Category Archives: Training

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

 

Service Cats: 6 Tips To Keep Kitty Stress Free While Going To the VET

Stop Kitty’s Peeing, Pooping & Throwing Up In The Car/Carrier:

MeOW Welcome to Service Cats and Everything Feline on Furidays. We’ve got a great topic fur ya’ today, so stay tuned. We’re runnin’ really late cuz mommy didn’t get everythin’ edited befur crashin’ last night and she had her regualr monthly doctor’s ‘pointment today. Anyways, fanks fur your patience. Furstly, we thought we needed to meow a minute ‘bout where our Tips, Tricks and Trainin’ Techniques come from. Mommy was asked this past week just where she got her ideas since she had such purrfect and well behaved kitties (we’re choosing to believe the question is genuine). Altho’ mommy thinks we’re purrfect in every way, we’re far from it. Mommy has dealt with most of the issues we write ‘bout purrsonally at one time or another. And, mommy spent years Trainin’ woofies, horses and kitties. She even Trained a pot bellied pig named Cameron. Mommy fostered bottle baby kittens who had to be taught how to be a cat. Mommy’s always had a bond with animals and still spends much of her time studying their behaviors, and tweaks her Tips as needed. And ifin she doesn’t know somethin’, she’ll research till she gets the answers. Altho’ mommy has experience with many animals, she has chosen at this time in her life to focus on kitties. We’re so fankful fur all our new and old furiends and followers and welcome any and all questions or topic suggestions you may have which can be left in the comments or by sendin’ us a purrivate email via our Contact page. Just ‘member to be as specific as pawssible when askin’ behavioral questions. As always, you can ketch up on any post you’ve missed in this series by clickin’ the links on our Training Tips and Everything Feline page from our menu. So, let’s get the “business” outta the way and get on with today’s topic.  

 

 

Raena sits posing in her tiger 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 lays on counter at vet office

 

 

 

     We’ve been asked several questions about how to avoid Stress while transporting kitty to the VET. Some of you have kitties that throw up, poop or pee in their carriers every time they have to make that trip, and you want to know how to stop it. Since most of these kitties never go anywhere else, we’re going to focus on how to make this and other trips successfully. Let me tell you a little story about me’s self. For the first two years of me’s life, me would pee every time mommy took me to Ardmore or the VET. Because me did it at the same spot on our trips (7 miles from home), mommy says it would have been funny if it didn’t mean that me was so stressed and stink up the car so bad. However, me can now make that trip and even longer ones without emptying me’s bladder all over the place. So, how did mommy get me to stop? 

 

Dezi lays in wheelchair watching Raena inside the stroller

Step 1.

     First up, we recommend leaving the carrier/stroller out at all times. Put a towel, blanket, or a previously worn unwashed shirt in the carrier. This will allow kitty/doggy to get used to their transport and even find it comforting. Place the carrier in a quiet spot and give treats or extra loving when kitty/doggy enters or uses the carrier as a bed or hideaway. Place a favorite toy or a little catnip/silvervine in the carrier to entice kitty into using the carrier. Play interactive games that incorporate the carrier. You might also use one of the facial pheromone calming sprays to spray the inside of the carrier. Remember to refresh the scent often. In other words, make the carrier a fun place for kitty to hang out. 

 

Dezi looks over her shoulder while in the stroller outside

Check out the stroller’s tether (black strap) attached to harness.

 

 

 

Step 2. 

     As most of you know, we highly recommend harness training your kitty and tethering them into their carrier/stroller for safety. You can read our Harness Training Tips here. We also recommend withholding food before a trip especially one to the VET. However, you want to make all trips seem uniform, so all preparations should be the same whether you’re going around the block, to the pet store or the VET’s office.

 

Dezi and Lexi inside stroller in the front seat of the car.

 

 

 

Step 3.  

     Take kitty for a drive. It doesn’t have to be far, but you want kitty to get used to going out without ending up at the VET. Remember, you want the carrier to be a fun and comforting place. Speak softly and calmly to kitty while you’re out. Keep your emotions and thoughts in check. Always remember, animals feed off your energy. If you’re stressed and expecting the trip to go badly, kitty/doggy will pick up on that and most assuredly leave a little surprise for you in their carrier. Remember me’s first 2 years? Every time mommy saw the mile marker where me first peed, she would get nervous and start watching me to see if me was going to let loose and flood the car. MOL She had started carrying piddle pads and would put one in her lap underneath me. Me liked to lay in mommy’s lap while we drove down the highway. One day, mommy said enough and decided to Train me to hold it. 

 

 Raena models the new sling carrier

 

 

 

Step 4.  

