Category Archives: Questions & Answers

Service Cats: Feline Nutrition: The Obligate Carnivore

MeOW Welcome to Service Cat Monday. What started out as a simple Training day post quickly evolved to encompass all things Feline. It’s the one day a week, we focus on educating and writing fur the humans in our lives. We wanna thank all of you fur your questions, comments and readership this past year. Keep the questions comin’. ‘Member, the only dumb question is the one not asked. This will be the last Service Cat Monday post of the year 2017. But, don’t worry, this series will return fur 2018. We haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of the complexities of the Feline Behavior (pun intended). That bein’ said, let’s get the business outta the way and get on with today’s post. 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

 

 

 

We get asked a lot about food and proper nutrition for us kitties. As most of you know, we eat a raw freeze dried food and are adamantly opposed to feeding any kitty a kibble only diet. And as most of you also know, we have semi scheduled feedings and don’t believe in leaving food out all the time for kitty. What we mean by Semi-Scheduled, is that we eat at specific times a day. Altho’ breakfast is served when mommy can get up and make our plates, dinner is almost always served within a hour of the same time each day. Those plates are available for a limited time and then empty or not, they disappear until the next meal time when they are replaced with a fresh plate of food. One comparison you can make between kitties and humans is, if you can sleep without getting up to eat, so can we.

 

Dezi watching Raena while they eat

To understand kitty’s nutritional needs, we must look at the feline roots, the wildcat from whence we came. We believe in creation, and that God created the first cats. However, you want to see it, Cats exist and are among the few True Carnivores. We call them Obligate Carnivores, meaning they MUST eat meat to survive. The dictionary says this about Obligate: Biologically essential for survival. Cats Can Not live much less Thrive on a vegan or vegetarian diet. A cat’s teeth are designed to rip flesh and chew meat, muscle and tendons. The cat’s tongue is barbed to help it remove fur and feathers from their prey. Cats lack the physiology required to break down or digest vegetation, starches and/or some carbohydrates.

 

Veggie clip art

 

 

Cats’ require certain Amino Acids such as Taurine, Tryptophan and Arginine that is found in animal flesh. While the human body is capable of breaking down carbs and producing certain Amino Acids on it’s own, the cat must get those from their food. A cat who doesn’t get the required nutrients in their diet, may go blind, suffer muscle loss, other illnesses and even die. A cat in the wild, will also get moisture from their prey. Cats consume blood, predigested vegetation and other wet contents from their kill. This practice has led to a smaller liquid intake by cats and more concentrated urine. We’re all familiar with the overwhelming smell of cat urine. However, fresh water should still be available for kitty at all times.

 

 Meat Meal for pet food

(Meat Meal) Looks more like chicken feed than somethin’ us

kitties can sink our teethies into.

 

 

 

So, let’s take a look at Kibble. It’s a well known fact that the first three ingredients listed make up the largest part of a food/feed. Now we know every bag of kibble lists a moisture content. But, we also know anyone who has ever touched a piece knows there’s nothing moist about kibble. If you were to put a piece of kibble in a spoon full of water, the kibble would soak up all the liquid in no time. So, imagine what it’s doing inside kitty who never drinks their 8 glasses of water a day (mol). No, kitties don’t need 8 glasses of water a day, that part was a joke. But seriously, cats don’t always drink enough water, so when kitty eats something that will absorb any liquid around it, it’s a disaster waiting to happen.

 

 Veggie clip art

Some grain free options. Does a kitty look like a rabbit?

 

 

 

There are 2 basic diets available, regular and grain free. Grain free diets commonly include starches such as potatoes. As we pointed out earlier, cat’s generally Do Not have the ability to break these down. An inability to digest these starches in cats may cause kitty to become gassy, have diarrhea or bloat. Kibble may also cause kitty to gain weight and be at risk of becoming obese. Kibble only diets also increase kitty’s risk of Urinary problems. For many years now, it’s been known that a lot of the pet food manufacturers use less than desirable ingredients in their kibble and even canned feeds. The laws protecting animals and ensuring the quality of food are too often not enforced. Animals that have been euthanized or died from illnesses/disease are often used in the manufacturing of pet feed. Even companies that charge outrageously for their products are guilty of these practices.

 

 Dezi eats Raena's left overs

Me hopes mommy doesn’t ketch me cleanin’ Raena’s plate.

