Category Archives: Training

Service Cats: Kitten/Cat Proofing Your Home Pt. 1

MeOW  Welcome to Service Cats and Everything Feline on Furidays; where we tackle your questions and topic suggestions, includin’ Trainin’ Tips, Health, and everything purr worthy. Purrlease submit your questions in the comments below or by sendin’ us an email via our Contact page. And you can always ketch up or reread any post in this series by clickin’ the links on our Training Tips and Everything Feline page in our menu.

 

Raena sits in tiger kitty holster cat harness

 

 

 

 

The followin’ post will be written in human English fur reader and translator ease. Our Service Cat 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 Everything Feline. Always remember, Training is all ‘bout Repetition and Rewards.

Dezi laying in cat tree in new harness

 

 

 

     As most of you know, mommy volunteered with rescue groups fur many years. Her specialty was “bottle babies”, kittens with no mother. She could always count on kitten season to fill up her house and every other rescue and shelter. Kitten season rolls around every year without fail because there are still so many cats that don’t get spayed or neutered. In our part of the world, kitten season runs from April to about August.

 

3 week old Lexi waddling through the house

110 camera image
Lexi at 3 weeks

 

 

 

     Spring and Summer temperatures are ideal for causing females to go into heat and start seeking to mate. Because of this, June has become known as Adopt a Cat month. However, kitten or adult, all cats are extremely adventurous and curious. Taking this and some of the emails we’ve gotten lately into consideration, we’ve decided to run a a small miniseries on prepping for and adopting a new kitty. Today, we’re going to talk about Kitten/Cat proofing your home.

 

Baby Dezi her first week at home

Dezi 3 weeks

 

 

 

     You might be thinking we should start with picking your new family member, however, we believe the process starts here with prepping your home before the new addition arrives; just as you would for a human baby. Regardless of the age you plan to adopt, you’ll need to take some steps to make sure your home is safe to bring a new kitty in to.

 

RaenaBelle travels to her forever home in mommy's lap

 

 

 

Get Low:

     Now this may sound funny to you, but kitty will spend a lot of time on the floor. You may not need to actually get on your knees but you do need to see your home through kitty’s eyes. All the cords running from your television, computer, lamps, clocks and whatever else are just large stationary strings/vines to kitty. They are also a nice chew toy. Think Tarzan swinging from vine (cord) to vine (cord). Mommy’s found the best deterrent is to wrap those cords in electrical tape. Cords hanging off the edge of desks or tables can be wrapped in those cord protectors. If you need a cheap DIY cord protector, you can use an old long sleeve shirt or lightweight pants legs. Just cut the sleeves or legs off and put the cords thru it. Depending on the length of the cord(s) and your arms/legs, you may need more than one sleeve. 

 

     Check your shelves for knick knacks. If there’s something you’d be heartbroken to lose, put it away. Don’t blame a rambunctious kitty when it gets broken. Move candles, potpourri, oil burners, dangerous/toxic houseplants, photos and photo albums, and books to higher shelves or put them in storage. Better yet, throw the potpourri out, it harbors dust mites and is toxic to kitty at any age.

 

Kitchen & Dining Room:

     Let’s take a look at the kitchen and dining room, why don’t we?. What dangers could be in such a pawsome place you ask? Well, mommy keeps the bug sprays and some of the cleaners under the kitchen cabinet, do you? Us kitties are very smart and we’re tenacious. If we want in some where, we’ll work at it until we find a way. Make sure kitty can’t get into the cabinet with cleaners, chemicals and/or poisons. Commercial child proof locks work well for kitty too.

