Category Archives: Training

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: Going For A Walk When You’re In A Wheelchair

Welcome to another Service Cat Monday. Grab your coffee, tea, coke (soda pop) or whatever your purrfered drink is and pull up a chair. Today we’re gonna be lookin’ at leash trainin’ and basic commands from a different purr-spective. Befur we move on tho’, we’d like to reiterate a sentiment from our last Service Cat Monday posty. After readin’ some of the comments, we wondered ifin some had actually read the post?. So again, THERE IS NO BAD CAT!!!  CATS DO NOT ACT OUT OF SPITE!!! NOT ALL CATS OF A SPECIFIC COLOR PATTERN ACT THE SAME WAY!!! 

 

 Dezi laying in cat tree in new harness

 

Now, as with all our Service Cat Monday postys, the followin’ will be written in human English fur translator and reader ease. Our posts are not meant to be a step by step trainin’ manual, as trainin’ is all ‘bout Repetition and Rewards. Our posts consist of Tips, Tricks and Techniques used/or developed by mommy throughout her many years of trainin’ animals, cats in purr-ticular. 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.

 

 Dezi outside in walking harness

 

MeOW, Our disclaimer seems to get longer and longer each week?. Anyways, we got a question from a puppy owner that we felt needed to be addressed before the puppy became a full grown untrained/misbehaving dog. The question was: “How do you train a puppy/dog to heel while on crutches or in a wheelchair? How do you keep said puppy/dog from running into the wheelchair’s wheels and getting tangled up?” Being disabled and using a cane/wheelchair herself, mommy realized she had been remiss in dealing with training issues for a fairly large part of the population; the disabled. Mommy says you don’t realize how tricky every day living can be when you lose a basic ability/motor function. The whole world is set up for fully functional people. However, as medicine improves, both humans and animals are living longer. And, as technology advances, there becomes more ways people can have accidents and/or become disabled, even if only temporarily; such as after a surgery.  Fur the purr-puss of this post, we’re assuming kitty or doggy is already trained to wear a harness or collar with a leash attached. If not, please see our post “Getting Kitty Ready for an Outing”.

 

 Raena goes for a walk outside

 

Just because someone is disabled doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be able to have a pet. That being said, All kittens and puppies need some basic training. As anyone who has ever had their life blest with a kitten or puppy knows, they are full of energy and into everything. It’s the nature of youth. For their safety and yours, they need to learn the rules and at least a few basic commands. Before we proceed, we’d like to remind everyone that there are often puppy classes offered for free or a small fee by some of the local pet stores or humane societies. These classes help you bond with puppy and learn how to teach them to sit, stay, heel and usually a few tricks, along with socialization techniques. These classes are usually very beneficial, and you can find out what’s offered in your area by calling around or looking online. Your VET might even be a great resource in finding a puppy class.

 

But, let’s say the classes didn’t work for you; or due to your disability or lack of classes in your area, you need to train puppy yourself. And of course, everybody knows, there are few if any kitten training classes; so training kitty is all up to you. We stated last week, that one should NEVER walk a puppy or kitten while on crutches. That’s an accident waiting to happen. Crutches are very often a temporary situation, so we would highly recommend having someone else walk puppy until you’re off the crutches or at the very least can get by with a cane. Clicker training is very effective for puppies and dogs, and even some cats. Before you start training, you need to decide which Reward system you want to use. Mommy highly recommends “Love Rewards” because it’s simple and you don’t have to remember to have treats on you all the time.

 

 Raena goes for a walk outside

Raena in a “Sit & Stay”

 

Because we don’t recommend walking a kitten/puppy while on crutches, we’re not even going to address it further. However, if you’re on a cane or in a wheelchair, there’s no reason you can’t train a kitten or puppy to behave properly. Of course you want to start with the “Scent Me Up” game with kittens, and you can even do it with puppies. They don’t have the same scent glands, but will enjoy the time and love you spend with them. The next step is “Sit”. If using treats as rewards, show the animal the treat, let them sniff it and then say “Sit”. Move the treat over the animals head. As the treat moves further back, the animal should respond by sitting and tilting their head to follow the treat. Have them hold that position for 5 seconds before giving them the treat. DO NOT give the treat if puppy/kitty stands back up; instead, start over from, the beginning. If you choose “Love Rewards”, move the empty hand over the animal’s head and after 5 seconds slowly drop the hand to pet the animal and tell them how good they are/proud you are/how much you love them, etc.. If the behind doesn’t go down, gently push the animal’s behind down with your free hand as your other hand goes over the head, while saying “Sit”. Repeat these steps until kitty/puppy sits every time.

