Category Archives: Feline Behavior

Service Cats: Calming the Tiger in Your Aggressive Cat Pt. 1

Welcome to another Service Cat Monday. We’re runnin’ way late today, but we’re here. We’ll be honest and tell ya’ we’ve been lookin’ furward to tacklin’ today’s topic, with a little excitement and a lot of trepidation. Trepidation, you ask? Cats get such a bad rap in society, that we hate to focus on any feline negative. BUT, ifin those negative issues aren’t dealt with, then peeps won’t know how wonderful and special all us kitties can be. So, let’s get the business outta the way and get on with today’s posty. The followin’ will be written in human English fur translator and reader ease. Our Service Cat Monday posts aren’t meant to be a step by step Trainin’ manual, as Trainin’ is all ‘bout Repetition and Rewards. We believe in a Pawsitive Reinfurcement Trainin’ Method. The tips, tricks and techniques we talk ‘bout are/have been used/developed by mommy thru her many years of trainin’ animals, cats in purrticular. Ifin ya’ have any questions, suggestions, or comments, purrlease leave them in the comment section or send us an email to: lexi.dezi@yahoo.com, or use the form on our Contact Us page. It’s completely purrivate; nopawdy sees it but us. And, purrlease try to be as specific as pawssible ifin you’re askin’ a question ‘bout behavior. Ifin you’ve missed any of the posty’s in this series, you can ketch up by clickin’ the links below.

 

 Dezi laying in cat tree in new harness

 

The topic today is all about Feline Aggression. Our dear sweet awnty Ellen of 15 and Meowing asked, Is there any hope of Re-integrating sweet Jinx into the family? When out with the other kitties, he automatically goes for the kill; straight for the other kitty’s throats and the fur flies. And, our dear friend Timmy and his dad, our pawsum uncle Pete asked how to deal with the sudden onset of aggression without provocation. And lastly, our sweet friend Valentine asked about littermates who have never gotten along and try to avoid each other as much as possible. And we’re sure there are many more of you out there facing some sort of aggression issue in your house. First, we’d like to remind you to read our Prep post There’s No Bully Cat Breed. This post helps explain the origins of the house cat and what motivates your furry purrer.

 

 Angry Tiger emoji

 

These three questions, altho dealing with aggression, are completely different. However, anytime there are behavioral issues/abnormalities with your kitty, the first thing you need to do is, Take Kitty to the VET. You want to rule out any possible medical reasons for kitty’s behavior. Cats DO NOT act out of spite or just plain meanness. There is always a reason as to why kitty does what they do. Now some of you may be wondering how mommy can speak to aggression, since we’re Service Kitties who get along, as did sis Lexi and me. Well, let’s just say, things weren’t always rosy in mommy’s house. We rarely talk about it, because it was a moment in time, and something mommy dealt with as soon as it reared it’s ugly head. But we feel we need to give you a little background with a look into the past.

 

 Tiger jumps at you from the screen

We have quite a few friends that have joined us this past year and never met mommy’s first black tabby cat love, me’s sweet sis Lexi. Mommy was a foster mommy for newborns without a cat mommy when sis Lexi came into her life. At all of ten minutes old, sis Lexi started working her feline magic to make mommy fall in love with her. Mommy already had two kitties at the time and had no plans to add a third, so altho’ she loved Lexi, she had no intentions of making her part of the family. Me knows it’s hard to believe, but sis Lexi was a tiny kitty girl. This was no surprise as she was an Egyptian Mau that should weigh about 6 pounds full grown. Sis Lexi was special and grew into a large, not overweight, 30 pounds, due to her early cow milk diet that strengthened and caused her bones to grow much bigger. Anyways, since she was a foster, mommy would take her regularly to be shown at adoption events where she was caged and unfortunately poked and prodded by onlookers/possible adopters/children. She was also a little bullied by her more outgoing bigger brofur and littermate, who was the alpha of the litter.

 

 Young teenager Lexi

Lexi as a little girl. Here she is at about 7 months old.

 

Lexi grew to hate those events. She had already decided she wanted to stay with mommy. So, what’s a kitty girl to do when the human isn’t paying attention to all the signs? On adoption days, Lexi would hide and hiss and growl her displeasure at being crated up and carried off to be caged for the day. Mommy ignored all the early signs, until one day, Lexi took her frustrations out on the resident kitties. Yep, teeny little Lexi attacked mommy’s resident kitties and drew blood. She made a stand. She was saying, “I’s don’t like those cages or the people poking at me.” She had been saying it, mommy just hadn’t been listening. But, with the site of blood, mommy finally got the message. Yep, mommy adopted sis Lexi herself and changed her name from Lana to Lexi. Mommy explained to her that she’d never be caged and prodded again, and that she would live with mommy and the boys (Devon and Lucky) forever and ever.

