Monthly Archives: August 2016
Well here we are, another Miserable Monday. Da end of da weekend and da start of peeps goin’ back to work. We had sun fur da furst time in days yesfurday, but woke up to gray skies and dense fog today. Da weather just doesn’t know what it wants to do. Anyways, today is also Service Cat educational posty day. We didn’t get any questions after last weeks posty, so we’re not sure ifin ya’ll are losin’ innerest in these posts or not. So, ifin ya’ could let us know in da comments, we’d ‘purreciate it. As with all our educational postys, da following will be written in human English. Ifin you’ve missed any post, you can ketch up by clickin’ da linkys below.
We were asked a few posts back to talk about proper training methods. Training is something we think all animals, not just Service Animals can benefit from. We’ve all seen the totally out of control doggy and the doing as it pleases kitty. Unfortunately behavioral problems account for a large percentage of animals taken to shelters; and some of those behaviors could be changed with just a little training and patience. In our Training Foundations post we covered the beginning process mommy chooses to use.
You’s have mines full attention mommy.
There are several acceptable methods of training. If your cat doesn’t respond to one, try another. Hitting, yelling and chasing your kitty Does Not work. Neither does drenching them with water from a water bottle or water gun. Clicker training is probably the best known method these days. It involves a small clicker that the trainer holds and clicks as the animal does what is asked for, followed by a treat. This method is very successful in dog training. Dogs are generally ruled by their tummy and will perform for a treat.
Clicker training can be successful with some cats. Mommy has never used this method per se’, but she does sometimes use a form of it. Long ago when mommy decided to start training Service Kitties she looked in to a clicker. We don’t know the cost these days, but back then it was pretty pricey, and mommy couldn’t afford it. She was already training kitties successfully so she couldn’t justify the cost. However, you can use a finger snap to mimic a clicker. Mommy usually snaps her fingers to get us to pay attention. She doesn’t however follow it up with a treat.
What’s dat mommy? Did you need somethin’?
Treat rewards are the biggest problem mommy has with clicker training. Cats aren’t generally ruled by their tummies and a lot of cats don’t like treats. And too many treats means kitty won’t eat their meal, or they will, and then gain weight and become obese. Positive reinforcement is crucial to train any animal to perform a specific task. Mommy uses praise and love as our reward. It’s not fattening, and it means we will repeat the task even when we don’t get a treat, which would be impossible for her first thing in the morning. Something you may not know, is that most of the handlers of those Service dogs have to carry treats with them to reward the dog off and on throughout the day.
But what about training kitty NOT to do something, such as climb your curtains, stay off the kitchen counters or scratch your brand new leather sofa? Remember, hitting, screaming, chasing or drenching them with water Does Not work. Mommy says the water bottle has it’s place, but if you’re soaking kitty and he/she is still doing the inappropriate behavior, then it obviously isn’t working. And truly, you don’t want kitty to develop a fear of water. Let’s say you’ve ruled out any health issues for kittys’ behavior. Your next step is to offer an appropriate alternative.
jump on da counters.
Let’s talk about inappropriate scratching. All scratchers are not created equal, and not every cat likes the same surface. There are vertical, horizontal and hanging scratchers. Watch kitty to see if he/she has a preference. There are many different textures as well, corrugated cardboard, carpet, sisal and wood. Again, your cat probably has a preference for one of these textures. It may take some time to figure out which, but once you do, you can successfully offer kitty an appropriate scratching surface. The best option would be to have several scratchers of different textures available, as well as vertical and horizontal. Always make sure the scratcher is the right size for your kitty and that it is stable. You can also make a scratcher for your kitty by covering a surface with their favorite material, especially if it’s leather. Place said scratcher next to the area kitty’s scratching and the next time kitty scratches, move him/her over to the new scratching surface and place their paws on it. Initially it might be helpful to take kittys’ paws and mimic scratching on the new surface, as this encourages kitty. And a little catnip on the new scratcher never hurt any kitty either. You must be repetitive in order to stop the offensive behavior completely.