 

 Dezi walks outside in her harness on a leash

 

The next step is “Stay”. While the animal is sitting, put your hand in front of their face and say “Stay”. Don’t leave the room, but walk a few feet away while repeating “Stay”. After 5 seconds, reward kitten/puppy and continue to repeat until “Sit and Stay” are performed every time. “Heel” is basically the “Sit and Stay” command performed together while on a walk, where the animal sits by your feet. However, if you’re in a wheelchair, you don’t want kitty/puppy by the wheels where they can get tangled up and choke or get run over. We recommend a retractable leash so the animal can get far enough in front of you in order to avoid the leash getting caught in the wheels (3 to 4 feet should be sufficient to keep the animal safe and allow you to have control of the animal). Mommy also prefers the animal to walk in front of a cane as well. This will help keep the animal from winding around the cane and tripping you. Anytime the animal gets excited and runs back to you, STOP and repeat the “Sit and Stay” command. Mommy prefers the animal to “Sit and Stay” directly in front of your feet or the foot rest on a wheelchair. Again, this keeps the animal away from the cane or wheels. Don’t forget to offer Rewards and then begin your walk again. Remember to Reward any successful walk.

 

 

When starting the walk, Do Not allow kitty/doggy to rush out the door, but Do let them calmly exit in front of you. Start at the door with the “Sit and Stay” command and then say, “Walk”. This of course only works if you’re on a cane or an electric wheelchair. If you’re in a manual wheelchair, we don’t recommend walking an untrained kitten/puppy. Unless you have help, we would highly recommend adopting an older kitten/puppy that already has some experience with basic commands and walking on a leash. If you’re in a manual wheelchair, you’ll need to get an appropriate lead harness that can be tethered to the frame of the wheelchair. This is not a first time training harness! Puppy should already be comfortable walking on a leash and performing the “Sit and Stay” commands because it is hands free and you have very little actual control over the animal. DO NOT expect any cat, small dog or puppy to be able to pull you in the wheelchair. But, this type of harness will allow the dog to walk safely in front of you while allowing you to keep your hands free to propel the chair forward yourself. The above link is just an example. We’ve not used or tried the harness and therefor cannot endorse it.

 

 Dezi lays on Liberty cat tree

 

Well, we’re gonna wrap it up. We do hope this helps some of you. Being disabled doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy pet ownership, you just have to be more aware of the added dangers to you and your pet. Take precautions to keep your pet safe around any medical equipment you might have while making sure they’re comfortable with it. We know this post was more tailored to the doggies, but as you can see from the fotos, more and more kitties are goin’ fur walks these days, so we hope to hear some of you kitties are enjoyin’ your leash time with your humans. We’ll be addressin’ some aggression issues next week, so stay tuned. And ifin you have any trainin’ questions, general questions, or suggestions, leave them in the comments or send us an email. And ‘member, ifin you’ve missed any of our Service Cat Monday postys you can ketch up 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           

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: A Loopy Training Session

MeOW It’s Service Cat Monday. And as purromissed, you all are in fur a loopy training session today. Me doesn’t know who was funnier, mommy or Raena. As me tells you every week, training is all ‘bout consistency. Repetition, Repetition, Repetition. Oh yeah, and Rewards. Don’t furget those rewards. Anyhow, ya’ don’t start training something ifin ya’ don’t plan to see it thru. Mommy says the only reason to skip a training session is death. So, let me get this business stuffs outta the way, so we can get on with it. The following will be written in human English fur reader and translation ease. As always, we welcome your questions, comments and suggestions. We try to answer all questions in a timely manner; and you can post them in the comments section or send us an email. Our training posts aren’t intended to be a step by step manual as training can be boring due to the Repetitive nature. Instead they are tips, tricks and techniques mommy has developed over the many years she has spent training animals, cats in purrticular. And 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 training post. MeeeeeeeeYeow

 

Dezi laying in cat tree in new harness

So, as most of you know, mommy’s training sis Raena on driving the wheelchair. Her training has been going well, and she’s getting more and more comfortable every day. As most of you also know, mommy had dental surgery last week and was a little loopy for a few days afterwards. Some of you assumed Raena’s training would be put on hold till mommy recovered. We know that, because we got a few emails about just that. Oh Contraire Mon Cher. As me said earlier, mommy says the only excuse for skipping a training session is death. And just because mommy felt like she was, she was still breathing, so no skipping training. Mommy says the no skipping rule exists because often the result of one skipped session turns into more, and/or the animal, especially cats, tend to “forget” what they’ve learned and you have to start over from the beginning.

