check out what she sent me. Don’t worry awnties, I’s sharin’. Mommy says I’s a propurr Southern Belle and have great manners…
Most of the time, Raena. Get it straight now, mommy says you have great manners, most of the time. Me knows we don’t always get along, but me really is glad that you’re me’s sisfur. Ifin me has to have one, me’s glad it’s you.
Aaaaaaw Fanky fank ya’ sissy. I’s luvs you too. And I’s wanna be just like you.
Yeah, yeah, get off me. Let’s get this pawrty started. Stay as long as ya’ want. We’ve got treats and noms, toys, and nip, and even some vine. The tunnel’s set up, and there’s nip mats and beds, blankets and pillows, so you can crash here ifin ya’ want. Just ‘member to use the boxes. Mommy’s not in the mood to be cleanin’ the floors. MOL She even put down some extra piddle pads fur any hurlin’ ya’ might need to do ifin ya’ purrtake a little too much.
We’ve got nip tea and cream. We know a few of ya’ are purrtial to that cream…Erin. There’s a fountain in every room, and mommy even left the faucet drippin’ fur those of ya’ who wanna get it uber furesh. Purrlease don’t play in the water…Purrseidon, but feel furee to play with your noms. Simon, you can check out the new puzzle toy. I’s had mommy put in some special treats just fur you. I’s just glad you all could come to mine’s pawrty. Fitz, Timmy, Einstein, Toby, Buddy, Buttons and Rumpy, mommy said ya’ll were stayin’ the weekend, so enjoy the nip and vine. Alberto, Ollie, it’s just like another play date. Kosmo, fanky fanks fur comin’ from so far. Snoops, Kommando, I’s glad ya’ll could be here too. Hey Valentine, glad you could make it. Oh My Cats, I’s so glad you’re all here. I’s gotta go make the rounds and see who all is here. And don’t worry mine’s Trout Towne Tabby furiends, we’ve got lots of fishies too.
We’ll be keepin’ the pawrty goin’ all weekend, so enjoy. We’re also linkin’ up with the Pet Parade, so don’t furget to stop by and link up yourself. Raena, let’s get off here and go play with all our furiends.
I’s right behind ya’ sissy. Fanks fur mine’s Birthday card, Pipo and Minko.
Till the next time…………………………………..Be Blest!!!
Raena: Navy Blue
Dezi: Vibrant Blue
Luvs and Hugs and Kitty Kisses
RaenaBelle and Deztinee
Well, it’s time fur another Service Cat Monday posty. Are ya’ll gettin’ tired of these? We ask cuz we’re not gettin’ many questions, and comments seem to be down.? You know, we blog to keep a journal of our lives, but we also blog to educate and entertain. We recently posted a couple “play date” postys that a lot of ya’ seemed to enjoy, so ifin you’d like to see more of those, or even join us fur a virtual play date, purrlease let us know. Me does wanna let everypawdy know, we are in purrime storm season here in Oklahoma. Those of ya’ that have been with us fur a while knows what that means, but we do have a lot of new furiends that have joined us recently that don’t. Furst, fank you fur joinin’ our furmily. You’re only a visitor once, after that, you’re furmily. Anyways, storm season means lots of thunder, lightnin’, hail, rain, wind, tornadoes, fires and/or floods. And that means mommy won’t let us on the catputer as much, so we may get behind in our visitin’. Just ‘member, even ifin we don’t make it by to visit ya’, we’re thinkin’ ‘bout ya’ and purrayin’ fur ya’. And we’ll be by as soon as weather purrmits.
Now let me get the business pawrt of this posty out of the way, so we can get on with it. Our Service Cat posts aren’t meant to be a step by step trainin’ manual, as trainin’ is all ‘bout Repetition, and Rewards. In other words, it can get kinda borin’ to read ‘bout. All the tips, tricks and techniques described are things mommy has developed or discovered in her many years of training animals, especially cats. As with all our educational posts, the followin’ will be written in human English fur translator and reader ease. Ifin you’ve missed any of the posts in this series, you can ketch up by clickin’ the links at the bottom of this or any Service Cat post.
