Meow-llo Dear Furiends. It’s Blest Sunday, our favorite day of the week. But, this past week also brought a day those in rescue and shelters call Remember Me Thursday. Now, we don’t normally post on Thrusdays anyways, so me won’t lie to ya’ and tell ya’, we missed it or are runnin’ late. But, all things considered, we would like to add today’s posty to the list of all the other Remember Me postys. The linky’s below.
Meowllo everypawdy, welcome to miserable Monday. It’s not miserable, we just like callin’ it that cuz it’s da end of da weekend. Anyways, you ask and we’re gonna tell. Today’s posty will be in the human English flavor so it can be translated and/or easily read by anybody as it’s one of me’s educational postys. We were asked many times while searchin’ for a new kitty just what qualities or traits would make a good Service kitty? Is there a particular breed that is predisposed to being good Service kitties? And we’ve been asked many times, “I already have a cat at home, can she be trained as a Service Cat for me/my child/etc.”. And we even had an application turned down by a rescue who didn’t want their kitties to be working cats. We don’t blame the rescue, we blame ignorance. But me will save that for part 2.
Now remember Service Animals are different than Therapy Animals, Companion Animals and Pets. For a complete description please see our Service Animal page in the menu tab or click here. And Please, DO NOT pass off your Therapy animal, Companion animal or Pet as a Service Animal. And remember, there are always exceptions to every rule. You are dealing with living, breathing, thinking sentient beings. The amount of time you spend with an animal will also play a role in their personality. Alright, let’s jump into this.
Let’s answer the last question first. Mommy believes any cat can be trained. So, if you already have a cat that you are bonded too, then YES, he/she can be trained as a Service Cat. The operative word is “Bonded”. A cat will be most closely bonded with it’s primary caregiver. If you don’t have a cat or aren’t bonded with the cat in your home then we do recommend getting a kitten. Kittens have very short attention spans, and see training as an adventure. We recommend adopting a kitten under the age of 8 months. For the purpose of this article we are going to focus on a young kitten between the ages of 6 to 8 weeks.
So, you’ve decided you need a Service animal and you want it to be a cat. Keep in mind cats are fairly small animals so there are limits to what they can do. Don’t expect your Service Cat to perform tasks contrary to their nature or size. Also keep in mind that the ADA doesn’t recognize them as Service Animals. For the full definition please see our Service Animal page. Okay, you’ve thought it over, looked into the laws (state/country and federal) and you’ve determined a cat is the right animal for your needs; where do you find one? Most likely you will have to train the kitten yourself, so decide what training method you want to use and Be Faithful with it. Training is repetition, day in and day out. You can find your Service Kitty in Training anywhere. Rescues, shelters, breeders and neighborhood strays are where you start. We do not recommend ferals or semi-ferals as too much training time is lost just getting kitty to trust humans.
Things to keep in mind when searching for your Service Cat:
How big will kitty be when he/she grows up?
Is kitty chatty or quiet?
Does kitty appear to be outgoing and confident or shy and withdrawn?
Will you need kitty to travel outside your home to perform his/her duties?
Does kitty have long fur or short?
If long, can you provide daily grooming?
Does kitty appear healthy? Get kitty checked by a VET ASAP after adopting!
Knowing a little about the breed of kitty will help answer some of these questions. Remember, breed profiles can tell you a lot, but kitty’s environment will also play a role in kitty’s personality. For instance, Oriental breeds like Siamese are known to be very vocal and slender. Persians, while beautiful, have very long fur that requires a lot of maintenance. The generic Tabby cat is known to be hardy with few health issues. So it’s best to check breed profiles before you start your physical search. Knowing what tasks you need kitty to perform will help determine which kitty would be right for you and fit into your home and lifestyle. A mixed kitty will exhibit some of the traits of it’s purebred ancestors, so use some common sense and choose the best fit for your needs. Or better yet, let kitty choose you.