 

     Burner covers for the stove top come in very handy and can be purchased for as low as $1.00. Never leave hot burners unattended until you know for sure how kitty will act around them. Better yet, train kitty to stay off the stove and kitchen counters altogether. Check out our Training Tips to stop Countersurfing kitty here. Throw out the plastic fruits and fruit bowls of yesteryear and make sure any fruits left out are safe for kitty to eat. Don’t leave tempting food on the counters uncovered. At least not until kitty has successfully passed the No Countersurfing course. MOL

 

     NEVER, leave the oven door open, especially when turned on. Kitty’s desire for warmth and natural curiosity combined with a hot oven can make for a deadly combination. Never leave the refrigerator or freezer doors open. More than once Raena’s tried to hop into the fridge for a look see. That girl does love her cheese. If you have one of those automatic dishwashers, keep the door closed and/or keep an eye on kitty while you load and unload. Anyways, me thinks you’re getting the idea here, open doors are rarely a kitty’s friend. 

 

Dezi lays in Gen7 stroller looking up at Raena who stands on the handle

Never underestimate a determined kitty.

 

 

 

Well, me’s gonna wrap it up fur today. As me meowed earlier, this will be a little miniseries, so we’ll be back next week with more Kitten/Cat Proofing ideas fur ya’. Don’t furget you can ketch up on any posty you may have missed by clickin’ the links on our Training Tips and Everything feline page from the menu above. And purrlease, leave your questions, comments and topic suggestions in the comments section below or send us an email via our Contact page. Remember when askin’ behavioral questions to purrlease be as specific as pawssible and include any examples you think are necessary. Now, let’s get some kitties adopted!!! OMC Me totally furgot to link up with Comedy Plus fur Feline Furiday, so we had to come back and edit me’s posty. Now, let’s get some kitties adopted. 🙂

 

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

 

Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses 

 

Deztinee and RaenaBelle     

Service Cats: How To Deal With An Attack By An Unleashed Animal

MeOW Welcome to Service Cats and Everything Feline on Furidays. Mommy’s still workin’ on gettin’ those forms put together fur everypawdy from last weeks posty. She’s tryin’ to figger out how bestest to save them so everypawdy can save/download and make changes to them to fit your unique circumstances. Anyways, we’ll let ya’ll know when we get them done. It was really nice to know a lot of you already have plans in place fur your furry family members should anythin’ happen to you. Let’s get the business stuffs outta the way and get on with today’s posty. Remember, you can always ketch up on any post you may have missed or want to read again, by clickin’ the links on our Training Tips and Everything Feline page. And you can submit your own questions or topic suggestions by commenting on our posts or sendin’ us a purrivate e-mail via our Contact page. Purr the new GDPR, we have a new purrivacy banner on that page. But, let me tell ya’, we respect each and every one of you and would never, and me means never ever sell your infurmation to anypawdy.

 

Raena posing in her harness on the small cat perch

 

 

 

 

The followin’ post will be written in human English fur reader and translator ease. Our Service Cat 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 Everything Feline. Always remember, Training is all ‘bout Repetition and Rewards.

Dezi in harness

 

 

 

Today’s post will be more relevant for dogs than cats, but with more and more cats becoming the pet of choice with people we expect things to change. We were asked a while back, “How do you handle when your cat/dog is attacked by another that’s off leash/free roaming?” “Is there a way to avoid a confrontation?” Obviously, the best way to avoid a confrontation, is for everybody to obey the laws and keep their cat or dog leashed and under their control while out in public; whether on a walk, hanging in the yard or park, or anywhere else peeps and animals gather. Unfortunately, there’s always some idiot that doesn’t want to comply. And yes, we truly mean Idiot. We also find that when it comes to leashing, cat peeps are among the worst. It’s really embarrassing for us; so cat peeps listen up…If you take kitty out into public, be sure to harness and leash us before putting us into our carrier or stroller. The law applies to kitties and woofies the same. We’ve already posted harness and leash Training Tips and Techniques here and here, so we won’t go thru that again.

 

Raena goes for a walk outside

Raena in “Heel” position

 

 

 

Heel Training:

 

You should also Train kitty or woofie to Heel beside you when anyone or any animal approaches. This will help you maintain control over your own animal without looking like prey to the approaching animal. Heel means that your kitty/woofie sits calmly at your side. To Train your kitty/woofie to Heel, call them to your side and ask them to sit and stay. Remember to Reward them every time they succeed. If possible incorporate another cat/dog in the training and have kitty/woofie Heel while the other animal approaches. The only time you should allow your kitty/doggy to meet and greet another animal in public is when they are both leashed and under control of their handler. You know your animal and know the warning signs of aggression. If both animals are leashed, it is much easier to separate them before an attack can occur.