 

 Raena lays in wheelchair

 

The morning of mommy’s surgery, she got ready and then decided to have a short training session while she waited on her ride. Everything went pretty much according to plan. Raena was a bit over stimulated because she knew something was up, but she wants to please mommy so much she happily went along with about a 10 minute training session. Mommy says when kitty is over stimulated 10 minutes is better than nothing. We all spent the rest of the time till mommy’s ride arrived getting and giving extra love.  It was a little after dinner time when mommy got home, so feeding us was the top priority, after a short welcome home love session of course. At this point, mommy was totally alert and aware of everything, including her pain. While we ate, she busied herself reading about the medicines she was to take and what she could and couldn’t do, to keep her mind alert. Mommy knew, that once she slowed down, the anesthetic would kick back in and make her tired and loopy.

 

 Raena chews on the wheelchair bag

 

Shortly after our dinner, Raena and mommy headed back to the wheelchair for another short training session which went well. Mommy had nothing in the house, that was on her list of acceptable foods, and all the stores in town were already closed. Me tells you this, because it’s important, in explaining why mommy stays loopy for so long. She wasn’t allowed to eat or drink for 8 hours before the surgery and other than a scoop of ice cream she ate on the way home, she had nothing to eat for 36 hours after her surgery. So all that medicine was still coursing through her veins and making her a little loopy with her totally empty stomach. 

 

Dezi lays on top of cat tree ledge

 

The next day, mommy was feeling no pain. She had a bit of a headache, but she couldn’t have walked a straight line if her life had depended on it. But training doesn’t stop for loopy mommies. Of course Raena and me were on guard, keeping a close eye on mommy. She had fallen at some point and smashed me’s cat scouts cardwood derby entry, so we knew we needed to watch her. When mommy went to the wheelchair and called for Raena, me headed to the top of the Liberty cat tree in record time. This wasn’t me’s first loopy training session, and me knew what could happen. Of course, Raena loves mommy so much, she cautiously ran over and jumped in mommy’s lap when she was called. Mommy positioned Raena on her right leg and reached up to make sure the speed was turned all the way down. 

 

Raena lays in the wheelchair

But, in mommy’s hazy state, instead of turning the chair down, she turned the speed up full blast. Mommy then told Raena to turn on the chair. Raena pawed at the power button, the horn and then the speed controls. We do have some big paws, ya know. The chair began to beep uncontrollably. Mommy softly told Raena to stop pawing all the buttons, she had already turned the speed down. (The wheelchair will continually beep if it’s already at top speed or low speed and you continue to push the speed button.) So mommy assumed Raena was pushing the zero speed button because that’s the button she thought she had pushed. Anyways, Raena sat back and mommy gave her a small pet and hug for turning the chair on. Remember, you always reward proper actions. Mommy then repositioned Raena again, and told her to “Bite” the joystick. Mommy was talking really funny. (She says it’s because some of the teeth that help the tongue form words are now missing.) Apparantly, Raena didn’t understand the command, because she turned and looked at mommy and sat back down. 

 

 Raena lays in wheelchair

 

Mommy repositioned Raena yet again, and repeated the command, “Bite”. Raena looked up at me atop the Liberty cat tree, and then back at mommy, who sat waiting with her eyes glazed over. Mommy took her hand and went to put it on Raena’s head to gently guide her, and instead, hit the joystick. Mommy and Raena jolted forward. Raena was pushed back into mommy’s chest by the force of the jolt. Raena’s eyes got as big as saucers and mommy giggled. She apologized to Raena, and repositioned her yet again. “Power on” and then “Bite” were her next commands. Raena complied.