 

 

 

Even more alarming than the above is what happens to a kitty when kibble is left available at all times. Contrary to the belief that kitty will go hungry overnight, or while you’re away at work, we kitty’s were never intended to eat 24/7. And believe it or not, we can even last a few extra hours when you’re running late. Most kitties can safely go without a meal every now and then without any harm or danger to their health (Only healthy cats, not those affected by an illness or disease. Please speak with a VET before fasting any cat who is sick). Let’s talk about kitty’s sniffer and food for a minute. When kitty smells food, a chemical reaction happens that causes kitty’s body to produce needed acids to break down the food for use. When food is left out all the time, kitty’s brain is on overload. The body can quit producing those acids or over produce them which can lead to illness, obesity and even death. A hunting cat isn’t always successful and may not eat every day. We’re not suggesting you fast kitty, but we are saying, kitty doesn’t need to eat all day and night.

 

 Dezi and Raena eat

Dry Freeze dried Primal (not recommended by manufacturer).

Now we luv the gravy. 

 

 

 

A few years ago, me was a grain free kibble eating kitty. Until that is, me got sick and mommy learned me’s urine pH was off the Alkaline charts. Me was on a Semi-Scheduled feeding, but me’s body just couldn’t break down all those potatoes. Me was stubborn and didn’t want to give up me’s kibble. Thankfully, mommy’s more stubborn than me and knew what was best. While we don’t recommend it, mommy began to feed me the Freeze Dried Raw food…DRY. Freeze Dried raw should be reconstituted with water or broth. However, me just wouldn’t eat it, so mommy left it as is. About a week later, mommy began serving me’s freeze dried raw on a damp/wet plate. A week later she used her fingers to sprinkle water across the top. The next week, she added a spoonful of water and so on. Now me can’t imagine eating a food without that delicious gravy. The more the better me meows.

 

 Raena watches Dezi sniff the Thirsty Cat fountain

 

 

 

We also added water fountains to make drinking more appealing and fun. After much research and many calls to pet food manufacturers about their ingredients and manufacturing policies, we eat and recommend the Primal line of foods. They truly use human grade ingredients. Yes, it costs a bit more than kibble or canned, but it’s the next best thing to mommy making our food herself. And, for those who don’t want to touch raw ingredients or need easy raw food due to travel, it’s convenient. Me’s urine pH is healthy and normal now, and Raena and me are generally healthy and happy.

 

 Dezi eats while Raena watches from the side.

Me’s lappin’ up the last of the gravy so mommy can add more.

 

 

 

If you’re not ready to make the Raw leap, canned food is the next best choice. It is a myth that kibble cleans kitty’s teeth. It is also a myth that a Persian cat and a Siamese cat have different nutritional needs or require breed specific formulas. That’s one of the craziest money grabbing schemes we’ve ever heard. All Cats are Obligate Carnivores and therefore require the same nutrition…MEAT. Not meat by products or meat meal made up of some unknown animal parts or plant proteins. Mommy says when deciding what meats to feed us, she likes to think about our wild ancestors. She asks the question, What kind of meat would kitty hunt for if left to their own devices? Very few cats actually fish. Most of a cat’s food sources come from land mammals who eat both meat and vegetation and supply kitty with all the nutrition he/she requires. 

 

 The Blessing Train

 

Well we do hope this has helped some of ya’. Obviously, this is a huge topic and there’s much more we could have added. So, ifin ya’ want us to expound more, let us know. Fur now, we’re gonna wrap this up and do some more Christmas purrep. Don’t furget to leave your questions, comments and/or topics below or send us an email. And, you can ketch up on any posty you may have missed by clickin’ the links below. One last thing, our Blessing today is Good Food and Nutrition. Fanks mommy, fur lookin’ out fur us.

 

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

Pica: Unusual Habits      Holiday Safety Tips     Feline Urinary Habits

Service Cats: Holiday Safety Tips For Kitty

MeOW Welcome to Service Cat Monday. The holidays are upon us. Here in the U.S. we’ll be celebratin’ Thanksgiving this week. And in me’s house, we’ll be celebratin’ me’s Gotchaday. Anyways, we thought we’d take today to point out some helpful Tips to help your furries enjoy the holidays too. We are often asked ‘bout nutrition and human food safety fur kitties. We know it can be confusing, especially when you have V-E-T’s who really push prescription diets and commercially purrpared pet feeds. But, food isn’t the only pawssible danger that arrives with the holidays, so let’s have a little chat. 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

 

 

 

Let’s take a look at Thanksgiving. For most people it means a big feast, family get togethers and the beginning of Christmas parties and decorating. A traditional Thanksgiving feast might include a turkey tom lurkey, dressing, cranberries, potato salad, possibly a ham and much more. So, are any of the foods you’ll be preparing safe fur kitty to have? We do love us a big ole bite of real live cooked turkey. No seasoning required. A nice raw turkey neck, altho’ messy, is good fur helpin’ keep kitties teeth clean. But only if it’s raw. If you try to cook it, the bones become brittle and can be dangerous. What about the side dishes? Dressing/Stuffing often contains onions and other spices that can be toxic to your cat/dog. Altho’ we’ve also learned that stuffing actually cooked inside the turkey cavity may very well be dangerous for humans as well (possible e coli or salmonella poisoning). So, skip stuffing your turkey and leave it off your furries plate as well. Garlic and Onions can damage kitty’s red blood cells. You might think about making a small amount specifically for kitty/doggy. Avoid spices and seasonings when preparing foods for your pets.