Dog walking clip art animated

 

Unleashed woofie doesn’t “look” aggressive, but you can’t be sure.

 

 

Steps to take when out and being approached by unknown animal:

 

So, you’ve done everything right. You’re out for a nice stroll with kitty/doggy and see an unleashed animal in the distance coming your way, what do you do now? Tighten your leash hold to make sure your pet is completely under your control. If kitty or woofie is small enough to pick up, do so. The best way to avoid conflict is not to be there. Don’t make yourself prey. Turn away from the approaching animal and go another way. However, Do Not Run, you immediately become prey when you run. If avoiding the animal isn’t an option, Heel kitty/woofie and evaluate the situation. You may have to use that pepper spray you’re carrying. In this situation, and this situation only, we recommend carrying a spray bottle or squirt gun to use to startle the advancing animal. If the animal is actually accompanied by a human, yell out to them to get their animal under control. Be prepared for “Idiot” to say something like, “He won’t bite, he’s just being friendly/wants to play.” Keep your animal under control and get your pepper spray/water bottle/squirt gun ready. You are obeying the law and have the legal right to defend/protect yourself, your animal and anyone else in the vicinity. Now is a good time to take a photo of the approaching animal and any human that may be associated with him/her. The photo will help you find the animal and it’s owner in the future if need be. Remember to stay calm. We animals feed off our handlers’ emotions. If you’re feeling stressed, we’re going to get stressed; if you’re calm, we’ll stay calm.

 

Long haired cat walking clip art

 

 

 

If you’re at the VET’s office or a Pet store or some other animal friendly place and feel threatened by another animal, ask the owner of said animal to tighten their leash and control of their animal. You may also want to ask the staff to speak with the owner of said animal. If at the VET’s office you can ask to wait in a room so that you and Fluffy/Fido can be separated from the “aggressor” and Idiot. You can also leave and return later when hopefully that particular animal is gone. Remember, the best way to avoid conflict/attacks is not to be there. 

 

Angry cat face clip art

Attack is immanent.

 

 

 

 

The Confrontation and what to do:

 

You’ve done everything you could to avoid this confrontation, but the unleashed animal attacks anyways. If the animal isn’t accompanied by a human, we suggest not waiting to find out, and assume the approaching animal is dangerous. We suggest spraying the animal before it gets close enough to attack in the first place. If “Idiot” refuses to get their animal under control tell them you will spray their animal if he/she comes any closer, and follow thru. Do Not put your hands or face between the animals. Use your pepper spray/squirt gun/water spray bottle to break up the fight. Yell, stomp your feet and/or clap your hands to try to startle the animals. Hopefully, onlookers will come to help. If you plan to be in a secluded area, you should always have a second person with you to help in the event of an attack. Sometimes no matter what you do, an attack is immanent. As soon as the attack is over and the animals have been separated, check Fluffy/Fido for injuries and get to your VET. Remember to take photos of both animals and any injuries. Be sure to get at least one good clear photo of the attacking animal. Report the attack to the authorities and locate the owner of the attacking animal. Legally, they are responsible for any damages due to their negligence (ie; not keeping their animal leashed, confined and/or under their control). 

 

Raena's adorable face close up while sitting in stroller

I’s leashed up with mine’s harness on and all legal.

 

 

 

The Legalities:

 

Attacks are never fun and can be avoided more often than not when we all follow the law. But remember, as long as your animal is leashed and under your control, the law is on your side. While you could care less during an attack, the end result is that the unleashed animal’s owner is liable financially for any damages suffered due to the attack. They are liable for any VET bills, doctor’s bills, lost wages, and other damages depending on your local government’s laws. Make Them Pay. Sometimes the only way “Idiots” learn is when it costs them. We will also add that while the thought of hurting any animal makes mommy cringe, she says to use anything at your disposal to stop an attack, such as a cane, stick, flashlight or whatever else you might have on hand. Again, legally, you’re in the right. While that knowledge won’t help your conscience, you don’t want your fur baby to be mortally injured. Mommy says when it comes to protecting us, she’s a momma lioness and would kill to keep us safe. 