 

When she bit the joystick she also turned her head just enough to pull the joystick backwards. Mommy, Raena and the wheelchair all jolted backwards and right into our brown cat tree. The tree shook and stopped the chair, and Raena jumped from mommy’s lap to the tree. She had released the joystick as soon as the chair started moving. Mommy started petting air and apologizing to air Raena. Real Raena was looking on from the brown cat tree right behind mommy. Mommy finally realized Raena was no longer sitting in her lap and looked around for her. Mommy can’t turn her head to see behind her, so she couldn’t see Raena sitting right behind her. Of course, we’re not so sure mommy could see anything with her hazy eyes.

 

Dezi leaves the top of the Liberty cat tree

Anyways, not one to give up, mommy called for Raena and the little stinker jumped right back into mommy’s lap. Mommy gave Raena big hugs and me took the opportunity to shinny down the Liberty tree and run down the hall to the bedroom. Once again, mommy positioned Raena and instructed her to “Power On” the chair and “Bite” the joystick. Mommy reached around Raena and pushed at the control panel in an attempt to turn the chair speed down. Raena bit down on the joystick and held still. Mommy rewarded her with lots of hugs, and then told her to “Release” the joystick. Apparantly, Raena likes jolting, because during the love fest and command to “Release“,  she pushed the joystick forward before releasing it. You guessed it, mommy hadn’t gotten the speed turned down and her and Raena jolted forward yet again right into the Liberty cat tree. Thank the cats, mommy had the “bumper pads” on the chair. The good news is that Raena sat back in mommy’s lap after releasing the joystick and jolting forward. Raena got lots of Loving rewards for performing her duties “correctly”. Yep, even though they jolted forwards and backwards, Raena had “Powered On”, “Bit”, “Held” and “Released” the joystick like an old pro.

 

Dezi lays on Liberty tree and looks out the front door

When mommy announced the training session was over, me headed back up the hall to get in on some of that loving and some treats. That’s right, we both got treats. After all, me’s been driving the chair now for a while, all by meself. That evening the training session went pretty much the same way. It took a couple of days for the anesthetic to completely wear off, and training sessions to get back to normal. Altho’, even un-loopy this training session is about par for the course. Mommy says there’s nothing wrong with making training fun. Training might be serious business, but don’t make it so serious, you take the joy out of it for everybody/kitty/doggy. 

 

 Raena lays on the Liberty cat tree

 

Me’s gonna wrap it up now. It’s time fur another training session for Raena and the wheelchair. ‘Member, ifin you have any questions, suggestions or comments, feel free to leave them in the comment section, or send us an email. And, ifin you’ve missed any of the posts in this series, click on 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 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 and the Chest     Round and Round We Go

Tumble and Fall Response     Raena Calls for Help 

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

When to train     Explaining Rewards and 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: Training the Pig Headed, Stallion Strong, Submissive Pup & Conniving Cat

MeOW It’s Service Cat Monday…and we’re here. MOL  We got a couple questions that have fairly short answers, so we’ll deal with those and then tell ya’ a story. How’s that sound? Me needs to get the business pawrt of this posty outta the way furst tho’. Trainin’ is all ‘bout Repetition and Rewards. As with all our Trainin’ posts, the followin’ will be written in human English fur translation and reader ease. Ifin you’ve missed any of the posts in this series, you can paw the links at the end of this or any Service Cat Monday post. As always, our Service Cat posts aren’t meant to be a step by step training manual but rather, tips, tricks and techniques mommy has successfully used in her many years of trainin’ 4 legged furries, purrticularly the feline species. Ifin ya’ have any questions or post suggestions, not limited to Service Cat training, purrlease feel furee to send us an e-mail, leave in the comment section, or paw on the contact us tab to send us a private message. WhMew That’s a lot of disclaimer stuffs. Anyways, let’s get to those questions.

 

 Dezi laying in cat tree in new harness

 

 

Our sweet Persian furiend Valentine asked, “Which animal was the hardest to train?” This question was asked in response to last weeks’ post when we revealed that mommy has trained not only cats and dogs, but also pigs and horses. Mommy had to think long and hard on this one, as each animal is different, and the tasks she trained were different. When she got started in training, she was training dogs basic commands and tricks to make them more sociable and fit in with their humans better. You know, things like, stay, sit, down, roll over, high five, etc.. Mommy says every puppy/doggy can benefit from some basic training, and that dogs are generally the easiest to train, because they are so food motivated. Now, that doesn’t mean all dogs fit this category, but most do.