 

 Devon, Lucky and Lexi on bathroom sink

Devon yawning, Lexi with arms and legs around Lucky in sink.

As you can see, the boys are much larger than Lexi.

 

The boys were three times the size of Lexi and very laid back. At first, the boys’ gave Lexi a wide berth, while mommy was spending time reassuring her, that she had a forever home and helping to build her confidence through love and play. After a couple of weeks, Lexi and the boys not only co-existed, but as you can see by the above photo, they learned to love each other. Mommy continued to foster other kitties. Until that is, shortly after sis Lexi’s spay surgery. Lexi once again, found herself in a cage being prodded by strangers. Obviously, she didn’t understand the whole thing, but cages brought back bad memories. While mommy was gone to a rescue meeting, sis Lexi broke into a large crate with one of the foster kitties mommy had, and she killed it. Mommy was devastated. But, she loved Lexi and understood that she had acted out of fear. Through love, patience and a lot of confidence building, sis Lexi was once again, the loving kitty mommy always knew she could be.

 

 Devon and Lexi together on sink

Me on the bathroom vanity luvvin (massagin’) on sis Lexi in the sink.

 

The point of all this, is that Lexi wasn’t born mean. She certainly wasn’t raised to be mean. But early circumstances and experiences had caused her to fear cages and strangers. Now let me tell you, the rescue organization that mommy fostered with, had wanted to kill Lexi when she drew first blood. But mommy understood that Lexi had been giving her warning signs before she took those actions and knew that with stability, patience and love, she could overcome it. In Lexi’s case, her behavior wasn’t motivated by any medical causes but rather, Fear.

 

 Lexi and Dezi lay together on window perch

Sis Lexi and me in our old window purrch. We luvved

each other very much.

 

So, the first thing one needs to try to establish with an aggressive kitty, is the motivation behind it. If you’ve ruled out medical causes, then Motivation is the next step. Unfortunately, when adopting a kitty from a rescue or shelter, you don’t always know their history. However, ALL  kitties send up warning signs before they start taking action; humans just need to be aware of what to look for. When adopting a kitty, try to find out as much as possible about their past. Were they a stray? Owner Surrender and why? Formerly Feral? Abused or Abandoned? These things can often help you to see into the kitty’s mind. By the time a kitten is 6 months old, their experiences will determine how they see the world; humans, other cats and animals. But don’t be discouraged if you adopt an older kitty. Although you can’t change the Natural instincts of a cat, you can change most of their Learned behaviors.

 

 Stressed out cat clip art

 

Cats like stability. Old folks and cats hate change. Did you know something as simple as rearranging the furniture can cause your cat to be stressed and act out? A cat that’s been bullied by others, may become aggressive when placed in a new environment with other kitties or animals? It’s the old, “the abused becomes the abuser” story. We suspect that might be the case for our sweet friend Jinx, but we don’t have enough information to truly make a diagnosis. The big key in having a happy and peaceful household with multiple cats is that all kitties be confident and own their territory.

 

 Raena playing with Petafe cheese and mouse toy

 

Cats learn confidence from things like play, interaction and ownership of their surroundings. Having their scent present in their home, the furnishings, toys, and cat furniture is very important to establishing ownership for a cat. Co-mingling scents in multi cat households is a must. When introducing cats slowly, site swapping and scent swapping are also a must. The human scent is just as important as all the other kitties in a household; so a piece of worn clothing can be left in the area with the “aggressive” cat as well as a towel, blanket, or other highly scentable cloth with all other animals’ scent. And be sure to spend quality time with the “aggressive” cat, playing the “Scent Me Up” game and with toys.

 

 Dezi and Raena square off and get ready to rumble.

A confident kitty can walk or stand their ground in the middle

of the floor while their housemate passes.

