Meowllo and welcome to Service Cats Monday. We’ve kinda been teasin’ you ‘bout todays posty all last week. Truth is today’s posty isn’t a fun one, but unfurtunately sometimes necessary. As with all our educational posts da following will be in human English. Ifin you’ve missed any of da posts in this series you can ketch up by clickin’ on da links at da end of this post. As always, we welcome your questions and thoughts, suggestions and ideas, so purrlease leave them in da comments or send us an email. We try to answer all questions, especially training questions as quickly as pawssible. And we do like to answer trainin’ questions in our posts so dat everypawdy can benefit from it. As with all our trainin’ postys, da tips, tricks and methods have been developed by mommy thru her many years of rescue, animal ownership and bein’ owned by kitties. And most purrtant, training is all ‘bout Repetition and Consistency. Well let’s get on with da trainin’.
Our sweet furiend Herman Tattlecat asked, “How do you teach kitty to stay off the counters, etc.?” We of course can expand this question to include all the negatives, and restate the question as, “How do you un-train bad behavior?” Mommy will tell you that it’s easier to train good behavior than to break bad behavior. Mommy’s never had a kitty that counter surfed the kitchen counters or sat on top of the fridge. She doesn’t allow it. Before we go on, we want to reiterate the importance of love and positive reinforcement. Hitting kitty IS NOT an effective training method!!! Drenching kitty with the water bottle or water gun Is Not an effective training method!!! To train, means to know your subject and understand their motivations. We are mommys children…but, we aren’t human and our brains don’t work like a humans’ brain. So mommy says you have to think like a cat and act like a cat to train a cat.
So let’s start off by saying, Before you adopt a kitty, decide what kind of rules you want to implement. Do you want to allow kitty anywhere and everywhere? Or are there places you don’t want kitty to go? Stick to your decisions, and make sure everybody in the house is in on the plan. Remember, you have to be consistent for kitty to learn. Just because you don’t want kitty walking around on your kitchen counters doesn’t mean you’re abusing kitty or making him/her sad. You’re not depriving them of anything either, so long as you provide places they can get up on. And it doesn’t have to be the biggest and fanciest cat tree made. As most of you know we have a great cat tree; actually we have 2 great cat trees and a small perch. But, mommy could have never afforded them herself, and all the kitties before me never had a cat tree to climb on. We are so thankful for those who gave us our trees, but the point is, that they’re not necessary to make kitty happy.
It’s all well and good to tell you to never allow kitty to get on the counters in the first place, but not everybody is starting with a brand new kitten. You now have an adult cat that is jumping up and lounging on your kitchen counter, or sleeping on the refrigerator. Or maybe even walking all over the stove top, or even hanging from your curtains. Aaaaaaaaw Isn’t kitty cute unrolling the toilet paper roll? It was soooooooo cute when they were kittens; you couldn’t get the camera/fone fast enough. Isn’t everything kittens do adorable? NO!!! None of those behaviors are cute especially not when kitty weighs 10 – 20 pounds and is supposed to be an adult. Not when you want to prepare food, or need to avail yourself of the bathroom facilities. Not when kittys’ paws are tracking litter onto the table. And certainly not when the burner on the stove top has been turned on. So how and what do you do to train kitty not to do those things in the first place? Just say, “No!!!” Be firm and remove kitty if they get up there. Offer them an alternative. Remove the toilet paper from the roller. This step is only temporary, so don’t worry, you will be able to put it back as soon as kitty learns a firm No. Altho’ this applies to all stages of training, this paragraph is still a little more focused on the younger cat.
So, let’s suppose your kitty has been doing it so long you don’t remember when it started. What do you do now? Can kitty be trained to stay off these surfaces. Yes, absolutely. Altho’ mommy’s not had these issues, she has trained others kitties who did. So let’s look at mommys’ training kit and see what we have. First, training is repetitive and constant/ongoing. Second, don’t worry about what others think of you. You may need to look and be a little silly. You are after all only human. You are training a superior being, the cat. So let’s get to know and understand your subject. Cat mommy teaches and disciplines her kittens with hisses and bites. Littermates train each other with hisses and bites. Disputes between cats are often solved with intimidation, hisses and growls. So humans must become as cat like as possible for training purposes.