     Mix things up. What this meant for me, was that mommy put me in a carrier for the last 10 miles of the trip. She chose a small carrier that didn’t allow me room to move around. This step is only temporary, so you don’t need to invest in an expensive carrier, just something small enough to keep kitty from moving around an leaving deposits behind. Kitties are very clean animals. The last thing we want to do is lay in our own pee or poop. If your problem is that kitty is leaving deposits in the carrier, you might want to hold kitty in your lap instead of the carrier. For the first couple of times, you might want to have a piddle pad at the ready. Remember to speak calmly to kitty. Make each outing longer and longer and expose kitty to new and different things. Carry a wand toy/feathers on a stick to help distract kitty from the things going on around them. Keep an eye out for signs that kitty is about the pee/poop/throw up and distract them with the wand toy or feathers on a stick. Obviously this step is much easier with two people, but one can do it in a pinch; after all, mommy has to do it by herself. If she can do it, anybody can. Make stops at the park, pet store or a drive through (ie: bank, fast food, etc.) and reward kitty with treats or extra loving during the trip and after you return home.  

 

Raena looking around at the vets

Step 5.      

     When the time comes for the trip to the VET, don’t let your stress affect kitty. Remember to always keep your own emotions in check. Keep positive thoughts and treat the trip as if it were any other trip kitty’s been on. Be sure to take along some treats or a favorite toy to distract kitty. Wand toys or feathers on a stick work great for this. You can even take a little bag of catnip for kitty to sniff is you have a nip fiend. Any time you see kitty showing signs of stress, wave the wand/feathers/bag of nip to get kitty’s attention. Praise kitty during the visit. No matter what happens at the VET or what kind of news or health updates you may get, keep your thoughts and voice positive until after you return home. Continue to keep an eye out for stress so you can redirect any unwanted behaviors like peeing/pooping/throwing up on the trip. 

 

 Sling Pet Carrier

Sling/over the shoulder pet carrier

 

 

 

Step 6.    

     Once you return home, remove kitty from carrier and give them treats or extra loving along with praise about how much fun the trip was. One thing we didn’t mention earlier, is that mommy likes to put a little nip or silvervine in our carrier/stroller before trips. It’s a ready made distraction that we can’t escape. Once kitty has made 2 trips without the offending behavior being present, you may return to kitty’s normal carrier. Altho’ the smaller carrier may not give kitty room to move around, kitty is okay. Kitties actually like tight spaces, they make us feel safe. We thought you might like to know a few of the things mommy has used as a “tiny” carrier over the years. Mommy has used her purse, an overnight bag, make up bag and shoebox. You might want to look into a sling carrier that would allow kitty to rest over your heart. This type of carrier can be extremely soothing to kitty as they are next to your heart and feeling the warmth of your body. It also encloses all but kitty’s head, so there’s less opportunity for kitty to move around and squat.

 

Dezi lays with arm hanging over edge of the liberty cat tree while Raena bathes on the shelf below her.

Well, we do hope this helps those of you dealing with this purrticular problem. Fankfully, me no longer pees in the car, carrier, stroller or mommy’s lap. Me actually looks forward to trips these days. And, me luvs the new sling carrier mommy got us almost as much as me luvs our new stroller. Ifin there’s somethin’ you feel we’ve left out, or you have further questions on this topic, purrlease say so in the comments below or by sendin’ us a purrivate email via our Contact page. And, as always, you can ketch up on any of the posts in this series by clickin’ Training Tips and Everything Feline from our menu bar above. Befur we go, we wanna link up with Comedy Plus fur Feline Furiday. Join us next week fur another in depth look into the world of cats.

 

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

 

 

 

Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses 

 

Deztinee and RaenaBelle

Service Cats: Am I Training My Cat Or Is She Training Me

MeOW Welcome back to Service Cats and Everything Feline on Furidays. We wanna fank you all fur your patience while we try to get caught up from our week off. We’ve been dealin’ with a small flood here in our apartment fur the last couple of days, so we’re still behind. However, t’ween the flood and a couple of emails we received this week, we’ve decided to take a look at the lighter side of Training this week. Me will tell you more ‘bout that in a minute. We’d like to remind you that you can ketch up on any post in this series by clickin’ the links on our Training Tips and Everything Feline page from our menu. You can submit your questions or post suggestions by leaving a comment or sendin’ us a purrivate e-mail via the form on our Contact page. Purrlease ‘member to be as specific as pawssible when askin’ behavioral questions. Now, let’s get the business outta the way and get on with our posty.

