Category Archives: Feline Behavior

Service Cats: Pica: Why Is My Cat Eating That

MeOW  Welcome to Service Cat Monday. Sorry ‘bout last week, seems winter has arrived and with it winter storms. Anyways, let me get the business outta the way and we’ll get on with today’s posty. The followin’ post will be written in human English fur reader and translator ease. Our Service Cat Monday posts aren’t intended to be an all inclusive Trainin’ Manual but rather Tips, Tricks and Techniques used/developed by mommy A thru her many years of animal trainin’, cats in purrticular. And to offur insight into your questions about Feline Behavior. Ifin you have any questions or topics you would like us to cover, purrlease let us know in the comments section or send us an email. When asking behavioral questions, purrlease be as specific as pawssible. And, ifin you’ve missed any of the posts in this series, you can ketch up by clickin’ the links at the end of this post. Always remember, Training is all ‘bout Repetition and Rewards.

 

Dezi laying in cat tree in new harness

 

So, the last topic we dealt with was inappropriate licking and Chewing. We’re going to take that a bit further today and meow about something called Pica. Pica is an actual defect that goes beyond the casual curiosity chewing of cords and other non food items. Did you know that some humans are affected by Pica too? Sure ‘nuff, but today we’re dealing with kitty/doggy Pica. First let’s explain what it is. A cat/dog with Pica will regularly eat or try to eat things like wool, socks, plastic (baggies), cotton, cords, boxes and other non food items. Pica is actual ingesting and not just chewing/suckling. Pica is not about your animal being hungry. Starvation is a whole other issue and not one a well cared for pet should be in danger of.

 

Watch on youtube here . Please subscribe to our

channel while you’re there.

 

 

This behavior (Pica) can be extremely dangerous, even deadly. Eating any of these items can cause tummy upsets, choking, unknown health issues/diseases or obstructions that require expensive surgery. We often see kittens kneading and “suckling” those soft floofy blankets/throws and think it’s cute. We have some really cute videos of me doing just that. You just watched one of them. Mommy needs to replace our blanket and throws every year because of it. Thankfully, me doesn’t actually eat the blankets/throws, but some kitties/doggies do. And, it’s NOT cute, it’s very Dangerous.

 

 Dezi and Lexi lay on the bed together

You can sort of see the suckled parts of this throw. Sis Lexi

and me both luvved it.

 

 

 

What causes Pica you ask? There are several possible causes: Nutritional Deficiency, Boredom, Anxiety, Teething, Early Weaning, Compulsive Disorder, and some Diseases and Health Problems, such as Diabetes, Leukemia, Tumors, Anemia and more. So again we say, Pica is not cute. It’s an outer symptom of an inner problem. If your cat/dog is exhibiting signs of Pica, DO NOT jump to conclusions or think the worse!!! We are NOT Vets nor is this post a means of diagnosing an illness.

 

Dezi and Lexi laying on the bed

See that spot behind me that looks a mess? Well, me just couldn’t help

me’s-self. Every meownin’ and night when me would give mommy a

massage, me would suckle the blanky.

 

What should you do if you cat/dog is exhibiting signs of Pica? Make an appointment with your VET to rule out any medical causes/diseases/illnesses or Nutritional deficiencies. Once kitty/doggy has been given a clean bill of health, remove the tempting items from kitty/doggy’s reach. This is a cautionary step and one that is often hard to continue for the life of the pet. Altho’ your pet’s health should be just as important as your own. However, we suggest finding the cause of the behavior and Re-Training/Directing the animal to proper behavior.

 

 Dezi kneads and suckles the cat bed

Me just can’t help me’s-self. 

 

 

 

We believe in treating the underlying issue so that kitty/doggy can live a full and happy life. Put on your detective’s hat and watch kitty/doggy closely for signs of stress, anxiety and/or boredom. Try to determine the Triggers, the Duration of the Licking/Chewing, what type of Object is chosen (the item may be different for different triggers), and the time of day/month/year. Holidays may cause your pet to become more stressed and thus cause Pica to be more prevalent at those times. Do you have guests? Is there a new family member, furry or not? Are you away from the home more than before? A little detecting will lead you to discover the cause or behavioral Pica. 

  

 Dezi poses for the camera while playing with the Cat Dancer

Inneractive play helps keep kitty from getting bored.

 

 

Some quick fixes/things to try, can be to set up a Decompression Room. Or, just spending more time with kitty/doggy. If kitty/doggy is bored, implement more play time. Maybe Train kitty to wear a harness and take them for walks. Please be aware of dangerous things kitty/doggy might try to eat while outside and avoid them. Redirect kitty/doggy immediately to an appropriate toy to play with. Include interactive play. Remember, Do Not Punish kitty/doggy, instead Always use Positive Reinforcement when they respond to Redirection. NEVER Hit your kitty/doggy. This will accomplish Nothing and only serve to diminish your relationship. You may also try medications. These should only be used under the direction of a licensed VET, and as a last resort. (in our opinion)

 

 Raena lays in house on liberty cat tree

Who? Me? I’s only suckle mommy.