Let’s look at Intimidation. A cat who wants to intimidate another will puff themselves up in an attempt to look bigger and scarier. Obviously humans can’t puff up, so what can you do? Mommy has a move she calls her Space Danger move. She waves her hands in the air and repeats loudly, “Danger!!! Danger!!!” She says anyone old enough to remember Lost in Space will recognize this, for the rest of you, do a youtube search and check out the robot. Anyways, this will startle kitty and generally cause them to back away, get down, and/or remove themselves from the situation. Yes, you may look a little funny, but nobody/kitty gets hurt and it works. Initially your kitty may freeze. If this happens, remove kitty from the area. Once kitty has removed themselves/been removed or stopped the inappropriate behavior, remember to praise and love on them. If you have to remove kitty yourself, do it quickly and gently but Do Not hug or love on kitty until they have been put down in a more appropraite area. You don’t want to confuse kitty or reinforce bad behavior, so praise should only happen when kitty is where you want them to be, standing on their own.
Mommy had to go way back in da files to find us puffed up.
Now let’s look at Hissing. Let me tell you, no kitty has anything on our mommy when it comes to hissing. If you’ve ever listened to hissing kitties, there are variations of the hiss. From a nonchalant don’t touch me to a you’re dead. We kitties are very smart, and once we’ve been told No, we know when we’re doing wrong. That being said, if kitty jumps back on the counter and you’re in another room? No doubt kitty’s going to jump down and disappear before you can get to them and start your Space Danger move or remove kitty yourself. So what can you do to be consistent in training kitty to stay off the counters, etc.? Hiss. Yep, you read that right, hiss and say No, or Get down in a firm voice. You may have to hiss more than once, but you will eventually find the appropriate hiss for the occasion. And of course you need to head towards kitty to make sure they do get down or stop the behavior. And remember to praise and love kitty for their good behavior.
We discussed biting in a previous post, so we won’t cover it again here. We will say that biting isn’t an appropriate method of training for these particular issues. Okay, we’ve covered what to do when you’re home with kitty, but what do you do when you’re not at home to keep an eye on kitty? We’re going to list some tips here that can work so long as they are used in conjunction with the hands on training listed above. Put “noise makers” on the edges of counters, shelves, fridge tops, etc.. Examples of such noise makers are:
Coin Filled aluminum cans
Coin filled plastic bottles
Crumpled Aluminum Foil
Large sqeaky toys
Parchment or Wax paper
For the coin filled items, we don’t mean full cans or bottles, just enough coins to rattle when shaken or dropped. They must be light enough for kitty to knock them over. Altho’ you can’t control what kitty does when no one’s home, DO NOT let kitty play with these training items. And by edge, we mean they should be balanced along the edges so that if kitty tried to jump up, the can or foil will immediately fall. Whoopee cushions and squeaky toys should be at the edge so that if kitty jumps up on them they will be startled by the noise and immediately jump back down. In recent years we have seen the development of air cans that spray kitty with air when they get close to it. This Is Not a method mommy likes or promotes.
Remember to provide kitty with appropriate toys and areas to jump on and/or play with. Always end discipline with love and praise. When removing kitty from a counter or other area, do it swiftly, but gently. Do Not hug on kitty until he/she is in an appropriate area and only after kitty has been set down. Mommy doesn’t like or promote cat trees, perches, or any other climbing apparatus near the kitchen or counters. This is too much temptation for kitty to step off of their tree and onto the counter, table, shelf, etc. Don’t set kitty up to fail. Before humans welcome a child into their home, they prepare the home and try to make it as safe as possible for the baby. The same should be done for the pets brought into your home.
We have shelves and small tables around the house. As long as they are filled with books or knick knacks, they’re off limits to us. But if a shelf is empty, mommy allows us to lay/sit on it. We’re allowed on the bathroom counters any time we want and have a small table in the living room for us along with the cat trees, perch and chair. We’re also allowed on the bed, shower chairs and cat steps. As long as kitty is provided with sufficient perches keeping them off counters should be an easy train. Remember to be consistent. Kitty wants rules and structure and lots of love.
Well, guess we’ll wrap it up fur today. We hope this has helped ya’ll out. If you have any questions about today’s post or any other training post, purrlease let us know in da comments below as well as any other questions you might have. And yes, mommy has hissed in public. It works on children of da 2 legged variety as well. Don’t furget to click on da links below ifin you’ve missed any of our Service Cats Training posts, and have a pawsum day.
Till da next time………………………………….Be Blest!!!
Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses
Deztinee and RaenaBelle
Meowllo and welcome to chaplain Dezi’s Blest Sunday. So we did some more meowin’ and talkin’ this week and decided dat Wednesdays and Furidays are just gonna stay Surprise/Toss up days. You’re not gonna know what you’ll see here till ya’ come by. MOL Anyways, let’s get on with today. Furst we wanna thank whoever sent mommy da colorin’ page. She luvved it. Raena and me think she must have used every color they make fur dat kitty face. It stormed and raged all day yesfurday and was da purrfect thing to keep mommys’ mind busy since we couldn’t be on da catputer. Da thunder boomers seemed to get louder and more furequent last night, but me never hid out. Me did want a lot of extra luvvin’ from mommy, which she was more than happy to give. Me is so blest to have such a luvvin’ mommy.
Mommy said Fank you fur da colorin’ page.
Me too sissy. I’s not ‘fraid of da storms but they was sooooo loud last night dat even I’s got a little nervous. Even da rain seemed louder than normal. Fankfully mommy has room fur both of us on her lap.
Oh Raena, what do you know ‘bout normal soundin’ rain? You’ve only been alive fur 5 months.
Maybe sissy, but it’s rained a lot durin’ those 5 months.
You’re right Raena, it has rained a lot this summer. And now they say it’s fall. We even got a cold front move in this weekend. Not dat we felt it in da house. Fank catness fur air conditionin’ and fans. We wanted to show you a foto dat made mommy burst out laffin’. It’s blurry and da red eye taker outer didn’t take out all da red eye like it’s posed to, but we think most of ya’ will get a real chuckle lookin’ at it. Raena and me had been in da pawdee box room playin’ when we suddenly heard a sonic boom. Those happen a lot ‘round here, but we all still jump a little. Yep, even mommy. Anyways, Raena and me heard da sonic boom and well it caused us to immediately stop playin’ and meow out to mommy. Mommy knew we were together and so when we both called out to her, she got “nervous” and jumped up to come see what was goin’ on. And this foto shows what she saw when she got to da hallway. Fankfully she has long arms and could reach da camera, cuz once she appeared in da hallway and stopped, we came runnin’.
Well sissy she was laffin’ at us. I’s didn’t know what was so funny, but she laffed till she had water streamin’ down her face.
Yeah Raena, mommies can be emotional, specially ours.
Is dat why she luvs us so much sissy, cuz she’s emotional?
No Raena she luvs us just cuz. And cuz she’s emotional she shows us how much she luvs us all da time. We are really blest kitties to have a furever home and furever mommy dat luvs us so much. We have lots of amazin’ furiends dat we share our lives with and so much more. You know not all kitties have dat. This past week there was a day set aside to ‘member all those dat never make it outta shelters and into luvvin’ furever homes. They die never havin’ known luv and da warmth of a mommy or daddy holdin’ them tight and purromissin’ them dat they’ll never be alone again.
Oh sissy, I’s not like to think ‘bout those things.
Yeah Raena, a lot of peeps don’t like to think ‘bout those kinds of things. But not thinkin’ ‘bout it doesn’t make it go away. Until we get everypawdy to think ‘bout it and make changes, kitties and doggies will continue to die scared and alone. We try to educate as many peeps as we can. And every day we purray fur all our furiends and all those less furtunate than us. And hopefully someday we won’t need shelters. Maybe someday, all anipals will have their own luvvin’ furever.
I’s sure hope so sissy. I’s think #RemeberMeThursday should be everyday till da whole world gets da message.
Yeah Raena me wishes da world would get da message too. Spay and neuter your pets, strays and feral colonies to help cut down on over-pawpulation and over crowded shelters. Children can witness the magic of birth by rentin’ a video. Educate, educate, educate. Havin’ babies doesn’t make a kitty calmer, more well adjusted or happier. Instead it increases da risk of health issues, cancers, spraying, behavioral purroblems and early deaths. We get so tired of hearin’ “I already have homes for the kittens.” Well ifin you don’t spay or neuter, da homes you found purrobably don’t either and someday those kittens will be havin’ babies too. And on and on and on. (Dezi wipes a tear from her eye and shakes and bows her head for a moment of silence) Well we better get outta here befur it starts stormin’ again.
We’s joinin’ da Kitties Blue fur Sunday Selfies. ‘Member to take a minute today and everyday to give thanks fur da blessings in your life. Fank you all fur your luv and support. We are so blest to know all of you. Hope you have a pawsumly blest day.