 

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 looks full on at the camera while sitting ion the stroller outside

 

 

 

 

 

     We often receive comments like,I’d love to train my cat, but, he/she trained me.”, or “My cat does that, but…”. As you know, mommy says all Training should keep the animal and it’s natural behaviors and size in mind, and to be realistic in your expectations. All of mommy’s Training Tips/Techniques involve things cats/dogs do naturally and just tweaks them a bit to accommodate the human need/desire. Mommy says a cat’s curiosity makes us the perfect animal for Training, just as the dog’s desire to please. We cats also want to please our humans, we just don’t show it the same way a doggy does. So, it’s up to you, our human to understand our language for the gratification you’re looking for. Since we’re cats, we’re going to focus on cats today, but as always, most of our Tips can be used for other species.

 

Dezi cares for Raena atop the Liberty cat tree

 

 

 

     Most people know that we cats communicate with other animals through scent, rubbing, nose touching, etc.; we reserve most verbal communications for you humans. The more interaction you have with us, the more vocal we will become and the more we will interact with you. The more cat-like you interact with us, the more cat-like responses you will get from us. We’ve told you in earlier posts, that mommy plays the “Scent Me Up” game with all her kitties. It helps us to form a stronger bond with her. It’s also mommy using natural cat behaviors to communicate with us. Let me refresh your memory: Mommy rubs her cheeks, chin and forehead against our faces, chin, ears and forehead in an exchange of scents. This is how we cats would greet one of our family members or beloved housemates; even our larger wilder cousins do this. Our face contains all the good feeling scent glands, so this exchange brings us kitties pleasant and calming feelings. It also makes us very receptive to Training. But, what kind of Training and who’s doing the Training?

 

 Raena lays in mommys lap and starts to massage

 

 

 

     Let’s take a look at what mommy calls “Massage”. Kitties knead (make biscuits) naturally. We do it the minute we’re born. It helps move our mother’s milk into the teat so we can suckle and eat. Kneading makes us feel good by bringing up good memories. Kneading is most often accompanied by purring and a form of closed or open mouth suckling. So, mommy takes an innate behavior and makes a few adjustments such as where we knead, Training us to keep our claws sheathed and to knead on demand and it becomes a kitty massage. For Training Tips on Kitty Massage click here

 

 Dezi kneads and suckles the cat bed

 

 

 

     As most of you know, one of the most beneficial Tasks we perform for mommy especially when she’s out and about, is alerting before she passes out. We often get asked just what we do. Mommy says our alerts have become more refined through the years, as she’s learned to read them and her desire to bring less attention to the whole thing has lessened. You know, no need for everybody to know what’s happening. Anyways, as me said before, us kitties typically reserve our verbal communication for you humans. When we first sense that mommy’s going to pass out, we paw at her to get her attention and then we do a little turn when in our stroller, or meow to get her to follow us to a chair when at home/loose. And, if at first you don’t succeed…try, try again. If mommy doesn’t respond the first time, we get a bit more vocal with our next alerts. Meowing and chuffing until mommy complies. Again, mommy’s using a cat’s natural abilities to her benefit.

 

Raena reaching out from the perch to alert mommy

Raena Alerting to Syncope incident

 

 

 

     A mother cat will chuff at her kittens to call them to her. Chuffing can also be used to alert others to one’s existence or whereabouts as an alarm, such as a male lion or tomcat defending his territory from intruders. A cat or dog wanting another to follow them may touch noses and turn around excitedly in an attempt to get the attention of the other. So, this is a perfect action for us to use to alert mommy to the need to sit down so she doesn’t pass out and hit the floor.

 

Dezi atop the cat tree looking down

 

 

 

     These are just a couple of examples of our natural abilities being honed to accommodate mommy’s needs as a disabled person. So, to answer the question of Who’s Training Who, we could say a little of both. No doubt your kitty/doggy has Trained you to know when they’re hungry or need to go to the potty. By watching our behaviors, you too can learn how to hone those behaviors to accommodate your needs. We always say every kitty/doggy can use a little Training, even if they’re not going to be a Service Animal. Bonding with your anipal makes both your lives better, and Training helps to form a stronger bond. And, there are plenty of studies to show that cats only enrich the lives of their owners and help their humans to live longer happier lives. 

 

 Raena stands on scratcher with paw lifted

Who could resist this face?

 

 

Well, we hope you enjoyed today’s post. Altho’ Training is a very serious matter, remember to keep it fun and natural. Using your cat/dog’s natural abilities will make Training more successful. Don’t forget you can ketch up on any post in this series by checking out our Training Tips and Everything Feline page. We love hearing your questions and post suggestions and look forward to answering more of them in a future post. We have some great posts coming up, so be sure to meet us here each Furiday fur a new topic. You never know when it just might be something you’re wondering about or the answer to your question. Me so furgot to link up with Comdey Plus fur Feline Furiday, so me had to come back and edit me’s posty. Sorry ifin ya’ got it in your email twice. But, check out all the feline fun here. We’ll see ya’ soon.

 

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

 

Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses 

 

Deztinee and RaenaBelle     

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