 

We’re gonna wrap this up fur today. We knew this was gonna be a really long post ifin we addressed it purr-opurrly, so we’ve decided to break it up into several installments. Aggression doesn’t happen overnight, so fixin’ it, isn’t gonna be a snap either. But, keep the hope alive in your heart, your kitty can be helped and everypawdy/kitty can live happily. To recap, see the VET to rule out any pawssible medical reasons fur kitty’s behavior. Excluding medical causes, look fur kitty’s Motivation. This may require you to look into the past, but take the time to try to figger out why kitty may be acting out. Are there any triggers? Does kitty give warnings and what causes them? Again, you might have to look into the past, but kitty didn’t start attacking without giving a warning furst. Make a list of your findings, so you can reder back to it during training and just in case you need it in the future. And lastly, help all the kitties be more confident thru play, ownership, scent swappin’ and the “Scent Me UP” game. Spend quality time with each kitty. We think this is a lot of work, but by next week, ya’ might have a better handle on what causes your kitty to be “aggressive”, and fur sure, you and kitty will have fun implementin’ these techniques. Remember, THERE’S NO BAD CAT!!! 

 

Ifin you’ve missed any of the posts in this series, ketch up by clickin’ the links below. And be sure to leave your questions, suggestions and comments below. We hope you all have a pawsum week and join us next Monday fur the second installment in dealing with Cat Aggression.

 

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

Service Cats: There Is No Bully Cat Breed: The Instincts of Cats

Meowllo and welcome to another Service Cat Monday. It’s cold and windy here, but fur the moment, we have sunshine and shadows. Mommy wanted me to let everypawdy know, that we might be writin’ a couple things today that will upset a few folks; but ifin you’ll stick with us, we purromiss you’ll unnerstand our point. We welcome all your questions, comments and suggestions. The only thing we ask, is that when askin’ a trainin’ or behavioral question, purrlease try to be as specific as pawssible. We’re not mind readers, and do wanna try to help ya’ out. But without specifics (you can even include an example) we can’t be sure ifin we’re actually givin’ ya’ the right tips. You can leave those questions/suggestions in the comments 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 manual as trainin’ is all ‘bout Repetition and Rewards. Our Trainin’ posts include tips, tricks and techniques used/developed by mommy throughout her many years of trainin’ animals, cats in purrticular. Ifin you’ve missed any of the posts in this series, you can ketch up by clickin’ on the links at the end of this or any Service cat post. We’ve got some great questions to address, so let’s get to them.

 

 Dezi laying in cat tree in new harness

 

The question we’re gonna address today, was left last week. We’re not sure if this is an ongoing situation, or one from the past. Never the less, it’s weighed heavy on our minds since it was posted and we feel we just have to address it. The thought of it has haunted mommy all week, because there are currently breed laws in effect in many States against certain dogs because of misconceptions. And mommy couldn’t live with the thought of that happening to kitties. We’ll sum up the example given fur you: A person adopted a female Tuxedo kitty as well as an 8 year old human boy from a chaotic, violent, drug filled environment. Said kitty was terrified of the human boy and retreated to live in cabinets in the basement. Whether or not kitty had been abused, is/was truly unknown to the adopter. It also appeared that the adopter already had a resident Tuxedo male kitty in the home, possibly her littermate (the comment wasn’t specific). When the female Tuxie finally started to venture out of the basement she was bullied by the resident Tuxie male to the point that the adopter had to pen him so that he couldn’t get to her. And here is the question that was asked: Do you think it’s normal for some breeds to just be bullies and pick on those kitties who didn’t have such a good start in life? 

 

 Baby Dezi puffed up for intimidation

Me’s not a bad kitty, me’s just assertin’ me’s claim.

 

The short answer is NO!!! Absolutely Not!!! First, let’s take a look at Cat Breeds in particular. ALL cats are descended from the Middle Eastern Wildcat. That’s right, those smooshed faced Persians, Color Pointed cross eyed Siamese, Floofy, floppy Ragdolls, and every other breed descended from the Felis Silvestris. Through natural gene mutation, cats adapted to their environments. Until that is, humans got involved. Breeders started cross breeding, inbreeding, and manipulating nature to create more desirable traits so they could make money. Don’t you go and hit that unfollow button. Me has a point to make. The results are not always in the best interest of the cat species. Now don’t nobody get angry with us, we’re only presenting the truth. And you know it too. Let’s keep going here. There’s conflicting evidence as to exactly when cats became domesticated, but for sure we’ve been part of human’s lives for at least 9000 years.

 

 Felis Silvestris

Felis Silvestris

Now let’s take a look at a cat’s natural behavior. Yes, we have a point for all of this, so just bear with us. A cat has four basic functions bred into each and every one of us, wild or domesticated, naturally evolved or with breeder interference. We are born to hunt, eat, sleep and procreate. For the purpose of this post, we’re going to focus on our innate nature to HUNT. Cats are preprogrammed to hunt prey to survive. Yes, even the adorable kitty purring in your lap. Cats have amazing smell receptors. The thing that makes us great Service Cats is our ability to smell the changes in mommy’s chemical make up before she passes out. That ability also lets us smell fear, other animals (prey and/or appropriate mates), changes in the weather, and other scents we encounter.