 

 

One last thing, Suckling and Eating are 2 separate things. However, a cat/dog that suckles may progress to eating, so keep an eye on your pet and make sure that doesn’t happen. There’s no way we can cover every possibility here, but we do hope we’ve helped you to begin to understand Pica and how to help your kitty/doggy.

 

 Animated cats asking for email

 

 

We’re gonna wrap it up today. Remember, ifin ya’ have any questions or topics you’d like us to address, leave them in the comments section, or send us an email. And, as always, you can ketch up on any post you may have missed by clickin’ the links below.

 

Till the next time……………………………………Be Blest!!!

 

Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses

 

Deztinee and RaenaBelle 

 

Service Cats

What to Look For      Training Foundations      Train Kitty To Massage

Smelling Disease      Do You Need One      Who Bears the Cost

Housing Laws & Exceptions      Accommodations & Common Sense

When the Handler Dies      Proper Training Methods Pt. 1 & Pt. 2

Easiest Task to Train      Getting Kitty Ready for an Outing

Discipline: Stop Countersurfing Kitty      Internal Disputes

Calling Emergency Help      Just What Is Kitty Capable of

Shad: Original Service Cat      Harness, Vest, Leash or Stroller

Dezi, the Wheelchair & Chest      Round and Round We Go

Tumble & Fall Response      Raena Calls for Help

The Rest of the Story     Raena & the Wheelchair Pt. 1 Pt. 2 Pt. 3 Pt. 4

When to Train      Explaining Rewards & Kitty’s Feelings

Stop Kitty’s Begging     Calling For Help Options Pt. 1

Medicating Kitty

Training the Pig Headed, Stallion Strong, Submissive Pup & Conniving Cat

Cats Love Training & Social Media Downfalls

Reintegrating the Scared or Bullied Cat      There’s No Bully Cat Breed

Going for a Walk When in a Wheelchair     Calming the Tiger Pt.1 Pt. 2 Pt. 3

Surviving A Remodel      Taming A Feral Cat

Designer Cats & Scent      DNA Doesn’t Change      Fighting or Posturing

Clicker Training & Operant Conditioning      Wheelchair Training

Basic Training Continues      Managing Without A Wheelchair

Are Spray Bottles Effective      Hands Are Not Toys

Does My Cat Need A Friend      Helping Your Bullied Shy Cat

Why Cats Scratch      Halloween Safety     Stop Cord Chewing

Service Cats: How To Stop Kitty’s Cord Chewing

MeOW and welcome to Service Cat Monday. We seem to be gettin’ later and later with our posts. All me can meow is that it’s gettin’ colder and we still don’t have a wheelchair, so we’re doin’ the bestest we can. Mommy’s been a bit unner the weather lately, but never fear, Raena and me are takin’ real good care of her. Anyways, let me get the business outta the way and we’ll get on with today’s posty. The followin’ post will be written in human English fur reader and translator ease. Our Service Cat Monday posts aren’t intended to be an all inclusive Trainin’ Manual but rather Tips, Tricks and Techniques used/developed by mommy A thru her many years of animal trainin’, cats in purrticular. And to offur insight into your questions about Feline Behavior. Ifin you have any questions or topics you would like us to cover, purrlease let us know in the comments section or send us an email. When asking behavioral questions, purrlease be as specific as pawssible. And, ifin you’ve missed any of the posts in this series, you can ketch up by clickin’ the links at the end of this post. Always remember, Training is all ‘bout Repetition and Rewards. 

 

 Dezi laying in cat tree in new harness

 

 

 

Today we thought we’d talk a bit about chewing. This is something most dog owners are intimately familiar with, but only affects a small percentage of cats. Dogs never seem to outgrow their need to chew on things. Us kitties on the other hand, don’t usually find your stinky shoes appetizing. There’s a big difference between stinky goodness and the stench coming from your old sneakers. So, what do we kitties find interesting to chew you ask? Well, that cord draped from your desk to the outlet that connects you computer to the almighty power sure does look enticing. So does that cord that connects your monitor to the computer, or the one that charges your phone, tablet or other digital device.

 

Dangling Cords

Courtesy of Flickr

 

 

 

Yes, dogs seem to chew based on scent or sensation, but we kitties chew based on a response to Hunt, Catch, Kill. A dangling cord might look motionless to you, but we see the slightest movement caused by a shift in the air, or the slight shaking of your desk or table. We can’t help that our tail appendage just happened to touch the cord and cause it to sway as we passed by. But, that slight movement awakens our need to “Hunt, Catch and Kill”.

 

 Cat with yarn animated clip art

 

 

Kitties can also chew because of frustration or boredom. Generally, we still chew things like cords or small dangly items like curtain tassels, rug tassels, etc.. Why do you think we like wand toys so much? MOL There are exceptions to every rule. Raena likes to bite and chew metal and porcelain objects. Mommy finds this very frustrating herself, as these objects are extremely hard and could cause tooth breakage. But, let’s be honest, cord chewing isn’t any safer. The teeth might not break because of it, but kitty could get electrocuted or worse.

 

Electrical Tape in 6 colors

Electrical tape comes in fashionable colors as well as black

So, how do you get kitty to stop chewing? The good news is, that most cats grow out of this behavior. In the meantime, wrap cords in cord protectors when possible. There are many products on the market that are designed to dissuade kitty, but mommy says she never found them very effective. And in some cases they were a bit sticky and she feared they could cause bugs. Not something mommy ever wants to encourage. The one thing Mommy has found to be helpful is electrical tape. Electrical tape is an inexpensive fix to keep kitty from chewing on cords that must dangle for whatever reason. It even comes in colors these days. Although, mommy still prefers basic black. Just be sure to wrap the cord from the base of the plug to the base of the device it powers. In all of her years with fosters and resident kitties, she’s never had one chew a cord wrapped in electrical tape. You can also try hiding or blocking kitty’s access to as many cords as possible with furniture. Remove all tassels and fringed items. This step should only be temporary.  

 

 Fabric Electric Cord covers

Fabric covers, easily made by sewing a seam in one side of a

piece of fabric cut a few inches longer and wider than

the cord it’s covering.

 

Electrical cord covers

 

 

But, for those cats who chew out of boredom, electrical tape and removal of enticing items won’t be the only fix needed. So, Redirect, Redirect, Redirect. As soon as kitty starts chewing, firmly say NO, and get a wand toy or throw kitty’s favorite toy their way. IN KITTY’S DIRECTION, NOT AT THEM!!! The startle will be enough to stop kitty from chewing and get them to investigate the toy. Remember, spray bottles and water dousing doesn’t work. We know several of you just disagreed with us based on your own experiences. And while it might work a time or two, the damage it does in the long run isn’t worth it. Not to mention, kitty will eventually get used to getting doused and ignore it. Besides, spray bottles and dousings are for the lazy kitty owner who isn’t interested in learning why kitty is doing what they’re doing and helping them. You can also try some of the electric interactive toys on the market. We have several that will turn on intermittently throughout the day. Of course, they don’t work so well when kitty learns how to turn them on and off themselves, but hey, at least kitty isn’t bored. MOL You might also look into getting kitty a friend.

 

Brown Dog clip art

While we’re a kitty blog and focus mainly on feline behavior, we try to help all our friends whenever possible. We mentioned that dogs are incessant chewers. You’re not likely to stop your dog from chewing, but you can provide appropriate chew toys. Keep your shoes, clothes, remotes, phones, and other enticing items out of doggy’s reach. Keep closet doors shut, invest in a remote/phone caddy and Redirect, Redirect, Redirect. If doggy gets hold of an off limits item, immediately remove it (use basic training command: Drop It) and replace it with an appropriate chew toy. Again, there are tons of them on the market, from chew sticks to teething ropes, etc.. 

 

email dreaming cat clip art

Well we hope we’ve helped those of you who might be dealing with cord chewers. We got a similar question about fabric chewing that we’ll cover next week. These are two completely different behaviors. And remember, ifin you have any questions or topics you’d like us to cover, leave them in the comments or send us an email. You can ketch up on any of the posts in this series by clickin’ the links below. 

 

Animated cats asking for email

 

Till the next time…………………………………………..Be Blest!!!

 

Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses

 

Deztinee and RaenaBelle 

 

Service Cats

What to Look For      Training Foundations      Train Kitty To Massage

Smelling Disease      Do You Need One      Who Bears the Cost

Housing Laws & Exceptions      Accommodations & Common Sense

When the Handler Dies      Proper Training Methods Pt. 1 & Pt. 2

Easiest Task to Train      Getting Kitty Ready for an Outing

Discipline: Stop Countersurfing Kitty      Internal Disputes

Calling Emergency Help      Just What Is Kitty Capable of

Shad: Original Service Cat      Harness, Vest, Leash or Stroller

Dezi, the Wheelchair & Chest      Round and Round We Go

Tumble & Fall Response      Raena Calls for Help

The Rest of the Story     Raena & the Wheelchair Pt. 1 Pt. 2 Pt. 3 Pt. 4

When to Train      Explaining Rewards & Kitty’s Feelings

Stop Kitty’s Begging     Calling For Help Options Pt. 1

Medicating Kitty

Training the Pig Headed, Stallion Strong, Submissive Pup & Conniving Cat

Cats Love Training & Social Media Downfalls

Reintegrating the Scared or Bullied Cat      There’s No Bully Cat Breed

Going for a Walk When in a Wheelchair     Calming the Tiger Pt.1 Pt. 2 Pt. 3

Surviving A Remodel      Taming A Feral Cat

Designer Cats & Scent      DNA Doesn’t Change      Fighting or Posturing

Clicker Training & Operant Conditioning      Wheelchair Training

Basic Training Continues      Managing Without A Wheelchair

Are Spray Bottles Effective      Hands Are Not Toys

Does My Cat Need A Friend      Helping Your Bullied Shy Cat

Why Cats Scratch     Halloween Safety

Service Cats: Why Cats Scratch And Where

MeOW and welcome to a brand new Service Cat Monday. We thought we’d do somethin’ a little bit different today. This post will still be educational and pawrt of our Service Cat series, as we’ll be focusing on feline behavior along with some training tips. But, we’ll also be introducing you to one of our give away products this month. You’ll have to come back Wednesday fur the give away. So, let me get the business outta the way and we can get right to it. The followin’ post will be written in human English fur reader and translator ease. Our Service Cat Monday posts aren’t intended to be an all inclusive Trainin’ Manual but rather Tips, Tricks and Techniques used/developed by mommy A thru her many years of animal trainin’, cats in purrticular. And to offur insight into your questions about Feline Behavior. Ifin you have any questions or topics you would like us to cover, purrlease let us know in the comments section or send us an email. When asking behavioral questions, purrlease be as specific as pawssible. And, ifin you’ve missed any of the posts in this series, you can ketch up by clickin’ the links at the end of this post. Always remember, Training is all ‘bout Repetition and Rewards.

 

Dezi laying in cat tree in new harness

 

 

Our Service Cat Monday posts include Training topics for all cats, not just Service Cats. We believe all cats can live happier lives with a little basic Training. We previously discussed inherent behaviors that drive each and every cat on the planet whether big or small. Today, we’re going to focus our discussion on Scratching. All cats have the need to Scratch. We are against declawing!!! However, even a declawed cat has the need to scratch. Please, DO NOT DECLAW your cat.

 

Dezi's huge paw reaching for the camera

 

 

Let’s take a look at the feline paw and talk about why cats Scratch. Visible to the eyes are the paw pads, and claws; although mine are hidden by fur tufts. What the eye doesn’t see are the bones, tendons and ligaments that make the feline paw so special. Most cats have the ability to extend or retract their claws at will. Like the human fingernail/toenail, the tip of the cat’s claw is dead. And, just like with the human fingernail/toenail, a portion of that claw is also alive, and connected to the paw by bone, tendons, ligament and muscle. The paw pads also contain scent glands. As we discussed in a previous post, cats see their world through scent more than through the eyes. You can NOT remove a cat’s claws without removing bone. That bone is similar to a humans first knuckle. Do Not Declaw!!!

 

Feline anatomy with close up of paws and claws

 

 

Cats communicate with other cats and animals through Scent. A cat may mark their territory, announce the desire to mate, or send other messages by urinary spray and/or Scratching. Cats also Scratch to sharpen their claws and remove dead claw sheaths. The act of Scratching also strengthens the muscles in the cat’s limbs. Scratching is an innate behavior that Can Not be stopped. Inappropriate Scratching has led to far too many cats being relinquished, killed and/or declawed. Whether you have an only cat or a house full, providing kitty with appropriate surfaces for Scratching is a must. It’s just as important as litter boxes. Think of your cat’s need to Scratch the same way you would their need to eat, sleep and void.

 

 Raena scratches on the butterfly cat scratcher

 

 

There are plenty of Scratching options on the market, and we suggest having a few different ones available for your cat.  Some cats like to Scratch vertically and others horizontally. While others like to do both. A good Scratcher is sturdy, and large enough for kitty to stretch, dig in and pull. Cats also have preferences as to the texture of their Scratching surfaces. You may need to try out several before finding kitty’s favorite. Among the most popular Scratchers are Corrugated Cardboard and Sisal. Another popular option is Carpet. Regardless, it’s always good to have two or more options available at all times. Prices are as varied as styles, ranging anywhere from a few dollars to a few hundred. It’s not as important to have the most expensive Scratcher as it is to have one kitty will use. It’s also important to replace Scratchers as needed.

 

 Dezi scratching the cardboard race car

 

 

Most of the time kitty’s curiosity will cause him/her to start using the Scratcher immediately. If kitty is reluctant, you can always add a little catnip or silvervine to the Scratcher to entice kitty to use it. If kitty is Scratching inappropriately, place a Scratcher next to the area and redirect kitty. It’s always best to try to find a Scratcher that closely resembles the texture of the item kitty has chosen. Another way to introduce kitty to a Scratcher is to mimic their Scratching behavior on the new Scratcher with your own fingers while kitty watches. You may also gently put kitty’s paws on the Scratcher and use their paws to mimic Scratching.

 

 Dezi uses sisal scratcher

 

 

 

We suggest purchasing cheaper Scratchers in multiple textures until you find kitty’s preference. Once that’s been achieved, we suggest investing in several Scratchers to place in different areas of the home. Think of your kitty’s Scratcher as necessary furniture. Corrugated Cardboard is among the cheapest Scratchers and come in many different shapes and sizes. Scratchers have come a long way and many are made to fit in to your home’s décor. Sisal Scratchers are among the more expensive, but tend to be a favorite among kitties. Cat trees usually incorporate Sisal along with Carpet to offer kitty options. An important thing to remember when purchasing a cat tree or standing Scratcher, is that it will be sturdy enough for kitty to stretch out or up and pull back or down without it falling and/or moving. The Scratcher’s base should be wide enough to offer proper support and tall enough for adult kitty to fully stretch. A general rule of thumb is about 3 feet tall with a base of 16” – 18” X 16” – 18”. 

 

Raena with the Cat Scratcher from Chewy's Oct. review

Doesn’t this Scratcher look pawsum???

 

 

Just remember, kitty must Scratch, so it’s up to you to provide them with appropriate surfaces if you want to keep your furniture in tact. Never scold kitty for Scratching!!! Redirect, Redirect, Redirect any inappropriate Scratching, and Praise and Reward Kitty for all appropriate Scratching. Please consider a cat’s innate drives before adopting one. You can have nice things, a kitty and a happy home. With just a little Training, kitty will prefer his/her Scratcher to the furniture any day. If you can’t devote the time and energy into Training kitty, or you don’t think you can handle kitty’s Scratching, PLEASE rethink adopting kitty. Declawing is not a solution!!!

 

Lexi and Dezi lay on scratchers

 

 

Well, we’re gonna wrap it up for today. All this talk about Scratchin’ has me itchin’ to visit the Scratchin’ post. Again, ifin you’ve missed any of the posts in this series, you can ketch up by clickin’ the links below. And, leave any questions or post topics you might have in the comments section or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you.

 

Till the next time…………………………………….Be Blest!!!

 

Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses

 

Deztinee and RaenaBelle 

 

Service Cats

What to Look For      Training Foundations      Train Kitty To Massage

Smelling Disease      Do You Need One      Who Bears the Cost

Housing Laws & Exceptions      Accommodations & Common Sense

When the Handler Dies      Proper Training Methods Pt. 1 & Pt. 2

Easiest Task to Train      Getting Kitty Ready for an Outing

Discipline: Stop Countersurfing Kitty      Internal Disputes

Calling Emergency Help      Just What Is Kitty Capable of

Shad: Original Service Cat      Harness, Vest, Leash or Stroller

Dezi, the Wheelchair & Chest      Round and Round We Go

Tumble & Fall Response      Raena Calls for Help

The Rest of the Story     Raena & the Wheelchair Pt. 1 Pt. 2 Pt. 3 Pt. 4

When to Train      Explaining Rewards & Kitty’s Feelings

Stop Kitty’s Begging     Calling For Help Options Pt. 1

Medicating Kitty

Training the Pig Headed, Stallion Strong, Submissive Pup & Conniving Cat

Cats Love Training & Social Media Downfalls

Reintegrating the Scared or Bullied Cat      There’s No Bully Cat Breed

Going for a Walk When in a Wheelchair     Calming the Tiger Pt.1 Pt. 2 Pt. 3

Surviving A Remodel      Taming A Feral Cat

Designer Cats & Scent      DNA Doesn’t Change      Fighting or Posturing

Clicker Training & Operant Conditioning      Wheelchair Training

Basic Training Continues      Managing Without A Wheelchair

Are Spray Bottles Effective      Hands Are Not Toys

Does My Cat Need A Friend     Helping Your Bullied Shy Cat

Service Cats: Is Your Shy Cat Being Beat Up

MeOW everypawdy. Can you believe it? It’s already Service Cat Monday again. And, the second week in October. This year has just flown by. Anyways, we’ve got some good questions fur ya’ today, so let me get the business outta the way and we’ll get right to it. The followin’ post will be written in human English fur reader and translator ease. Our Service Cat Monday posts aren’t intended to be an all inclusive Trainin’ Manual but rather Tips, Tricks and Techniques used/developed by mommy thru her many years of animal trainin’, cats in purrticular. And to offur insight into your questions about Feline Behavior. Ifin you have any questions or topics you would like us to cover, purrlease let us know in the comments section or send us an email. When asking behavioral questions, purrlease be as specific as pawssible. And, ifin you’ve missed any of the posts in this series, you can ketch up by clickin’ the links at the end of this post. Always remember, Training is all ‘bout Repetition and Rewards.

 

Dezi laying in cat tree in new harness

 

So, our question today comes from awnty Ellen of 15 and Meowing. She asks, “Is there anything that will get Sammy to stop trying to beat up Brody?” First let us say, we’re so sorry you’re having this problem, especially since you were great enough to save Brody from a life on the streets. Secondly, YES, there is hope that Sammy and Brody can live together in peace. Ideally, we know you’d love to see them curled up together having a grooming session. While we can’t promise that, we can at least give you and others going through similar things some tips to help create an alliance/peace accord. We must address the fact that awnty Ellen’s house has gone through a lot of changes since Brody joined their family; the latest being the loss of our dearly beloved Phoebe.

 

Dezi with bowed head praying on the pet stepsPurrlease send comfurt to our furiends.

 

 

As most of you know, cats don’t particularly like change. And, as we discussed previously, cats do have a hierarchy/pecking order when living in multi-cat households. Any loss creates a vacuum in that hierarchy and can cause a bit of turmoil until the cats figure out the new dynamics. The same is true when a new cat is added to the house. Brody came into the house at a time shortly after another loss in his new family. If we recall correctly, he was a bit timid and did some hiding out. While that may have helped Brody adjust to his new surroundings and family, it also marked him as prey. Although Sammy was the resident cat, he was also experiencing changes brought about by the loss of other housemates.

 

Angry cat face emoji

There are several reasons that Sammy could be acting out and taking it out on Brody. These causes could be Redirected Aggression, Fear or Posturing/Dominance. Causes of Redirected Aggression could be that another cat is acting out towards Sammy. Brody may act as prey and run from Sammy causing him to go into hunt, catch and kill mode. If this is the reason for Sammy’s actions, Redirecting him to an appropriate outlet for his aggression is key. At the first sign of any Aggression towards Brody/kitty, Sammy’s attention should be diverted. A loud noise such as a hand clap or the shaking of a coin can (aluminum can with a few coins inside) should cause Sammy/the Aggressor to stop and look for the origins of the noise. Immediately after the noise, say “STOP” in a firm but calm voice and throw a favorite toy for Sammy/kitty to chase instead. Remember, squirt guns, water bottles and the like Do Not help!!!  

 

 Cat chasing cat emoji

 

 

Sammy may also be acting out of Fear. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to know and/or fix what might cause a cat to Fear. But Redirecting the abhorrent behavior will still work. In the meantime, it’s important to build Brody’s/kitty’s confidence in order teach him not to run away and act like prey. Interactive play in the presence of Sammy/the Aggressor and the other kitties will help. But, remember, the point is to help Brody/kitty gain confidence, so ignore any other kitty that may try to join in unless their presence emboldens Brody/shy or passive kitty. Whenever possible, have a second person making sure Sammy/the Aggressor doesn’t interfere with the confidence building exercise. This person might offer Sammy/the Aggressor treats, pats, or brushing during the session. But, only give Rewards when Sammy/the Aggressor is exhibiting the proper behavior and ignoring Brody/kitty. Never Reward Inappropriate Behavior. 

 

Dezi and Raena circle each otherA little posturin’ never hurt anykitty, but don’t let it get outta hand.

 

 

Lastly, if Sammy is acting out due to posturing, it’s up to the human to figure out the acceptable pecking order within their home and Reinforce it. Although this may sound a bit silly, it will certainly make for a more peaceful home. Always greet the Alpha Cat first and then the next in line and so on. Food, treats, grooming and all other interactive activities should start with the Alpha cat and go down the line of succession as well. It is extremely helpful to have scheduled feedings as opposed to free feeding. Free feeding can often cause small spats over left over food bowls. So, to wrap this up, we suggest building confidence in the kitty (Brody) who is receiving the aggression, and Redirecting the more Aggressive kitty (Sammy).

 

 Dezi and Raena sleep together on the floor

2 happy kitties coexisting peacefully.

 

 

That’s it fur this posty. We know this scenario is one played out in many homes each day. We do hope we have helped in some way. We should also say that you have one last option, and that would be to start all over and slowly Reintroduce the kitties by separating them and going through the scent and site swapping methods we discussed in our Fighting or Posturing post or Reintegrating the Scared or Bullied Cat (links below), if you have the extra space. But we do think Redirection and Confidence building is enough, as long as you’re consistent. Remember, ifin you’ve missed any of the posts in this series, you can click on the links below. And as always, we love hearing from you. Leave your thoughts, comments, post suggestions and/or questions in the comment section below or send us an email. 

 

Till the next time…………………………………..Be Blest!!!

 

Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses

 

Deztinee and RaenaBelle 

 

Service Cats 

 

What to Look For      Training Foundations      Train Kitty To Massage

Smelling Disease      Do You Need One      Who Bears the Cost

Housing Laws & Exceptions      Accommodations & Common Sense

When the Handler Dies      Proper Training Methods Pt. 1 & Pt. 2

Easiest Task to Train      Getting Kitty Ready for an Outing

Discipline: Stop Countersurfing Kitty      Internal Disputes

Calling Emergency Help      Just What Is Kitty Capable of

Shad: Original Service Cat      Harness, Vest, Leash or Stroller

Dezi, the Wheelchair & Chest      Round and Round We Go

Tumble & Fall Response      Raena Calls for Help

The Rest of the Story     Raena & the Wheelchair Pt. 1 Pt. 2 Pt. 3 Pt. 4

When to Train      Explaining Rewards & Kitty’s Feelings

Stop Kitty’s Begging     Calling For Help Options Pt. 1

Medicating Kitty

Training the Pig Headed, Stallion Strong, Submissive Pup & Conniving Cat

Cats Love Training & Social Media Downfalls

Reintegrating the Scared or Bullied Cat      There’s No Bully Cat Breed

Going for a Walk When in a Wheelchair     Calming the Tiger Pt.1 Pt. 2 Pt. 3

Surviving A Remodel      Taming A Feral Cat

Designer Cats & Scent      DNA Doesn’t Change      Fighting or Posturing

Clicker Training & Operant Conditioning      Wheelchair Training

Basic Training Continues      Managing Without A Wheelchair

Are Spray Bottles Effective      Hands Are Not Toys

Does My Cat Need A Friend

Service Cats: Does My Cat Need A Friend

Meow and welcome to another Service Cat Monday. We seem to be getting’ a later start these days, but we do hope you’re enjoyin’ these posts. Let me get the disclaimers outta the way and we’ll jump right in to today’s posty. The followin’ post will be written in human English fur reader and translator ease. Our Service Cat Monday posts aren’t intended to be an all inclusive Trainin’ Manual but rather Tips, Tricks and Techniques used/developed by mommy thru her many years of animal trainin’, cats in purrticular. And to offur insight into your questions. Ifin you have any questions or topics you would like us to cover, purrlease let us know in the comments section or send us an email. When asking behavioral questions, purrlease be as specific as pawssible. And, ifin you’ve missed any of the posts in this series, you can ketch up by clickin’ the links at the end of this post. Always remember, Training is all ‘bout Repetition and Rewards.

 

 Dezi laying in cat tree in new harness

 

 

So, last week we talked about Training kitty to play with toys and not hands or feet. Awnty Juliea had asked a 2 part question; the second part being about getting a playmate or “Buddy Cat” for her newly adopted Patzy. So today, we’re going to discuss the dynamics of adding a second cat to your home. Does your kitty want a friend? Would adding another cat help calm an Aggressive cat? Is my cat lonely? Am I adopting another cat for the right reasons? All of those and more are loaded questions; but questions we get asked a lot. Each cat is different, and will respond to a new addition in a variety of ways.

 

 Dezi and Raena atop the liberty cat tree with Yeowww toy

 

 

In recent years some shelters and rescues will only adopt young kittens in pairs. The idea being that if they grow up together, they will be happier and better pets. More often than not, kittens raised together will bond and become the best of friends, however, the opposite can also be true. Even littermates can grow into enemies. While this is rare, it can and does happen.

 

Dezi looks at Raena at the top of the Liberty cat tree

 

 

So, you adopted a kitten between the ages of 6 months and a year old. Kitty is a little more aloof than you had expected, or has some undesirable behaviors. Will adding another kitty help? Your needs, desires and wants must be secondary. Always make your resident cat’s personality and needs first. Do Not rely on a second kitty to change the behaviors of the resident cat. Kittens learn boundaries from their mothers and littermates in the first 6 to 8 weeks. A cat that was taken away from his/her mother too young will miss out on some of those lessons. A “Friend” or “Buddy Cat” is not the same. It’s better to Train the resident cat appropriate behaviors before introducing a friend in the mix. As we’ve discussed in earlier posts, introducing a new cat into the home can often come with it’s own challenges.

 

 Dezi cares for Raena atop the Liberty cat tree

 

 

Although feral cats will gravitate to a colony for survival, and cats can live happily in multicat/pet households, they are by nature a solitary animal. That being said, we personally like to see more than one cat in a home. If you have a dominant cat, we suggest adopting a slightly older kitty with a more sedate personality. If kitty is more laid back, bordering on the lazy side, we recommend a slightly more playful kitty. And we do mean Slightly. It’s never a good idea to adopt an overly playful kitty/kitten as a friend for your older more laid back kitty. Although mommy and others have successfully integrated young kittens into homes with older cats, it poses quite a few challenges. Breed traits become very important when doing this. Remember, your resident cat’s needs must be given priority.

 

 Raena stands on perch and looks out door

I’s can see any intruder from here.

 

 

Awnty Juliea did make note that Patzy reacted by hissing and acting territorially when she saw another cat from her window in her yard. This is typical behavior and doesn’t really determine how a cat will act toward a new kitty in the home. However, there will be hissing almost anytime a new addition is added to the home. Cats have a hierarchy and this is one way they communicate that. Me still hisses at Raena every time she follows me up the cat tree and tries to trip me. Till the day she left us, sis Lexi hissed at me every time me stuck me’s nose up her behind. But, we loved each other very much and got along great, like me and Raena. So if you decide to add a “Friend” be prepared for some growing pains and hisses.

 

Dezi and Raena play

Well c’mon squirt, let’s play.

 

 

We recommend asking the shelter or rescue where you adopt kitty, how well they get along with others. We also recommend not waiting too long to adopt that new friend. The longer a cat lives a solitary (only cat) life, the less likely they will be to truly accept a “Friend”.

 

 Dezi and Lexi laying together on the bed

 

 

The hardest part about answering this question, is that we’re not there. We don’t know your cat, their personality or how they interact with others. So, of course we can’t give a definite answer as to whether or not you should adopt a new kitty. Remember, when you adopt a cat/kitten, it’s a lifetime commitment!!! Not an “Oooops, it didn’t work out” commitment. Watch your cat, if they’re truly lonely, they will give you signs, usually inappropriate behavior (severe pica, excessive meowing, excessive chewing, etc.). This can be corrected by you spending more quality time with kitty. We can’t stress enough how important it is to make the resident kitty a priority.

 

 Lexi and Dezi lay together on window perch

 

 

Do Not adopt a Friend for your cat, just because your resident cat isn’t quite what you had hoped for. What do we mean? Well, maybe you wanted a lap cat, but after getting kitty home, you discover they’re not much for being held, much less laying around in your lap. Again, a little extra quality time spent with kitty and some Training, can change that over time. But it’s unfair to the resident cat and the “Friend Kitty” to adopt a possibly unwanted friend just so you can have a lap full of fur. Our final remarks on this subject would be to adopt 2 kitties at the same time if you possibly can. This will improve the chances of acceptance and happiness in your home. We also recommend trying to adopt kitties around the same age and activity level. And always remember, every cat can use some Training. We wish anyone who is adding a kitty to their home the best of luck. And we thank you for saving a life. 

 

 Raena hugs Dezi while she lays on the brown cat tree

I’s luvs you thiiiiiiiiiiiis much sissy.

 

 

We do hope this has helped somewhat. Sorry we can’t tell you exactly what to do, but we think if you spend enough time with your resident kitty, you’ll get your answer. Don’t furget, ifin you’ve missed any of the posts in this series, you can click the links below. And be sure to leave any questions or topics you’d like us to cover in the comments section below, or send us an email. And remember, Training is all about Repetition and Rewards.

 

Till the next time……………………………………………..Be Blest!!!

 

 

 

Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses

 

Deztinee and RaenaBelle 

 

 

Service Cats

What to Look For      Training Foundations      Train Kitty To Massage

Smelling Disease      Do You Need One      Who Bears the Cost

Housing Laws & Exceptions      Accommodations & Common Sense

When the Handler Dies      Proper Training Methods Pt. 1 & Pt. 2

Easiest Task to Train      Getting Kitty Ready for an Outing

Discipline: Stop Countersurfing Kitty      Internal Disputes

Calling Emergency Help      Just What Is Kitty Capable of

Shad: Original Service Cat      Harness, Vest, Leash or Stroller

Dezi, the Wheelchair & Chest      Round and Round We Go

Tumble & Fall Response      Raena Calls for Help

The Rest of the Story     Raena & the Wheelchair Pt. 1 Pt. 2 Pt. 3 Pt. 4

When to Train      Explaining Rewards & Kitty’s Feelings

Stop Kitty’s Begging     Calling For Help Options Pt. 1

Medicating Kitty

Training the Pig Headed, Stallion Strong, Submissive Pup & Conniving Cat

Cats Love Training & Social Media Downfalls

Reintegrating the Scared or Bullied Cat      There’s No Bully Cat Breed

Going for a Walk When in a Wheelchair     Calming the Tiger Pt.1 Pt. 2 Pt. 3

Surviving A Remodel      Taming A Feral Cat

Designer Cats & Scent      DNA Doesn’t Change      Fighting or Posturing

Clicker Training & Operant Conditioning      Wheelchair Training

Basic Training Continues      Managing Without A Wheelchair

Are Spray Bottles Effective     Hands Are Not Toys

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