 

Shad laying on the bed with Cameron the pig

Shad with her pig brofur Cameron

 

Cats/Kittens can be challenging, at least until you find their motivator, and remember, you’re the one in charge of training. MOL  Mommy trained pot bellied pigs things like, sit, stay, come, roll over, use the litterbox and leash walking to name a few. Pigs are intelligent creatures and highly food motivated. As for horses, mommy’s job was to break them, and train them for rodeo roping, ranch herding, and racing. Different horses for different jobs of course. Mommy says horses are by far the largest animal she’s trained and the only animal that has thrown her into more than one barbed wire fence or muddy patch of ground. And while mommy’s specific techniques are seen as bordering on the looney side, they work, at least for her. Mommy says all animals respond to love and affection. She liked to spend a day or two brushing, talking to and singing to a horse before mounting them for the first time. During that day or two she would apply pressure to their backs, put on saddle blankets, bridles and reins. In the end, mommy says, no species was harder than the other, because the tasks trained varied from basic commands to extraordinary tasks.

 

 Raena chews on the wheelchair bag

 

Our second question came from our furiends at Eastside Cats. They wanted to know if mommy could get any tax relief or other financial benefits/deductions since Raena and me are Service Cats. In a word, NO. Because the ADA doesn’t recognize Cats as Service Animals, there is no financial help or deductions allowed. However, each State, can offer some benefits if they choose. And there are exceptions that exist under the Fair Housing Act, and the Air Carrier Access Act. Most of you are familiar with the clause that keeps landlords from refusing rentals to anyone claiming to have and need a Service Animal of any reasonable species. Mommy says, please, don’t ask to move your emotional support pony into a second story one bedroom apartment. Use some common sense. Landlords also aren’t allowed to charge any fees or make any unreasonable requests or cause undue financial or other hardship to the handler relating to the Service Animal(s).

 

And Airlines and other Public Transportation service providers can’t refuse to let a Service Animal accompany their handler while using their services. HUD and Rural Development allow the disabled person to submit receipts for the care and upkeep of said Service Animal(s) as a medical cost to be used in the formula to determine the amount of rent the disabled person must pay in a subsidized home. Mommy is able to take advantage of the benefits allowed under the Fair Housing Act. For every $30.00 spent on the Service Animal, $1.00 is deducted from the base rent. (ie; base rent is $400.00, you spend about $1500.00 a year on Service Animal, Your rent is lowered by about $4.00 a month.) It’s not a lot, but mommy says every little bit helps. Especially when we are her largest bill every month. Mommy’s not complaining, she says she wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

 Dezi bright eyed looking out of stroller

 

There are a few other benefits that handlers can sometimes take advantage of. Some VETs offer a small discount for Service Animals. This is not usually posted, so you should remember to ask if your VET offers such a discount. Some of the big Pet food companies will sponsor Service Animals by providing food and medical care for the Service life of a Service Animal. However, this is generally a benefit only available to those Service Animals recognized by the ADA, dogs; and the occasional “media darling”. We’ve heard about a few emotional support animals benefitting from this. Their handlers are ex-military. Please understand, we are grateful those Service men and women can benefit from this, we just wish it was an option for others as well.

 

 Raena in stroller

 

Whmew!!! Me just thought these answers would be short and sweet. Me thinks we’ll skip the story fur now, and tell ya’ next week. We’re guessin’ most of ya’ are thinkin’ mommy and Raena haven’t been wheelchair training during mommy’s recovery. Well, ifin you’re thinkin’ that, you’d be wrong. Yep Wrong with a capital R…, or, a capital W…or, well whatever, you’d be wrong. ‘Member, trainin’ is all ‘bout Repetition, Repetition, Repetition.  But trust me, you definitely wanna hear ‘bout Raena’s trainin’ over the last couple of days. MOL MOL MOL  So, join us next week fur mommy’s loopy trainin’ sessions with Raena. And don’t furget to leave your questions, suggestions and comments fur us. And get caught up by pawin’ the links below or at the end of any Service Cat Monday posty.

 

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, 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, Pt. 3 

When to Train     Explaining Rewards and Kitty’s Feelings

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

Medicating Kitty     

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