 

 Raena playing with wand toy

 

As most people know, cats are very territorial. Because of our need to defend and claim our territory, unaltered cats, especially males can exhibit unwanted/undesirable behavior such as marking or fighting. Spaying and Neutering goes a long way to alleviate this behavior. However, defending our territory is still paramount. The smell of fear often signals prey; and the scent of another cat, signals a possible change in the hierarchy. That innate need to hunt may cause us to attack a scared or weaker cat, as we see them as prey. Cats desire live prey. Chasing is part of the hunt. A scared cat with it’s tail tucked between it’s legs and running away is a sure sign of prey. And that instinctual desire to chase, catch and kill kicks in. We can’t fight it, it’s part of our nature.

 

 Dezi rolls on the Yeowww nip nana while Raena prepares for an attack

 

And the need to be “King of our jungle” may cause us to attack a scared or weaker cat. In the wild, only the strong survive to procreate and pass along their genes to the next generation. For these reasons it’s important for our humans to take appropriate steps to introduce new kitties to resident cats. A cat that exhibits fear, requires extra attention from his/her humans in order to rebuild his/her confidence.

 

 Dezi pats Raena on the head

 

The person who left this question stated that the young boy hadn’t abused the scared cat, but was unsure about the adults in the previous home, yet the cat was fearful of the child initially. We’d like to take a minute not to suggest that the boy had abused the cat, but to relate that children don’t know how to treat animals until they’re taught. Children often approach animals wrongly. It’s not uncommon to hear of a child or even adult who’s been scratched after pulling a tail or trying to restrain a kitty to hard or for too long. Cats can acclimate to chaotic surroundings, but they are generally happier in more structured surroundings.

 

 Dezi and Raena play

 

When Raena came to live here, me was unsure about the whole thing. Sis Lexi had left abruptly, mommy and me had been alone for a couple of months and suddenly there was a new smell with an attitude in me’s house. Her innate drive to hunt caused her to chase anything, including me, that ran from her. It wasn’t till me’s tail went up and me stopped running and turned to face her, that she stopped treating me like prey. Because of me’s uncertainty and confusion about everything that had happened, me no doubt smelled like fear, and weakness. One of the most desirable traits of the Ragdoll, is the laid back nature we have. None the less, Raena initially presented as a “bully”. However, she was and is not a “bully”. She was only acting on her feline instincts.

 

 Raena carrying her new nip toy

 

In conclusion, we say again, NO cat or breed of cat are born “bullies”. Rather, we have an instinctual need to hunt and survive. Some cats have a stronger drive than others, but we all have it. We realize this isn’t much of a training post, but we have several questions about aggressive cat behavior, so we decided to address this issue by introducing the back story to where cats came from and what drives a cat’s existence first. And to stop the perception that any cat is a natural born “bully”. Since we all have the same DNA, that argument would mean that all cats are bullies, and we know that isn’t true.

 

 Dezi on Liberty Cat Tree

 

As me just said, we have an aggressive issue comin’ up. But next week, we’re goin’ to meow a bit ‘bout leash trainin’ do’s and don’t’s and include a question from one of our doggy furiends. In the meantime, mommy wants to stress that you don’t walk a puppy while on crutches…EVER!!! That’s an accident waitin’ to happen. ‘Member you can get caught up on any trainin’ posty you missed by clickin’ the links below.

 

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

 

 

 

Additional Resources: National Geographic (link above)

 

 

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 and Exceptions     Accommodations & Common Sense

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

Easiest Task to Train     Getting Kitty Ready for Outing    

Discipline: Stop Countersurfing Kitty     Internal Disputes 

Calling Emergency Help     Just What Is Kitty Capable Of 

Shad: Original Service Cat     Harness or Vest Leash or Stroller

Dezi, the Wheelchair & Chest     Round & 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             

Service Cats: Cats Love Training & Social Media Downfalls

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.

 

 Dezi laying in cat tree in new harness

 

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.

 

Raena in tiger kitty holster cat harness

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.

 

 Raena lays on the shower chair

 

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.

 

 Raena lays in the wheelchair

 

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.