 

Dezi rests her head over the edge of the stroller while outside

Me’s obeyin’ the leash laws and purrtectin’ me’s self by bein’

strapped into me’s stroller.

 

 

 

Well we hope this has helped a bit. We truly wish everypawdy obeyed the laws so there weren’t any attacks in the furst place. An animal who has been attacked can offen become fearful or aggressive themselves. We have written Tips fur helping kitty/doggy with fear/aggression here and here. Be sure to get your questions or topic suggestions in by leaving a comment or sendin’ us an e-mail. And don’t furget to check out the other topics we’ve already covered on our Training Tips and Everything Feline page in our menu. We’re also joinin’ the Feline Furiday blog hop. 

 

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

 

Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses 

 

Deztinee and RaenaBelle     

Service Cats: How to Keep Kitty’s Name off the Bite List at the VET

MeOW  Welcome to Service Cats and Everything Feline on Furidays. We’ve got a great topic today so stay tuned. And ‘member you can leave your questions or topic suggestions in the comments below or send us a purrivate email via our Contact page. And as always, you can get caught up on any post you may have missed by clickin’ the links on our Training Tips and Everything Feline page from our menu. Remember, we’re no longer listing names per reader request. There is no dumb question. Mommy says no one purrson knows everything about everything. We all have to start somewhere. By the way, you’ll notice a little different structure today. Let us know ifin ya’ like it.

 

 

Dezi laying in cat tree in new harness

 

 

 

The followin’ post will be written in human English fur reader and translator ease. Our Service Cat 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 Everything Feline. Always remember, Training is all ‘bout Repetition and Rewards.

     One of the questions we get asked most is about taking kitty out in public and making sure kitty’s comfortable and calm. Whether it be to the VET or on an adventure, people want to know that kitty isn’t stressed out. We discussed preparations for taking kitty to the VET last week. If you missed it, you can read it here. Today, we’re going to follow up a bit on that topic. The question is, “Kitty appears/is calm during the initial VET visit and suddenly ‘goes nuts’ and bites when the VET/tech with metal mesh gloves takes his/her temperature. What caused this and can we stop it from happening in the future? ” Another question that goes along with this is: “How can I keep kitty calm during the exam itself? The VET and techs are concerned about bites and scratches and want to sedate kitty or wear gloves or other protective gear when handling kitty.” 

 

 Dezi sits in stroller

 

 

 

Feeding off the Energy:

 

     Let’s take a look at the first question. You’ve done everything right and kitty is nice and calm. Even the waiting room didn’t stress kitty out. So why then is kitty suddenly going “nuts” and biting? Remember, we always stress that kitty will feed off the emotions of those around him/her, so it’s really important that you remain calm and thinking positive thoughts. But, it’s also important for the VET’s staff to not only be professional but calm. If a kitty has never shown any signs of biting, then no one should be wearing metal mesh gloves during any part of the exam. Quite frankly we were appalled when we read the question. Mommy wouldn’t let anyone near us wearing such armor gloves. We suspect this kitty reacted to the tentative touch of the tech who most likely was also feeling a bit apprehensive. There was no initial signs that the gloves would be needed and should never have been worn. VET appointments are rarely fun, but mommy likes to keep them as stress free as possible, so that we remain calm each time we have to be in the office. All it takes is one bad experience to cause kitty to react poorly and stress at all future appointments. And YES, it is possible to change the behavior of a kitty who does have a history of biting, scratching or fighting with a VET/tech. It just takes a little time and patience and the cooperation of your VET and their staff.

 

 Dezi and Raena stare intently out the door from the liberty cat tree

You can see the purple calming collar  in the foto.

 

 

 

 

Calming Options:

 

      We don’t have Feline only VETs in our parts, but, you might look into them in your area. Obviously, an office that caters to cats should be better equipped in knowing how to deal with them. Another option, is an office that has separate waiting rooms to help keep kitty calm. A lot of people have great success with calming sprays and plug ins. It might help every kitty/doggy if your VET had them in the rooms and waiting area. You might suggest them to your VET or gift them to your favorite VET’s office. Don’t forget, you can also spray kitty’s carrier and the towel or clothing inside kitty’s carrier as well. You might also want to look into a calming collar. They’re fairly inexpensive and can be used only when needed. While in the waiting room, you should speak calmly to kitty and remember to praise them and let them know how proud you are of their great attitude and calm demeanor. And yes, do this even if kitty is hissing or cowering in their carrier. Remember, the idea is to calm or keep kitty calm so the appointment goes off without any problems. And don’t leave kitty unattended at any time. We even go to the bathroom with mommy when all the time necessary.

 

 

Dezi sits on exam table at vet office

 

 

 

The Exam:

 

     During the appointment mommy makes sure to remain in our line of sight at all times. She stays calm and blows us kisses and slow blinks. When she has to hold us down for tests, injections, etc., she makes sure to calmly and quietly praise us for our good behavior. Yes, it’s usually the techs’ job to hold kitty, but mommy knows that we stay calmer when she does it. We know mommy’s touch and can feel the love radiating down thru her hands instead of apprehension from someone who doesn’t really know what to expect from us or how we’ll behave/react to certain touches, pokes and prods. At no time does mommy let us out of her sight. The office policy may be, no owners in the back, but if you’re a calming effect on kitty, exceptions will be made. If not, you may want to look for another VET. Mommy’s policy is: If they can’t do “it” in front of her, then they probably shouldn’t be doing it all. She’s seen perfectly calm kitties suddenly get written up in their file as ferocious/biter after a trip to the back for a blood draw or weigh in. And, she’s seen some pretty incompetent techs trying to find veins or restrain kitty. So she completely understands how a kitty can become stressed and lash out. That being said, if you can’t remain calm, you need to work on it and pray for a great office.

 

Raena in stroller at Petco looking at birds

 

 

 

Working Together:

 

     Mommy says more often than not, kitty will react the way people are expecting. Tech wears bite glove, kitty bites. Guess they got what they were expecting. So, if the VET/tech comes in the room clad in armor, kitty’s probably going to act out. Kitty is feeling everyone’s stress and reacting in kind. Our VET and his staff have a lot of shortcoming’s, but, they usually enter the room calmly and completely ignore kitty. We either start sniffing him or mommy presents us to him/her and then the exam begins. Unfortunately you can’t change a VETs personality or actions, but you can suggest ways they can deal with your kitty that will make kitty more comfortable. After all, you know your kitty better than anyone else. Remember, this is a relationship. Kitty can’t speak, so the VET is looking to you for cues on what is and is not normal with kitty. A good VET is going to want to make the visit as stress free as possible. Nobody wants to get bit or scratched.  

 

 Dezi lays atop the liberty cat tree in calming collar

 

 

 

Well, we’re gonna wrap it up fur today. We’ve covered a lot of infurmation, and we do hope it helps. Sometimes Training is as much about Training the human on how to behave as it is kitty. Always remember, calm is good and Training is best achieved with Repetition and Rewards. Teaching kitty to remain calm at the VET is just as important as Training kitty to use a litter box or where to scratch. Don’t furget to leave your questions or topic suggestions in the comments or send us an email via our Contact page. And, you can ketch up on any post in this series by clickin’ the links on our Training Tips and Everything Feline page. Join us here each Furiday to learn more about the mysterious feline in your life and what makes us tic. MOL We’re also joinin’ Comedy Plus fur Feline Furiday.

 

Don’t furget to let us know ifin ya’ like the new outline with sections??.

 

 

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

 

 

 

Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses 

 

Deztinee and RaenaBelle

 

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