Today we thought we’d address a couple of things that keep coming up. The first is training cats in general. For many years people really never gave a thought to training a cat to do anything. Cats got and still get a really bad rap. We’re often thought to be aloof, self willed, solitary animals. But that just isn’t true. Most of us love our humans, and like dogs, just want to be a part of the family and please you. Contrary to popular belief, we don’t act out or misbehave to get back at you or out of spite. We can live long, healthy, happy lives and never need to go out side and wander around. Some of us might even enjoy being trained to roll over, play fetch, or shake your hand, but really, we’re so much more talented than that. Looking back over history, there’s one thing that stands out to mommy, as it regards training a kitty. Most of you have seen those toilet training contraptions for kitties, right? Guess what? Mommy even bought one, once. Well, the first time she had to really go and forgot to remove the kitty catcher…yeah, the kitty toilet training contraption went into the trash and the litter box reappeared.
That being said, many kitties around the world have been trained to use the human toilet. We even know a few of them. And until recently, mommy thought that was a great idea, just something she wasn’t interested in training. It certainly deals with the issue of a stinky litter box. And it surely shows that kitties can be trained. However, after watching sis Lexi get weaker that last year of her life, having trouble jumping and start leaning on the side of the litter box to balance herself when she needed to relieve herself; mommy has changed her mind. Altho’ we kitties are very smart, and will no doubt learn to compensate, we weren’t really intended to balance on the side of a toilet to pee. As we have pointed out many times, training should keep in mind and be based on the animal’s natural abilities and instincts. Our massaging mommy, is based on a kitties innate drive to knead. Our calling for help is based on our curiosity drive as is our driving the wheelchair. Mommy can’t explain why we want to help her in the shower, but chalks that one up to our love for her. The bottom line is, kitties can, and want to be trained. Just remember to keep in mind, our size, natural instincts, and think long term. After all, if a kitty’s part of your life, you want him/her to live a long, healthy happy life. Aging and sickness are not always kind to the body.
The next thing we’d like to talk about today is photos, videos and social media. If we’ve been asked once, we’ve been asked a million times, for a video of us driving the wheelchair. Of course before we got our computer, this issue never came up. Now, we get at least one email/comment every week about it. First you need to understand that all this technology is new to mommy, and let’s face it, she’s definitely not a pro. MOL Secondly, we rarely drive the wheelchair without mommy in it. Mommy uses the wheelchair in the morning’s when she can’t walk and her muscles are kind of “locked” up. In the last couple of years, she’s also began to use it to take out the trash and check the mail. But most of the day, it sits parked and usually charging.
So let’s look at when we drive. When mommy wakes up and can’t move, we give her massages to get the blood flowing and start the warming process for her muscles. Her arms wake up first. So once in the chair, mommy puts one hand on our (whoever is driving) back and one under our tummy to stabilize us as we drive. We don’t take a camera to bed, but as you can see, there’s no free hands to work a camera. And think about it, what are you wearing and how do you look when you crawl out of bed in the mornings? Let’s just say that mommy’s totally inappropriate for viewing. We may wake up looking like divas, but mommy…Not. MOL
Now let’s get to the “social media” part of this. How many times have you seen a video or part of a video compiled into one of those “funniest”, “craziest”, or something “est” videos in your social media feeds? Unfortunately, there are a lot of people out there that continue to steal photos and videos to use as their own and in ways not intended by the original poster/owner. What we do is NOT a trick. And altho’ we sometimes make funnies, it’s not intended to be part of anybody’s funniest video compilation. So altho’ mommy is trying to figure out a way to get us on video, she isn’t thrilled at the aspects of posting such a video. So we can’t say when or if you’ll be seeing a video of us driving mommy in the wheelchair.
Me’s gonna wrap it up fur now. As me said earlier, we decided to cover these things as we do get questions and emails about them from time to time; and mommy says ifin one purrson’s askin’, there’s 10 more wonderin’ the same thing. ‘Member, ifin you’ve missed any of the posts in this series just click the links below to check them out. We welcome any questions, comments or suggestions you might have on any topic including training. We’ll be ‘round to visit as weather purrmits. We hope you’re all enjoyin’ sunshine and daisy’s.
Till the next time………………………………….Be Blest!!!
Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses
Deztinee and RaenaBelle