 

 Raena lays in wheelchair

 

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 

 

 Dezi lays in the wheelchair

 

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.

 

 Dezi laying in 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

 

Service Cats

What to Look For     Training Foundations     Train Kitty to Massage

Smelling Disease     Do You Need One     Who Bears the Cost 

Housing Laws and Exceptions     Accommodations and 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 or Vest, Leash or Stroller

Dezi, the Wheelchair & the 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 Emergency Help Options Pt. 1

Medicating Kitty    

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

Service Cats: Raena and the Wheelchair Pt. 3

MeOW and welcome to Service Cat Monday. We purreciate your patience and understandin’ fur lettin’ us take last Monday off. It’s been another week and mommy still hasn’t gotten us a special graphic. Can you believe it? Anyways, we haven’t gotten any new questions, so we’ll be tellin’ a Raena trainin’ story today. We welcome any and all trainin’/behavioral/health questions. Altho’ mommy has spent the last 30 years trainin’ kitties, she started out trainin’ doggies. And most of our tips will work fur both cats and dogs, as well as a few other species. You can ask your questions in the comments section or send us an email. A little known fact is that mommy has also trained a pig and broke horses. Yep, mommy has a purretty colorful past. MOL  As with all our trainin’ posts, the followin’ will be written in human English fur translation and reader ease. Our trainin’ posts aren’t meant to be a step by step trainin’ manual as trainin’ is all ‘bout Repetition and Rewards. Ifin you’ve missed any of the posts in this series, you can click the links at the bottom of this or any Service Cat Monday post. Alrighty then, business is outta the way, so let’s check in on Raena and the wheelchair.

 

Dezi lays on Liberty Tree in her harness

Me should tell ya’ first, that Raena, is so attached to mommy, she doesn’t like it when mommy tries to do anything without her. And me means anything. We have a pawsum cat tree that sits right in front of the living room window and a small perch that mommy puts in front of the door every day so we can look out if we want to. From the tree and the perch, we can clearly see the whole parking lot, trash can and mailboxes. But when mommy takes out the trash or checks the mail, Raena sits at the door and meows at the top of her lungs. Mommy says, she sees a lot of the traits that made sis Lexi such a good Service Cat in Raena. Now me wants to say, Raena is NOT sis Lexi, and we’re not looking for her to be. And while any and all kitties/doggies can be trained, some are more prone to be Service Animals due to their personalities.

 

Raena looks out the door while laying on the small perch

Anyways, we left off with mommy teaching Raena all about the wheelchair’s control panel and the buttons. Raena has a real good handle on the power button and horn. She can successfully power the chair on and off; and stays put when she honks the horn. The next lesson is to get Raena to bite the joystick and move the chair. Initially, mommy isn’t looking for her to drive through the house; she just needs Raena to be comfortable biting the joystick and staying in place when the chair moves. That sounds easy peasy doesn’t it? It might be for a human who can understand the concept, but us kitties like stability. It’s very important that Raena not get scared and try to jump down when the chair is moving. Most of these electric wheelchairs weigh a couple hundred pounds and could literally kill a kitty if they were to get run over. It would for sure cause damage. Most chairs continue to roll slightly even after the joystick isn’t being pushed.

 

Dezi lays in the wheelchair

So, every day mommy picks up Raena and they head for the wheelchair for a lesson. Me heads to higher ground for safety and to watch the show. Mommy sits Raena in her lap, gives her a few extra hugs and “scent me ups” and then positions her with her front paws on the arm of the wheelchair and her behind sitting on mommy’s right leg. Mommy puts one hand under Raena to offer support and puts her other hand on Raena’s head so she can gently guide her. Mommy then tells Raena to “Power On”. This is the cue for turning on the chair. We did cover this part of the training in Raena and the wheelchair Pt. 1, so we won’t repeat all those steps, and just move on. Raena pushes the power button, and usually the horn too. That girl does love to make noise. Mommy gives her praise and gently rubs her chin for a few seconds. Then mommy gently positions Raena’s head over the joystick and tells her “Bite”.