We were asked if Ragdolls made better Service kitties than other breeds. The general answer is No. Sis Lexi was one of mommy’s best Service Cats and she wasn’t a Ragdoll at all. And mommy didn’t start her search looking for a Ragdoll, that’s just where we ended up. God had a plan and Raena is it. For the tasks mommy needs performed, Ragdolls do make an excellent choice because of our size and we are considered “soft pawed”. That means we don’t use our claws. Since one of the tasks mommy needs is massage, she says it’s nice to not have claws digging into her head and body. For those of you who are new to our blog, mommy has had several Service kitty’s thru’ the years. The first was Shad, a Persian, and then Devon the Himalayan, sis Lexi a Mau, Lucky, a Siamese mix, and Ransom, a Ragamuffin. Mommy says the best Service kitty is the kitty who wants to be with you.
So, you need kitty to accompany you outside the home. Look for a confident and outgoing kitty. By confident and outgoing we don’t mean the one that’s bouncing off the walls, but rather a kitty that seems to be interested in new things and curious but also enjoys quiet time with you. Altho’ you can train shy kitty to be outgoing and confident, it’s easier for most people to just start with one. A Service animal must be under the control of their handler at all times and may not disturb others while performing their tasks. So while kitty is in public there must be no excessive meowing, hissing, scratching, trying to escape, etc.. Kitty must also be leash trained and comfortable in their harness. We highly recommend a pet stroller if kitty needs to accompany you. Kitty stays safe but still has access to you. We are very capable of alerting mommy to a Syncope incident from inside the stroller.
Mommy is home with us 24 hours a day so she doesn’t really look for specifics cuz she knows that kitty will act a bit differently in our home than it does in a rescue, shelter or breeders house. And she has been training animals, specifically cats for many years. We Do Not recommend the hybrid breeds like Savannahs, Bengals, etc. for Service Cats. Altho’ they are very smart and easily trainable, generally people with disabilities don’t have the ability or space to properly take care of them. Sex isn’t important as your Service kitty should be spayed or neutered at the appropriate age. Kitty will also be required to be up to date on their vaccinations if they accompany you outside the home. And please inform the rescue, shelter or breeder that you intend to train kitty to be a Service cat.
ConCats, you’ve found the perfect kitty and brought he/she home. What in the world do you do now? Where do you start? Mommy calls this time “Bonding with Kitty” time. At 6 to 8 weeks, kitty is too small to really to do much; but during this time you can build a strong relationship with kitty and focus some of their natural behaviors that you will turn into tasks later. Mommy prefers a love reward system as opposed to treats simply because there are tasks we are required to perform where treats would be impossible to get to. And because unlike dogs, cats aren’t ruled by their tummies. This is why bonding is so important. Don’t get me wrong, mommy does employ treat training on occasion, but usually for those really complicated and detailed tasks.
Well me thinks me will wrap it up fur today and let ya’ digest all of this. We will cover the bonding process and turning instinct into tasks next time. If ya’ have any questions about what we’ve covered today or about choosing, training, or Service cats in general, leave them in the comments and we will get them answered in a following post.
On the newsy side, we have 2 pawsum digital cameras, thank you awnties; but the memory cards are full. Because of the nature of catputers and crashin’ mommy refuses to erase said cards because they contain fotos of sis Lexi. So until we can afford to buy more memory cards we won’t be posting any “new” fotos or videos. We hate this as much as you do cuz Raena is growin’ like a weed and we’re in the getting comfortable stage of our relationship. But alas, no money means no money and Raena has to go to da VET fur her furst round of kitty vacs this Furiday.
Do you have any questions about today’s posty?
Is there something you would like us to expand on?
Till da next time………………………………….Be Blest!!!
Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses
Dezi and RaenaBelle
Meowllo Fursday, so glad you kuld make it. What a week weez had. Fankfully weez one day closer to da weekend. Da mysterious plumber guy finally arrived Tuesday afternoon and came in wiff nuffin’ but dat S shaped screwdriver. Mommy knew immediately nuffin’ was gunna get dun and we was gunna be left wiff da stench fur yet another day. Ifin you wanna know how to over spend green papers on everything, take notes from our pawrtment management company. They won’t purrfurm purrventative maintenance cuz it costs money. But when sumfin’ finally breaks they gotta send sumpawdy out to make sure it’s broken and then send them out again to fix or replace it. You know they buy da cheapest appliances they can find and then gripe and complain when they don’t last furever.
Anyways, da plumber, who really was a plumber, hit da switch and nuffin’ happened. Then he got down on da floor and unscrewed da disposal and flipped da switch again. He then turned to mommy and sed, “Well that ain’t workin’ at all, is it? I’ll go tell da manager you need a new one.” Duh, mommy sed dat da furst day. Dat’s what she thought, but she didn’t say, stead she just smiled and sed, “Great, thank you.” So anyways, he went to tell da manager and came back and told mommy he wuld be back sumtime Wednesday. When he arrived on Wednesday do you know what he did? He flipped da switch. As ifin by sum miracle it was suddenly gunna work. MOL Well it didn’t and so he finally took it out and put another one in. We fink it was a rebuild cuz it had a stench to it too. Or maybe our noses was just clogged up wiff stench. MOL Well 2 service calls and repair and replace charges later, we finally have a workin’ garbage disposal again. Fank catness cuz mommy was goin’ a little nuts. Mommy sed it’s amazin’ how much you begin to rely on sumfin’ dat she never had till she moved here. And not to worry, mommy used sum of dat lemon smellin’ garbage disposal cleanin’ stuff to get da stench out. So weez back in business.
We still be havin’ da Open ID twubbles so weez started usin’ our google id to comment on those blogs what won’t allow us to leave our name and website infurmation on. Mommy hates google almost as much as facebook, but sumtimes you just gotta do fings you don’t like.
And speakin’ of duin’ things one dusn’t like, sis Lexi be goin’ to da VET Furiday afternoon, so we hope you will keep her in yous purrayers. She’s duin’ much better and is almost all fru wiff da antibiotics. But da VET man sed she had to come in fur a look see when we finally talked to him After da new year. It’s been stormin’ here purretty much non stop, so weez hopin’ it clears up; least fur a bit while mommy and sissy go to da VET. Every meownin’ we wake up hopin’ to see mr. Sun shine and yet every meownin’ all we see is mr. cloud and gray skies. Anyways, we got a kupple gift cards to da WallyWorld fur Christmas, so me magines mommy and sissy will stop by there and pick up sum treats afur comin’ home. Least me hopes so. It’d be a crime to go to da big little city and not stop by there. Right? MOL
And hey, we hope you stop by tomorrow. We have sumfin’ special planned. Not only are we gunna be postin’ another pawsum kitty in need of a furever home, weez joinin’ in a new bloghop ‘bout bloopers. It’s called Pet Blogger Bloopers Photos Roundup and is hosted by The Lazy Pitbull. On da second Furiday of every month bloggers are challenged to share at least one foto dat didn’t make da cut fur postin’. Now unfurtunately weez not have da badge to show ya’ today cuz mommy was so busy writin’ hers selff a reminder dat she furgot to save dat puppy. And as we do every weekend, we’ll also be joinin’ da Pet Parade bloghop. So, lots of hoppin’ tomorrow. Meez gotta go now and get sum more infurmation ‘bout da special kitty in need weez gunna be sharin’ tomorrow. So…
Till da next time………………………………………….Be Blest!!!
Oh me cats and kittens, me keeps furgettin’ to tell ya’ we now have a Zazzle store. Weez addin’ purroducts all da time, so check it out. We have a cute little key chain wiff Lexi you can see here, and me on a coffe mug you can see here. You can always click da link on our sidebar to see new items. We will be addin’ lots more in da weeks to come. And we actually make a little money when you click over usin’ our link to make a purchase, even ifin you don’t buy sumfin’ from us. Of course we make even more ifin you buy one of our purroducts. Fank you all fur shoppin’ our store. 🙂