Dezi: Vibrant Blue
Raena: Navy Blue
Till da next time……………………………………….Be Blest!!!
Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses
Deztinee and RaenaBelle
Hey, is anypawdy out there? It’s me, RaenaBelle. It’s Toss Up/Surprise Furiday and sis Dezi said I’s could take da lead. Isn’t she just da bestest sissy ever? …What’s dat mommy? She didn’t actually say I’s could take da lead? She was tryin’ to tell me to leave her alone so she could eat? Well isn’t dat da same thing? Ifin she’s eatin’ she obviously can’t be here to blog right? …It isn’t da same thing? Well it should be. And who cares, I’s here now and she isn’t. MOL So anyways, I’s takin’ da lead today.
It’s been kinda crazy ‘round here this week. Mommy’s had to clean up all da mold from da a/c leak dat still isn’t fixed. Seems da maintenance man didn’t show up this week cuz he worked 3 days last week and dat was 2 more than he wants to work. Da office be closed today, so you know what mommy’ll be doin’ Monday, don’cha’? I’s wouldn’t wanna be da manager dat’s fur sure. You’ll get a clue why Service Cat Monday. Anyways, not sure how much more there is to clean and dry, but it’s lots of fun fur me. Things strewn everywhere…it’s like a kitty playground. Altho’ not sure dat’s what mommy intended. She sure does a lot of hissin’ at me.
Wooooooops Gotta go eat mines brekky now. See ya’ in a minute.
Raena, ya’ can’t just hijack da bloggy anytime you want. What ifin me had somethin’ special planned fur today?
Well did ya’ sissy?
Well, No. But dat’s not da point. It’s me’s bloggy, me was here furst, and me’s da elder cat and Queen of da house.
Well sissy, I’s didn’t wanna say anythin’ but since ya’ brought it up… You have been lookin’ a little tired lately. And ya’ might wanna ask mommy ‘bout her beauty tricks fur getting’ rid of those bags unner your eyes.
RaenaBelle!!! Furstly, dat’s not very nice. But more purrtantly, me’s a cat. Me doesn’t get bags under me’s eyes. And ifin me’s tired, dat would be your fault fur not lettin’ me nap. Didn’t you get da memo? Kittens, dat’s you, are ‘posed to sleep ‘tween 16 – 18 hours a day.
Oh Catness sissy, I’s might miss somethin’.
Trust me Raena, you ain’t gonna miss anythin’. We live ‘round a bunch of old folks like mommy. Da most excitement dat happens ‘round here is when da ambulance pulls in and everypawdy’s tryin’ to figger out who it’s fur.
Is dat da noisy thing with all da fun colored lights?
Yes Raena, it’s da noisy thing with all da lights. And me knows, you really like it. Anyways, we’s gotta go finish our brekky. You know what mommy says, “no treats unless you eat all your meal.” But befur we go, we’s joinin’ up with Rascal and Rocco and their pawsum co-hosts fur da weekly Pet Parade. Tell everypawdy bye Raena.
See ya’ll later…or sooner ifin I’s can hijack da bloggy again.
Raena…(shakes head) Da kids’ head is as hard as a rock. We’ll be ‘round to visit just as soon as we can. Hope you all have a pawsum weekend.
Dezi: Vibrant Blue
Raena: Navy Blue
Till da next time………………………………..Be Blest!!!
Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses
Deztinee and RaenaBelle
Meowllo and welcome to another miserable Monday. Don’cha’ just luv dat? Miserable Monday? Anyways, we did a lot of talkin’ meowin’ and debatin’ hissin’ back and forth here over da weekend. Me thinks there were a few times we were louder than da storms. What were we meowin’ ‘bout you ask? Well a few things actually and one of them was our Service Cat postys. You know da posty you come here on Mondays to read? Well today is also meow like a pirate day and most of blogville purrticipates. So today we’re postin’ pirate fotos and Service Cat Monday will be back next week. Dat’s right, Miserable Monday is now Service Cat Monday. And as fur our Blest Sunday postys, well they’re not goin’ anywhere, but Chaplain Dezi, dat’s me, will always head them up. Me was named da cat scout chaplain this year, so it’s only right dat me’s in charge of Blest Sundays. Wednesdays and Furidays are still in da meowin’ room, but we’ll get somethin’ decided soon. Anyways, enjoy your Meow like a Pirate day and tune in next Monday fur another great Service Cat training Post.
Till da next time……………………………………Be Blest!!!