 

 Thanksgiving Turkey wallpaper

 

 

 

Pass the cranberries please. That’s right, cranberries are a great source of vitmamin C, flavonoids and phenolic acids. Cranberries are used in many of the UTI (Urinary Tract Infection) prevention foods, treats and supplements. Kitty may or may not like them, but they are safe to offer. As for all the other sides and salads, kitty can skip those. Cats are obligate carnivores and can’t actually digest most fruits and vegetables. And, Raisins and Grapes, often found in salads and deserts can lead to kidney failure in cats/dogs. Here’s a quick list of some human foods that are NOT safe for your pets: Avocado, Chocolate, Coffee, Caffeine, Citrus, Grapes, Raisins, Nuts, Onions, Garlic, Xylitol, Yeast dough and Alcohol. Mommy says a good rule of thumb to help you remember what plants or foods might be toxic is: If the plant has a bulb, avoid it. While pumpkin is great fur kitties and doggies, pumpkin pie should be avoided, as well as pumpkin pie filling in the can. 

 

Cranberries

Fanks Wikipedia Commons

 

 

 

For a lot of peeps, Thanksgiving is just a precursor to Christmas. Christmas trees and other decorations are often brought out and the decorating begins. Remember, not all anipals enjoy the hustle and bustle of parties, so be sure to set up a Decompression Room beforehand. Even if your furry does enjoy the party, it’s always nice for them to have a quiet place to get away if it becomes overwhelming for them. Christmas trees, real or faux mean dangling wires from lights and decorative balls. If you’re not sure how kitty/doggy will react to a tree, you might want to skip the antique decorations and place plastic or other non breakables toward the bottom of the tree. Remember, always set up kitty/doggy to succeed, not fail. Avoid Tinsel, Flocking (fake snow), Edible Ornaments, Lit Candles, Holly Berries, Mistletoe, Angel Hair or PVC Decorations and Ribbons.

 

Raena biting light on Christmas tree

 

 

Make sure all guests know not to feed kitty/doggy. This will help to insure begging doesn’t start and kitty/doggy doesn’t eat.drink anything toxic. Alchohol, Marijuana, and all other drugs/medications should be kept away from kitty/doggy as well. If you use Potpourri, essential oils or other air fresheners, keep them out of kitty/doggy’s reach. Many essential oils can be toxic or irritating for kitty/doggy and even some human guests.

 

Dezi eats grass

 

 

Now for a few Training Tips. Redirection is Key to training kitty/doggy to leave holiday decorations alone. While catching kitty in the middle of the tree might make for a “funniest holiday moments” video, it can also be harmful. Remember all those live wires entwined on the branches? Electrocution is not fun for anybody/kitty. Getting wrapped up in cords or hung is no fun either. A lot of real trees have been treated with toxic chemicals to help prolong their life inside the home. If you have a live tree, be sure to cover the water dish with foil so that kitty/doggy can’t drink the water. If kitty attempts to play with the tree decorations, Redirect them immediately with a favorite toy. If kitty attempts to climb the tree: say NO in a firm voice and move them to an appropriate place (cat tree, cat shelf, etc.). Keep Poinsettas and other Christmas plants out of kitty/doggy’s reach and think about growing them their own pot of grass or catnip.

 

 Dezi lays on the chair arm and gets loving from mommy

 

 

The holidays can be fun for everyone with a few safety precautions implemented. And don’t forget to keep the V-E-T’s number handy. It might be a good idea to keep the Poison Control Hotline number close by as well: 888-426-4435. You can check the ASPCA website for a more comprehensive list of foods, plants and other items to avoid for your pet’s safety. The last thing you want to do at the holidays (or any day for that matter), is to have to rush your furry friend to the emergency clinic/hospital because they ate or played with something seasonal. Something that could have been avoided.

 

 Raena lays on back of chair

 

 

Well, we’re gonna wrap it up fur today. We hope we’ve helped you and your furry with some suggestions fur a happy, healthy and safe holiday season. We wish you all a pawsum Thanksgiving. 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 post in this series, by clicking the links below. Come back Wednesday to help me celebrate me’s 8th Gotchaday.

 

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

Pica: Unusual Habits

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: 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

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