 

 Raena lays in the wheelchair

Now let me tell ya’, it doesn’t take much coercing to get Raena to bite anything, so the training here is to have her continue to hold on to the joystick without chewing on it. Once Raena has a hold of the joystick, mommy gently pushes her head down and says “Hold” to ensure she doesn’t let go. Mommy then praises Raena, and uses the hand positioned under Raena’s belly to rub her for a few seconds. Then, mommy releases Raena’s head and let’s her take her mouth off the joystick. These steps are repeated off and on for the whole session. Raena’s pretty smart and seems to enjoy training so her training sessions can last up to 30 minutes at a time. Remember, training sessions must be repeated at least once daily, and shouldn’t last more than about 15 minutes a session. But, you know your kitty/doggy, and if they are genuinely engaged, you may go over the 15 minutes. Mommy recommends only increasing sessions by 5 minute increments. It’s better to stop a session with kitty/doggy still wanting to perform than to go too long and have them run from you when it’s time for another training session. Training is serious business, but it should be seen as fun for kitty/doggy.

 

 Raena lays in wheelchair

Never move on to the next step until kitty/doggy can repeat the previous steps successfully at least 98% of the time. Raena is performing Bite and Hold at about 95%, so mommy is still focusing on this step. Mommy keeps the wheelchair on the lowest speed setting for these training sessions so that the chair doesn’t move even if Raena accidentally pushes or pulls the joystick. However, remember those speed buttons are on the control panel right beside the power button and horn button; and we are kitties with big paws. Just the other day, mommy and Raena sat down for a training session and unbeknownst to mommy, Raena pushed the speed button before settling back in for the joystick Bite. Needless to say, mommy and Raena were both surprised when the chair started moving when Raena bit down on the joystick. Thankfully, Raena isn’t afraid of anything, and her response was to let go of the joystick and sit back in mommy’s lap. And thankfully, Raena had only pushed the speed button twice, so they didn’t move too far or fast. Me had thought for sure they were gonna run right into the cat tree, but they didn’t.

 

 Raena bathes while laying in the wheelchair

Me’s gonna wrap it up fur today. As you can see, Training sessions are laborious and Repetitive. But in the end, kitty/doggy will be happy and well trained. All kitties/doggies can benefit from some training. While you might not need a Service Cat, there are simple commands that can increase your bond with kitty and keep your home happy and everyone getting along and knowing and respectin’ the boundaries. Mommy says that Raena should be ready fur her furst actual driving lesson by next week. Altho’ that estimate was made before we knew she would be going to the dentist on Fursday; so it may be another week or so, but we’ll keep you updated with her progress. And no, mommy still hasn’t figured out how to take fotos/videos durin’ the actual trainin session. ‘Member to leave your comments or questions below, and check out our previous posts fur tips and tricks fur many trainin’ points fur kitty/doggy.

Don’t furget to enter our LumaSoothe give away by clickin’ the Entry foto below. And ifin ya’ missed it, check out our review here.

Give away entry graphic

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

 

Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses

 

Deztinee and RaenaBelle

Service Cats

What to Look For     Training Foundations     Training Kitty to Massage

Smelling Disease     Do You Need One     Who Bears the Cost 

Housing Laws and Exceptions     Accommodations and 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 or Vest Leash or Stroller

Dezi, the Wheelchair & the Chest     Round and Round We Go

Tumble and Fall Response     Raena Calls for Help 

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

When to Train     Explaining Rewards and Kitty’s Feelings

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

Medicating Kitty 

Service Cat Monday: Calling For Emergency Help Options Part 1

Meow Welcome to another Service Cat Monday. Ya’ know, me meowed ‘bout a special graphic fur Service Cat Mondays last week, and then mommy went and let down on the job. She didn’t get anythin’ made up. She did purromiss to work on it this week tho’, so we’ll see. As always, ifin ya’ have any questions, purrlease leave ‘em in the comments section, or send us an email. You can also use our “contact us” page in the menu. It’s purrivate, nopawdy sees it but us. And ifin you’ve missed any post in this series, purrlease click on the links at the bottom of this or any Service Cat posty. The followin’ will be written in human English fur reader and translation ease. We also need to say that our training posts are not intended to be a step by step instruction manual, as trainin’ is all about Repetition, Consistency and Rewards. We include tips, tricks and techniques mommy has used/developed through her many years of training animals, cats in purrticular.  MeeeeeeeYow  Now that the business is outta the way, let’s get to it.

 

 Raena learning to dial the phone.

 

Of all the things we do, calling for help is the one more people ask/comment about. As technology evolves and times change, less and less homes have an actual land line. However, we pointed out in our first post about calling for help, that kitties can not use cell phones. So, are there other options for those that don’t want to pay for a monthly land line phone service? And if so, can kitty be trained to use it? Our latest question about calling for help comes from our sweet friends Robin and Cheddar from Cheshire Loves Karma. The jist of their question was: “How can one train kitty to call for help when their handler is unconscious? It’s one thing to tell kitty to call for help, but how will kitty know to call if nobody tells them too?