Mommy says that you must speak with a firm tone when training, but Never react in anger. And if there are several people in a household, all parties must be on the training bandwagon. Especially for correcting inappropriate behavior. Now let’s talk a minute about that water bottle so many cat peeps have on hand. And yes, mommy has one too. Here’s mommys’ list of reasons to use the water bottle:
To break up a Cat Fight
To stop a fight you see coming on by distracting kitties
Mommy says NEVER aim the water stream directly at kitty, especially not the head area. Depending on the proximity you are from kitty and where you hit them, kitty could actually be injured. (Mommy has seen some really powerful water bottles and water guns in the market) Instead, spray a few inches above kitty or in between kitties. Mommy says that clapping, snapping fingers, or a shaker can will also work. Again, don’t do this right in kittys’ ears. A clap from across the room is more than sufficient to get kittys’ attention. Whichever action you take, you should include a firm NO at the same time. Mommy always includes our name. She says that doing so makes sure there’s no mistaking who she’s correcting and what behavior is objectionable. There’s a lot of “No Raena’s” going on around here right now.
Me’s gonna get a quick bath in befur a nap.
Well, me’s just realized this is a really long posty, so me’s gonna wrap it up now and try to get a nap befur Raena starts in again. She’d put dat battery bunny to shame she has so much energy. Anyways, hope you all have a pawsum day.
Till da next time…………………………………..Be Blest!!!
Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses
Deztinee and RaenaBelle
Welcome to a wonderfully sunny Blest Sunday. It’s been rainin’ here fur days. Fankfully, there were no thunder boomers to go along with said rain, so me didn’t really spend much time UTB/UTC. Of course Raena didn’t even seem to notice. Ya’ know, dat girly has No fears. None, nada, zip, zilch. Mommy even told her a couple times dat she was so purroud of her, but dat a little fear is a good thing.
Dezi: Raena thought we oughtta play a game of whacky paw on da cat tree with her hangin’ from da top ledge. Sure ‘nuff, she fell and just ‘bout gave mommy a heart attack. Dat’s when she got da, “a little fear’s a good thing” speech. But of course, she didn’t pay no attention, cuz she was right back at it a few minutes later.
Are you crazy Raena? You’s gonna fall and then you’re
really gonna get it.
Dezi: Mommy also played ‘fly fishin’’ wand toy with us till me was exhausted and mommy was exhausted. Raena tho’…she was still rarin’ to go. So mommy set up da pawsum Cat’s Meow toy we received from our angel furiends and Raena played till da batteries died and she tore it up. Okay, me got in on a little of dat action too, but me couldn’t keep up with da kid.
Raena: Oh sissy, are you talkin’ ‘bout all da fun we had playin’ yesfurday?
Dezi: Me was till you butted in Raena.
Raena: Who knew there were so many fun toys to chase? Fur some reason tho’, they all kept slowin’ down and quittin’ over time.
Dezi: Dat’s cuz you deaded ‘em Raena. Dat’s what happens when ya’ play with somethin’
elebenty billion hours 3 hours straight. Eventually, it dies. Hmmmmm Me thinks there might be a lesson in there. Now lissen, we don’t have mouseys, but ifin we did, dat’s ‘zactly what you’d do to a mousey, Dead it. Altho’ me would recommend you do it purretty quick or mommy might have dat heart attack fur real. And by da way, you can tear up da mousey like you did our Cat’s Meow.
Dezi: You know dat’s da second Cat’s Meow we’ve done in at our house. Sis Lexi and me played da furst one to death and now you’ve done it to this one. Fankfully mommy can change out da batteries in da other toys and they’ll still work. And fanks to some amazin’ anonymous angels who put some money in our paypal account, mommy can buy some new batteries. We are so blest.
Raena: Oh sissy we are. And we’re blest to have all our dear furiends in our lives too. Good weather, good friends, fun toys and full bellies, what more could a girly ask fur?.
Dezi: Well Raena, me wouldn’t have put it dat way ‘zactly, but you’re right. ‘Course those treats we had durin’ da little break was good too. ‘Member to take a minute today and everyday and give fanks fur da many blessings in your life. We’s joinin’ da Kitties Blue fur Selfie Sunday. We didn’t actually take any selfies, but mommy did get some close ups.
Raena: Mmmmmm These treats are lick your lips good.
Till da next time………………………………..Be Blest!!!
Dezi: Vibrant Blue
Raena: Navy Blue