 

 Raena learning to dial the phone.

 

The short answer is: Once kitty has been trained to perform a specific task in response to a specific situation; they will perform that task when that situation presents itself whether you tell them too or not. We must remember, kitties’ are very smart. They are capable of assessing a situation and acting appropriately, especially when they’ve been individually trained. We want to remind you that kitties and doggies are completely different animals with differing motivations and abilities. Kitties react from a place of love and devotion. For that reason, kitty must bond with the person/handler they are to help. That person must become kitty’s primary caretaker; in so much as they are able. You can check out our Bonding Tips and Techniques in the links below.

 

 Raena learning to dial the phone.

 

Now, let’s talk about some of the other options available besides a land line. Most people have heard of those Emergency Alert monitors. Technology has come a long way since the introduction of the first Emergency Alert System. They typically come with a base unit, and a necklace or bracelet with a button to be pushed if a person needs help. Most of the units today are about the size of an old fashioned answering machine. Because mommy falls and passes out all the time, her case manager is always trying to get mommy to sign up for one of these devices. Mommy ain’t having it. She says the necklace is ugly, and she doesn’t need yet another item taking up precious outlet and cabinet space. MOL  And besides, she has us.

 

 Raena sits with an emergency call unit

 

But let’s say you do want to go this route. You need to know that besides the initial cost of the unit, there is a monthly monitoring fee. The charges vary between companies, but all of these units are monitored 24/7/365. They are typically set up to call your emergency contact before alerting 911 authorities. We used to have a neighbor who had one of these units and she would press that button all the time. You could hear the voice come booming out of the base unit calling to her and asking what she had done, and if she wanted them to call her son. Her son was set up as her emergency contact, so they would call him, before alerting an ambulance, the police or fire services. These units are meant to be heard all over the house, so you need to be aware of how loud they will be. This is important as kitty will need to be trained not to be afraid of the noise/voice.

 

 Raena with a complete emergency call unit, necklace, and bracelet

 

Now, let’s get to the training part. An old answering machine would make a great alternate training device since they would have a large play button, and one could record a voice message that would respond/play after the button is pushed. Of course you can use fingernail polish or a permanent marker to color the “play” button red, but it’s not necessary. There is controversy about whether cats can actually see the color red or not. The one large button is your main focus regardless of color. You will want to simulate the situation as closely as possible during training. Mommy laughs about how much extra time she actually spends on the floor during training.

 

Raena reaching out from the perch to alert mommy

Raena Alerting to Syncope incident

 

We’ll use passing out as our example for this training exercise. You’ll start out on the floor and instruct kitty/doggy to push the emergency call button. Pick a short phrase that’s easy to remember during a crisis and that’s only used for this task. You might say something like, “Call for Help”, “Get Help”, “Push Button”, or just “Help”. Be sure you are close enough to the base unit to take kitty’s paws and push the button without getting up. You can also enlist a second person to assist you with kitty if that’s an option available to you. Altho’ at some point you’ll need to be completely alone with kitty to simulate the actual incident. And remember when setting up the unit, kitty must be able to easily get to the base unit. You can also train kitty to push the button on the necklace in the same manner. But decide which action you want kitty to perform and stick to it. In other words, kitty will either be trained to push the button on the base unit or the necklace, but not both. You don’t want to confuse kitty or set kitty up to fail.

 

Dezi up close and personal

Dezi alerting selfie

While you’re on the floor, tell kitty to push the button and then place kitty’s paw on the button and gently push down. (Remember to use an alternate training device such as an old answering machine with the volume turned all the way up.) The recording should start and say something like, the person’s name, brief silence and then, “Do You Need Help?!” “Are you okay?” “What happened”, and “Do you want me to call someone”. It would also be helpful to record other people for kitty to hear, as monitors can be male or female. Do Not allow kitty to run away when the voice starts talking. And always remember to reward kitty with extra love. Training sessions should be consistent and short. Remember, training is all about repetition and rewards. Training should happen at least once a day for 15 to 20 minutes. If you miss a day, be prepared to start from the beginning. Repeat these steps daily until kitty starts heading for the emergency unit without being told to. We can’t say how long this will take, as all kitties are different, but it will happen so long as you’re consistent.

 

Dezi leaves the top of the Liberty cat tree

Me’s comin’ mommy.

 

Once kitty starts heading for the machine on their own, pretend you’re unconscious. Say nothing and do nothing. Kitty may or may not push the button. If kitty does not push the button, rewind a bit and instruct kitty to perform the desired action.  Keep at it. One day, the light bulb will go off and kitty will follow through without being told to. Always remember to reward kitty when they get any part of the task right. Do Not reward kitty if they don’t respond at all. You will also have to monitor kitty to be sure they’re not pushing the button just because. Initially kitty may think this is a new game.

 

 

Dezi gettin' love pats from mommy

Me will always take care of you mommy.

 

Do Not yell at, hit, or drench kitty with a water bottle for “playing”. Instead, use this as a training opportunity. Start a training session. In a calm voice, tell kitty this isn’t a game and remove them from the unit until you’re ready to train. You should also make the monitoring company aware of the fact that a Service Cat is employed in your house. Once kitty is performing consistently, you may contact the monitoring company and set up a training session where they are involved and you’re using the actual medical alert unit. Remember, the closer you can simulate the situation and training props, the better. Always set kitty up to succeed and reward appropriate responses with lots of praise and love.

 

 

 Raena hugs Dezi while she lays on the brown cat tree

 

Well, this has been a rather long posty, but we do hope it has helped someone. Today we covered the Emergency Alert systems. There are other options available, and we will try to cover those soon. Ifin you have any questions about this or anythin’ else, purrlease ‘member to leave them in the comments, or email us. And check out our other Service Cat posts 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 and Exceptions     Accommodations and 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 or Vest Leash or Stroller

Dezi, the Wheelchair & the Chest     Round and Round We Go

Tumble and Fall Response     Raena Calls For Help 

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

When To Train     Explaining Rewards and Kitty’s Feelings

Stop Kitty’s Begging                

Adventures in Cheeseland

Possibly the Only WordPress Blog Hosted by Mice

Suburban Hobo

Samson and me in Savannah

catablissblog

Letting your cats experience the world one bag at a time.

It's A Wonderpurr Life

Presented by Kimberley Koz

Lukecats

We're going at the top of the mountain, broken legs and all our wounds.

Adventures in Cat Fostering

or what is too many cats?

Lorna's Blog

When Wine Goes In Wisdom Comes Out!

Pawcific Purrsea

The trick to being a cat and boating

LIFE OF A CAT

Morrisson

erinthecatprincess

Princess on a mission

THE MEANDERINGS OF NUMPS

Life as a wandering black cat

Toby's Wrecking Crew

Crazy Cats and their slightly off-the-beam human mother!

Dash Kitten's Mewsings

The Kiwi Kitten with a lot to say.....

daisychainvet

Vet life. Food. Pets.

Adventures of a Suburban Kitty

The life, adventures, and musings of a cat in Colorado.

Savvy Pet Care

There's no place like home!

Tails from the Street

Saving the world one cat at a time!

Bad Cat Chris

The Baddest Cat You'll Ever Love

Plucking Of My Heartstrings

Blogging on a variety of things that pluck at the hearts' emotions & more

The Bankastraat Cats

Life with our humans

mikehartleysr

The happenings in our multi cat house hold

Meow Lifestyle

Home + Cats: Health, Happiness and Style

Cat Lady Confidential

Cat culture and lifestyle blog

Cole & Marmalade

Welcome Cat People!

Orange Marmalade Press

I love all kinds of art and hope you do, too!

The Adventures of Noodle

The Life of a Rescued Stray

martythemanx2

Musings of a Manx

Create With Joy

Infuse Creativity In All You Do

zooeyandgandalf

cats pictures, cat drawings, and more cat related stuff

The Gypsy Mau

A faceless feline with immortal tales to tell as she continues to be a vagabond…

Welcome to the Deck!

4 happy cats blog about life!

creekviewcarol

life in the not-so-fast lane

Feral Cat Love

Feral cats are beautiful!

Musings of a Senior Kitty

random thoughts from my 15 year old cat

The Kitten Kaboodle

Life as a sometime kitten foster mom

Deziz World

The Life of Service Cats

Foxyslife

Learn about me as I learn about you

Zee & Zoey's Cat Chronicles

Cat behavior, feline-humor bond, cat responsibility.

Hot Rod Cowgirl

Riding Through Life One Horse At A Time...Courage Is Being Scared To Death But Saddling Up Anyway!

Mitsubachicats Featherston Homestead

Cats, family, life and faith as I experience them, not necessarily in that order

Romance 'N Rags Ragdolls

“What greater gift than the love of a cat.” ― Charles Dickens

%d bloggers like this: