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Service Cats: Fighting or Posturing: Introducing Cats

MeOW Welcome to another Service Cat Monday. It seems like furever since our last Service Cat Monday posty, but we’re back. We have a great question ‘bout specific trainin’ methods, but we want mommy to be tip top to tackle it, so tune in next week fur that post. Today, we’re gonna focus on a topic we got via email. Let me get the business pawrt outta the way furst. The followin’ will be written in human English fur reader and translator ease. Our Service Cat Monday posts aren’t meant to be a step by step Trainin’ manual but rather Tips/Tricks/Techniques used/developed by mommy throughout her many years of animal trainin’, cats in purrticular. Training is all ‘bout Repetition and Rewards. Ifin you have any questions, you can leave them in the comment section below or send us an email. Ifin askin’ ‘bout a behavioral issue, purrlease be as specific as pawssible. And, ifin you’ve missed any of the posts in this series, you can ketch up by clickin’ the links at the end of this post. Now, let’s get to our question fur today.

 

 Dezi laying in cat tree in new harness

 

A new reader sent us an email and asked, “When bringing a new kitty into the home with a resident cat, how do you know when there’s a fight or just growing pains? And how do you know when it’s safe to leave them alone together?” That’s a wonderful question. And we’re thrilled that you’re adopting and saving another life. We have another friend going through this very thing right now, so this is perfect timing. This post is not about Aggressive Cats. If you’re dealing with Cat Aggression, please see our post series Calming the Tiger in Your Kitty (links below). So, you’ve decided to adopt a new friend for your existing kitty. Introductions and preparation are crucial to a long and happy relationship between all of you.

 

 Dezi and Raena posture

 

Make sure you have all the supplies you’ll need before bringing kitty home. You’ll need a new litterbox. The rule of thumb is one per cat and one extra. Most cat owners will tell you that they can get by with less, but don’t expect to start out that way. Remember, if you set the stage for success, you’ll get success, if you set the stage for failure, you’ll fail; or your kitties will fail. The last thing you want is for your resident cat to start acting out. So, a new litterbox and a spare, new food and water bowls or a fountain. Mommy always likes to buy at least one new toy for the new kitty. Mind you, all toys are fair game for all cats in the home, it’s just that something special for the new kitty. And, it can be something as simple as the little dollar mice at the checkout. Since becoming bloggers, we’ve learned about the Yeowww nip nanna, and the wonders of kickers. If the kitty you are adopting is over the age of 5 months old and you already have a Yeowww nip nanna, PLEASE GET A 2nd banana before you bring kitty home or as quickly as you can. This will help avoid some territorial spats over the “mine” attitude. Yep, even sis Lexi and me had a few spats over the nip nanner until mommy got us a second one. Mommy also recommends some of the prime grade A treats. You know, the ones your kitty flips over?.

 

 Dezi lays on side while Raena play attacks

 

Okay, you’ve got the extra basic necessities, now what? Get everything set up in a quiet secluded area (Decompression Room) where the new kitty will spend their first couple of days. You want this transition to go as smoothly as possible and be as free of stress as it can be for the resident cat. We don’t personally have the space for kitties to have their own rooms, but we’re going to address this today as if we do. When bringing the new kitty home, mommy suggests putting kitty in the carrier on the floor for a few minutes before taking them to their “Decompression Room”. This will allow the resident kitty a moment to smell the new kitty and vice versa. There may be a hiss or growl, but don’t leave the kitty long enough for this to escalate. Take the new kitty to their room and leave the carrier door open. It will be tempting to stay and coax kitty out and spend time with them. Do Not!!! Resident kitty needs to know they are still valued and that nothing has changed. Leave new kitty to come out and explore their new room in their own time. Return to resident kitty and give them extra love and some of those Grade A treats. Trust me, we’re not fooled. We know something’s up.

 

 Dezi lays and Raena sits in front of her

 

 Angry CatAngry Cat: Ears flat, Fur standing, arched back, tail fluffed and

down, pinpointed pupils

 

Anyways, once you’ve gotten to the introductions and kitties are spending time together in your presence, you need to start watching body language. There will likely be some hissing, growling and posturing. These are all normal. You’re looking for signs of acceptance or a fight. Try not to over react. There may be a tussle or ten. This is also perfectly normal. You know your resident kitty, so watch them especially, for signs of stress. Curious cats will approach one another with ears alert. If kitty’s ears are flat and the back fur is standing erect, Do Not Panic, but be alert, especially if both kitties are displaying this behavior. This is the tricky part. Mommy says, in your mind, you must be thinking positively. Believe this will go well. Expect your kitties to get along. Do Not let them see you sweat. (MOL)  An exchange of swats is normal. As long as the claws are retracted, you have nothing to worry about. If kitty’s ears are flat, fur is standing on end and they begin a low rumbling growl and/or bob/lower their head or turn it slightly, remove new kitty immediately and try again later over some of those Grade A treats or a favorite toy.

 

 Dezi and Raena circle each other

 

Dezi n Raena tussle

 

As long as both kitties can get up/away from the other and they’re not greeting each other with ruffled furs and flat ears, it’s safe to leave them together. Now, we don’t mean after 5 minutes, but rather after several days of no knock down drag out fights. Remember, cats rolling around together is NOT a fight. Cats rolling around together with ears flattened, fur erect, claws out and teeth bared and gnashing at the neck of the other…That’s a fight. More often than not, these meetings will go successfully. Especially if you’ve set kitty up for success and expected it. We know that sounds silly, but remember, kitties feel your emotions and act accordingly. As long as you can remain calm, positive and expecting the best, things should go well.

 

Dezi and Raena play fight

 

 

 Dezi and Raena paws out for swats

 

Cats learn the boundaries from their mothers and littermates/housemates, so expect some biting and swatting. That’s natural and just your kitties way of determining rank. And remember, during this entire process, be sure to give resident kitty lots of extra love and reassurance. We know how easy it is to want to spend time with the new kitty, especially if new kitty is a kitten. Don’t!!! Resident kitty needs to know they’re not being replaced. Try to remember, that resident kitty’s life should be as stress free and normal as possible throughout this whole process. And lastly, sit back and enjoy, you now have two furry purrers to warm your lap and rule your house.

 

Dezi and Raena lay together on the floor

Well, we hope this helped. Mommy says the cases of one kitty trying to kill another or cause serious injury is actually rare. But you do want to take the time to transition successfully to avoid bad behaviors and increase the possibilities of a long and happy life together. If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments or send us an email. And remember, you can ketch up on any posts you may have missed in this series by clicking the links below.

 

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

 

Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses

 

Deztinee and RaenaBelle

 

 Service Cats 

What to Look For      Training Foundations      Train Kitty To Massage

Smelling Disease      Do You Need One      Who Bears the Cost

Housing Laws & Exceptions      Accommodations & Common Sense

When the Handler Dies      Proper Training Methods Pt. 1 & Pt. 2

Easiest Task to Train      Getting Kitty Ready for an Outing

Discipline: Stop Countersurfing Kitty      Internal Disputes

Calling Emergency Help      Just What Is Kitty Capable of

Shad: Original Service Cat      Harness, Vest, Leash or Stroller

Dezi, the Wheelchair & Chest      Round and Round We Go

Tumble & Fall Response      Raena Calls for Help

The Rest of the Story     Raena & the Wheelchair Pt. 1 Pt. 2 Pt. 3 Pt. 4

When to Train      Explaining Rewards & Kitty’s Feelings

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

Medicating Kitty

Training the Pig Headed, Stallion Strong, Submissive Pup & Conniving Cat

Cats Love Training & Social Media Downfalls

Reintegrating the Scared or Bullied Cat      There’s No Bully Cat Breed

Going for a Walk When in a Wheelchair     Calming the Tiger Pt.1 Pt. 2 Pt. 3

Surviving A Remodel      Taming A Feral Cat

Designer Cats & Scent     DNA Doesn’t Change

Service Cats: Taming A Feral: Can It Be Done

Welcome to a brand new Service Cat Monday. We do hope you all are enjoyin’ these posts and that they are helpin’ ya’ with your own kitties, doggies, etc.. ‘Member, we’re takin’ any and all questions ya’ have, whether they be ‘bout Trainin’, Health, or anythin’ else kitty. We’ll also try to help with other animals ifin ya’ have a specific question. Purrlease be as specific as pawssible when askin’ ‘bout behavioral issues. You can leave your questions, comments and post suggestions in the comments below, or send us an email via our totally purrivate Contact us page. As with all our Service Cat posts, the followin’ will be written in human English fur reader and translator ease. These posts aren’t meant to be a step by step Trainin’ manual, but rather Tips, Tricks and Techniques used/developed by mommy thru her many years of training animals, cats in purrticular. 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 Monday posty. Now, let’s get to today’s topic.

 

 Dezi laying in cat tree in new harness

 

Our sweet Weimaraner furiend Phenny asked a couple questions a little while back, and we wanna address one of those questions today. Phenny said, “My aunt adopted a feral kitty. Is there any hope of taming him?” First up Phenny, thank your aunty for us. We’re really happy that she took in a totally unadoptable kitty. We say totally unadoptable, because the shelters say that. But the truth is, even a feral kitty can be trained and tamed. Anyone who has ever cared for a feral colony knows this, whether they realize it or not. What do you think is happening when you show up with food and they come running? The feral colony has been trained to show up at a specific time and place, and they will be rewarded with food and usually some sweet talk. Over time, they’re rewarded with love and vet care too. We’ve had ferals show up at our apartment many times through the years. They quickly learn when mommy is able to get around and give them something to eat and some fresh water. We know this to be true, because if mommy happens to get around earlier, there’s been no feral in sight. But, just like magic, around the same time each day, the feral kitty(s) suddenly appear.

 

 Feral tabby cat and black cat

 

Anyways, let’s talk about Training a Formerly Feral kitty to live inside. Last week we talked about a “Decompression Room”. A Decompression room can be used in many situations. Remember, us kitties don’t like change, and a feral is generally terrified of humans. You must understand, a feral is not acting out of meanness or spite, but rather, FEAR. Whether the feral is the result of abandonment by a past human or born from generations of ferals, their biggest motivator is survival. Part of that survival has conditioned (Trained) them to fear humans. So, when you adopt a feral kitty, you can expect to see many inappropriate behaviors as the kitty learns to adjust and Survive in their new territory. Once you’ve decided to take in a feral, make sure they can’t get outside again. Training is all about Repetition and Rewards and it’s hard to be repetitious with a kitty you can’t find.

 

 

Raena peaking out of a chewy box

I’s hidin’ out. You can’t really see me. MOL

 

 

Making Kitty Comfortable

Kitty should be placed in a “Decompression Room” after seeing a VET to rule out any possible illnesses or diseases, and a spay/neuter. Remember the ‘Decompression Room” should contain a litter box, food, fresh water, scratcher, a couple of covered boxes/carriers (good for hiding), a few toys and/or cat furniture of some kind. If there’s a window in your “Decompression Room”, kitty should be able to look out. A couple of scent soakers should also be placed within the “Decompression Room”. We were asked last week what piece of clothing made the best scent soaker. Mommy says for women, the best scent soaker is a bra; and for men, it’s an undershirt or cotton t-shirt. Remember the scent soakers should contain the scents of all residents of the house. Don’t rush kitty to be affectionate or you may lose any progress you’ve made. And, be sure to place the litter box away from the food and water bowls. Altho’ a hungry kitty will eat close to the litterbox, ideally, kitties don’t want to eat beside their toilet, do you? 

 

Lexi plays in a box

Almost all cats like boxes.

 

 

Socializing the Feral Kitty 

The next step is socializing kitty. While kitty is sequestered in their “Decompression Room”, you should go in at least a few times a day to spend time with kitty. This excludes the times you come in to clean the litterbox or feed kitty. Anytime you enter kitty’s space, you should talk to kitty and use their name. This doesn’t mean to get into a stare down with kitty or try to pet kitty. Just act like you’re talking to another person in the room and continue on with your business. You can read to kitty, watch t.v. with kitty, sing to kitty or whatever you’d like. Just make sure you’re spending time in the room with kitty. At first, kitty may hide and not show themselves to you at all. Don’t worry, kitty is getting used to your presence and good things happening when you appear. Once kitty starts showing themselves and coming out of hiding in your presence, offer them some treats and/or play time. This may be awkward at first, because the feral kitty is unfamiliar with cat toys and interactive play. Don’t give up on kitty. A little time and patience will reward you greatly.

 

 

Scared Cat emoji

 

Signs of Affection

When, kitty finally shows the first signs of affection, Do Not Rush him/her. The first signs will most likely be rubbing against your legs. This is a positive sign. Kitty is accepting you and marking you as part of their family. As kitty continues to offer affection, offer your hand, palm open and facing upwards, below kitty’s head. Allow kitty to sniff your hand and/or rub against it. Do Not try to pet kitty at first. After a few days when kitty rubs against your hand, gently scratch kitty’s chin. At this point, kitty’s motor boat (purr) will probably be on overload. Kitty has now learned to trust you. Do Not Overdo it though. You want to stop petting kitty before kitty gets agitated and retreats. you know the old saying, “Leave them wanting more”.

 

 

 

 

 

No Longer Feral

At this point, when you leave the room, leave the door open so kitty may follow you and/or examine the rest of their new territory (your house, their furever home). Go about your normal day and let kitty adjust on his/her own time. Anytime kitty shows themselves and gives you any sign of affection, reward them with treats, praises and/or a quick chin scritch. Altho’ don’t be surprised if kitty returns to the “Decompression Room” when strangers or company appear. Trusting you, took time, and so will trusting the rest of the world. Altho’, kitty may never truly be comfortable with strangers. this can happen with any kitty, not just ferals. If you’re wanting kitty to be a lap cat, place a few treats on the floor and the area beside your lap. Kind of like a trail leading kitty to the desired place, your lap. When kitty crawls into your lap the first few times, ignore them. Yes, kitty can feel your excitement and your heart beating a hundred miles a minute, but don’t give in to the temptation of the pat/scratch. After a few times, you may reward kitty with a nice chin scritch/treat and plenty of praises. Remember to always speak calmly and quietly. Before you know it, you won’t even remember a time when kitty was so afraid they wouldn’t let you see them.

 

 Raena lays in mommy's lap

 

 

Summary

The rule of thumb is always remember, Repetition, Repetition, Repetition and Rewards. And, Always leave them wanting more. Mommy says that’s a good rule of thumb to follow for even the most sociable kitty. You never want to over-stimulate any kitty to the point where they want to get away from you, bite or scratch.

 

Well, we’re gonna wrap this up fur now. We do hope this helps. All kitties can be Trained and desire normalcy. Even a Feral can live a happy and contented life as an indoor cat if you take the time to let them learn they can trust humans once again. Don’t furget to leave any questions, comments or blog suggestions below. And, have a pawsum week.

 

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

 

Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses

 

Deztinee and RaenaBelle

Service Cats

What to Look For      Training Foundations      Train Kitty To Massage

Smelling Disease      Do You Need One      Who Bears the Cost

Housing Laws & Exceptions      Accommodations & Common Sense

When the Handler Dies      Proper Training Methods Pt. 1 & Pt. 2

Easiest Task to Train      Getting Kitty Ready for an Outing

Discipline: Stop Countersurfing Kitty      Internal Disputes

Calling Emergency Help      Just What Is Kitty Capable of

Shad: Original Service Cat      Harness, Vest, Leash or Stroller

Dezi, the Wheelchair & Chest      Round and Round We Go

Tumble & Fall Response      Raena Calls for Help

The Rest of the Story     Raena & the Wheelchair Pt. 1 Pt. 2 Pt. 3 Pt. 4

When to Train      Explaining Rewards & Kitty’s Feelings

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

Medicating Kitty

Training the Pig Headed, Stallion Strong, Submissive Pup & Conniving Cat

Cats Love Training & Social Media Downfalls

Reintegrating the Scared or Bullied Cat      There’s No Bully Cat Breed

Going for a Walk When in a Wheelchair     Calming the Tiger Pt.1 Pt. 2 Pt. 3

Surviving A Remodel

Service Cats: Surviving A Remodel Intact

Welcome to another Service Cat Monday. We so totally furgot that mommy had an early ‘pointment today. And, that today is Boxing Day here in the blogosphere. That bein’ said, we’re not gonna leave ya’ hangin’. Let me get the business outta the way so we can get on with it. As with all our Trainin’ posts, the followin’ will be written in human English fur translator and reader ease. Our Trainin’ posts aren’t meant to be a step by step manual, but rather, Tips, Tricks and Techniques mommy has used/developed throughout her many years of animal training, cats in purrticular. Ifin ya’ have any questions or trainin’ questions, purrlease leave them in the comments or send us an email. Purrlease be as specific as pawssible when askin’ behavioral questions. Ifin you have missed any posty in this series, you can ketch up by clickin’ the links at the bottom of this or any Service Cat Monday posty. And always ‘member, Training is all ‘bout Repetition and Rewards.

 

 Dezi laying in cat tree in new harness

 

Well, the last several Service Cat Monday posts have been about dealing with the “Aggressive” Kitty. As we stated last week, that topic is almost unending, but we felt we had covered the issues that had been presented to us and were planning to move on this week. But alas, our sweet friend Valentine left a comment after last weeks post that requires an almost immediate response. The one thing we won’t do, is leave a topic when a kitty or it’s human are in danger or being hurt. And, the reason we’re addressing this here instead of an email is our belief that if one person’s asking, there are more wondering.

 

Dezi lays on piano bench after apartment flood

After our apartment flooded, we were all packed up and livin’ in

inches fur months befur the remodel was finished and we could get back to livin’.

 

 

Let me explain the situation and question as posed to us: A friend is having their house remodeled and one of the 3 indoor kitties is having a very hard time of it and has become “Aggressive”, going so far as to bite and scratch her human. Kitty has been shut in a back room to allow her to decompress, but it’s not really helping. There may also be an outside factor, as there is a family of strays living under the porch. Apparently, kitty has also attempted to escape to the great outdoors.

 

Lexi floats on carpet after flood with dryers blowing

Fearless sis Lexi cautiously floats on the carpet after the flood while

the noisy fan dryers were blowing.

 

Well now, sounds like there’s a few problems here, right? The first issue we have, is that we wouldn’t call this kitty’s behavior “Aggressive”. Nor, are we surprised this is happening. As we stated in our previous post, Cats Do Not Like Change or Loud Noises. Having lived through a flood, move, apartment remodel, new roof, new a/c, new hot water heater, and more stranger’s traipsin’ through me’s house than me cares to remember, me’s here to tell you that can really stress a cat out; even one as laid back as us Ragdolls. This is one of those situations, where more information is needed to determine the exact problem. But, we’re going to do our best to help with what we have. Based on the fact this is a remodel and the kitty in question wasn’t presenting this behavior beforehand, we feel pretty safe saying, the feral family under the porch probably isn’t a problem. However, it wouldn’t hurt to feed them a bit further away from the house. We also don’t know exactly where this person lives, but we do suggest providing shelter for the ferals’ away from the house as well. You know, gotta take care of our ferals.

 

Dezi sits in box with mouth open

 

Now let’s get to the heart of this problem, the Remodel. This noise is kind of like the carpet monster (vacuum cleaner), you can’t get rid of it until the job is done. That means, kitty is going to have to learn to live with it. Thankfully, it’s only temporary. Now me knows some of you just said to your selves, What? Your mommy wouldn’t do that to you?. Well folks, let me tell ya’, sometimes, life just isn’t perfect and everybody/kitty has to adjust. What we don’t know, that would really be helpful, is why and when is kitty biting, scratching and trying to escape. A scared kitty will often react with claws and teeth, and that’s what we suspect is happening here. The good thing is this can be fixed.

 

(While me’s at it, let me give you an example of a “specific”. The workers are in and out and my kitty is trying to run out the door. Or, the workers are hammering and making a lot of noise and my kitty went running crouched down and I grabbed her to put her in the decompression room and she scratched and bit me.) 

 

 Dezi sits on a box

 

The Decompression room needs to be a kitty oasis until the remodel is over and the human needs to remain calm and positive when dealing with kitty. The room needs to have a litter box, food, water, cat bed, covered box or cat carrier (with the door open or better yet, off), a few favorite toys, and a well scented piece of clothing. And not the shirt you’re wearing during that fight with the contractor. (MOL) Leave a piece of clothing you were wearing during a time of no stress and happiness. Remember, cats are all about the smell. And trust me, we know happy smell and mad/upset smell. A small perch or cat tree placed near a window would also be good. Before the workers come in the morning, kitty should be taken to the Decompression room for a quick play session and a bite of breakfast. Maybe even a few of those extra special favorite treats you only buy at Christmas and birthdays. Now’s the time to buy them. It would also be good if you could put on some calm music or one of those white noise machines. Or, if you have kitties like us that like to watch teevee, turn on the boob tube (television).

 

 Raena plays in a chewy box

 

As long as all the cats are getting along, all 3 should be in the Decompression room together. Believe it or not, their presence will help “Scared” kitty to be more relaxed and secure. Make sure there are several hide outs (covered boxes or carriers) available, so all kitties can hide if they need too. If this room is a bedroom, leave the closet door open. Mommy says to please remove any expensive or treasured clothes or quilts. Can you believe we’re not allowed in the closet at all? Anyways, this would be the exception to that rule. And as silly as it sounds, think positively. Yeah, we said it, think happy thoughts. See all of this as a good thing. Tell kitty how wonderful everything’s going to be when all this is over. And each day when the workers leave, let kitty explore and get used to her new territory. Remember, it’s kitty’s newly remodeled home, you just pay the bills. MOL

 

 Raena laying in a chewy box

 

As for the “trying to escape”, we really don’t have enough information to even guess at a solution. We seriously doubt it has anything to do with the ferals’ under the porch and more likely trying to escape the noise and strangers in her home. But again, we just can’t be sure. It would be irresponsible for us to give a specific answer about that.

 

We hope we’ve helped a little, and we’re sorry we can’t offer more. The friend is welcome to contact us directly, and we’ll do all we can to help her and kitty. A happy peaceful home is our desire for every kitty in the world. As always, we welcome your questions, comments and post suggestions. And, ifin you’ve missed any of the posts in this series, you can ketch up by clickin’ the links below. As me said earlier, mommy has a ‘pointment today and one tomorrow, so we’ll be ‘round to visit as soon as we can. In the meantime, have a great Boxing Day. Hope you enjoyed our boxing day fotos and a little blast from the flooded past. (See, we can laff ’bout it now).

 

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

 

 

Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses

 

Deztinee and RaenaBelle

 

Service Cats 

What to Look For      Training Foundations      Train Kitty To Massage

Smelling Disease      Do You Need One      Who Bears the Cost

Housing Laws & Exceptions      Accommodations & Common Sense

When the Handler Dies      Proper Training Methods Pt. 1 & Pt. 2

Easiest Task to Train      Getting Kitty Ready for an Outing

Discipline: Stop Countersurfing Kitty      Internal Disputes

Calling Emergency Help      Just What Is Kitty Capable of

Shad: Original Service Cat      Harness, Vest, Leash or Stroller

Dezi, the Wheelchair & Chest      Round and Round We Go

Tumble & Fall Response      Raena Calls for Help

The Rest of the Story     Raena & the Wheelchair Pt. 1 Pt. 2 Pt. 3 Pt. 4

When to Train      Explaining Rewards & Kitty’s Feelings

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

Medicating Kitty

Training the Pig Headed, Stallion Strong, Submissive Pup & Conniving Cat

Cats Love Training & Social Media Downfalls

Reintegrating the Scared or Bullied Cat      There’s No Bully Cat Breed

Going for a Walk When in a Wheelchair     Calming the Tiger Pt.1 Pt. 2 Pt. 3

Service Cats: Calming The Tiger in Your Aggressive Cat Part 3

Welcome, it’s time fur another Service Cat Monday posty. Fank you fur bearin’ with us last week durin’ our time off. Mommy’s not completely thru with lease re-cert stuffs, but she’s gettin’ there. Seems every time we turn ‘round, there’s somethin’ new or old bein’ thrown at us. And, we’ve got an inspection to purrpare fur this week on top of it. Anyways, that’s not what we’re here to meow ‘bout today. As always the followin’ will be writtten in human English fur reader and translator ease. We welcome any and all questions; just leave ‘em in the comments or send us an email. Purrlease be as specific as pawssible ifin you’re dealin’ with a purrticular issue. We want to offur the bestest advice and tips we can to help you and others. Our Trainin’ posts are not meant to be a step by step Trainin’ manual; but rather, Tips, Tricks and Techniques mommy has used/developed throughout her many years of trainin’ animals, cats in purrticular. Remember, Training never stops. it’s all ‘bout Repetition and Rewards. Ifin you’ve missed any of the posts in this series, you can ketch up by clickin’ the links at the end of this or any Service Cat Monday posty.

 

 Dezi laying in cat tree in new harness

 

We’ve been dealing with the issue of “Aggressive” kitties. Unfortunately, Aggression can be the result of so many different issues that we could write about it every day for a year and still not cover it all. However, the base of Aggression is one of three issues: Fear, Illness or what mommy calls Alpha Aggression. Alpha Aggression includes territorial issues and interactions between other dominant cats. In our last Service Cat post, we talked about catering to your Alpha Cat. We got a couple of questions asking what we mean by “catering”. The Alpha cat is always greeted first when coming home or walking into a room where your cats are present. The Alpha Cat should be fed first, get treats first, be brushed first, nails clipped first…You get the idea. Alpha means first/beginning, so the Alpha Cat should get all the firsts. It’s as simple as putting down the Alpha cat’s plate first or saying hello to them first, etc.. It doesn’t mean they get their food and eat and finish before anyone else. And remember, THERE ARE NO BAD CATS!!!

 

 Angry Tiger emoji

 

We’ve also covered Scent swapping, Site swapping (when dealing with kitties who are separated from others in a household), Confidence boosting and what drives the behaviors of house cats. Once you’ve ruled out any possible medical reasons for your cats’ behavior, then you need to figure our what’s behind the Aggression in order to treat it. We are all about feeding the strays and feral cats. However, if they are hanging around on your porch, in your backyard, or other areas that could be causing your house kitty to feel insecure or threatened, you need to feed them further away. It can be at the back of your property or a backyard shed. Just keep it off your porch if outside kitties are a problem for your house cat’s well being. As much as we love and pity the kitties who have to live outside, your house cat has to be the priority.

 

 

 Scared Cat emoji Scared white cat emoji

 

 

It’s always good to be aware of loud noises that may scare your kitty(s). Obviously you can’t do away with many of those noises, such as the carpet monster(vacuum), lawn equipment, car backfires, and so on; you can eliminate or at least quieten radios, t.v.’s, your voice, etc.. We have a pretty quiet house; and as a result, we get a little scared by loud excited commotion. When somebody comes over, mommy’s always reminding them to act and speak calmly with their inside voice. We may not be able to control the sonic booms, thunder, lawn crew, or the likes, but mommy can control our visitors; and so can you. Even if you think it’s a problem for only 1 cat in your home, it’s really a problem for all if them. Us kitties feed off the energy around us.

 

 Stressed out cat clip art

Back in the late 70’s early 80’s there was an idea floating around that you could send “psychic” messages to your kitties/animals even when you weren’t at home, to help ease their stress. The idea was to picture your kitty in your mind and say things like, “I love you”, “I’ll be home soon”, “you’re safe”, and so on. While mommy never bought into that idea, she does believe that we kitties/animals can feel your emotions when you’re dealing with us. Whether that emotion is positive or negative, we will react accordingly. When dealing with an “Aggressive” kitty, most of the time, you’re already expecting the worse case scenario when you try to introduce said cat to the other cats in your home. Part of helping your “Aggressive” kitty is getting control over your own pre-conceptions and fears.

 

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Due to untimely deaths, mommy’s had a lot of experience introducing new kitties into the house. And because of sis Lexi’s early aggression issues, trust me, mommy had some fears. But, for the sake of all kitties involved, she couldn’t let that fear take control. Mommy believes part of her success in having smooth transitions is her positive , “there won’t be a problem” attitude. And of course, she also believes in the power of prayer. She suggests a little of that visualization to help yourself get past any fears you may have and to make sure you’re approaching the kitties with a positive attitude. Mommy says you need to expect the best instead of the worst when introducing an “Aggressive” kitty to the rest of the house. Be prepared to act swiftly, but expect the meeting to go well. We realize that sounds kind of silly, and is easier said than done, but, it really does work. Especially if you have followed the precursors of Scent and Site swapping and boosting the self confidence of all the kitties in your home.

 

Raena plays with the flying toy

I’s gonna ketch it this time sissy.

The best time to make introductions is after a good play session when all the kitties are tired and a little hungry, especially the more dominant kitties. A good introduction would include some major yummy treats for all kitties. Yes, even those on a diet. It’s necessary for all kitties to be involved in the introductions. If there’s been a problem between 2 specific cats, those introductions should be made separately. If you have a 3rd cat that’s kind of the peace maker, that kitty should be included in that introduction. They may be able to calm the other 2 and serve as a bridge for peace. In the end, a happy cohesive home is the goal. A place where all kitties own their space and co-exist peacefully. We can’t put a time limit on this because every cat is different. You know your cats and they’re yours for life, so take the time to do it right. Your rewards will be endless.

 

 

 Dezi and Raena bathe atop the Liberty cat tree

 

We’re gonna wrap this topic up fur now. We hope we’ve given ya’ some helpful tips to deal with “Aggression” and introductions of kitties. Ifin after readin’ these posts you still need help or would like us to expand on a specific training task, purrlease let us know. As we said earlier, we could cover this topic endlessly and still only scratch the surface. We weren’t given the specifics from any of those who originally asked about Aggression, so we’ve dealt with it in a broad manner trying to help as many as possible. We’ll be addressing a new issue next week, so purrlease come by and check it out. Submit any questions you have in the comments below or send us an email at lexi.dezi@yahoo.com or use the form on our “contact us” page. And don’t furget, you can ketch up on any Service Cat posty you may have missed by clickin’ the links below.

 

 

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

 

Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses

 

Deztinee and RaenaBelle

 

Service Cats 

What to Look For      Training Foundations      Train Kitty To Massage

Smelling Disease      Do You Need One      Who Bears the Cost

Housing Laws & Exceptions      Accommodations & Common Sense

When the Handler Dies      Proper Training Methods Pt. 1 & Pt. 2

Easiest Task to Train      Getting Kitty Ready for an Outing

Discipline: Stop Countersurfing Kitty      Internal Disputes

Calling Emergency Help      Just What Is Kitty Capable of

Shad: Original Service Cat      Harness, Vest, Leash or Stroller

Dezi, the Wheelchair & Chest      Round and Round We Go

Tumble & Fall Response      Raena Calls for Help

The Rest of the Story     Raena & the Wheelchair Pt. 1 Pt. 2 Pt. 3 Pt. 4

When to Train      Explaining Rewards & Kitty’s Feelings

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

Medicating Kitty

Training the Pig Headed, Stallion Strong, Submissive Pup & Conniving Cat

Cats Love Training & Social Media Downfalls

Reintegrating the Scared or Bullied Cat      There’s No Bully Cat Breed

Going for a Walk When in a Wheelchair     Calming the Tiger Pt.1 Pt. 2

Service Cats: Calming the Tiger in Your Aggressive Cat Part 2

Welcome to another Service Cat Monday. We’re still tacklin’ that really tuff topic, “Aggression”. So pull up a chair, get you a cup of coffee, tea or whatever your drink of choice is and get ready to explore the world from the feline point of view. As always, the followin’ will be written in human English fur translator and reader ease. Our Trainin’ posts aren’t meant to be a step by step manual, as Trainin’ is all ‘bout Repetition and Rewards. Trainin’ can be kind’a borin’, but it’s necessary. Every furry can benefit from trainin’. The Tips, Tricks and Techniques we offur have been used/developed by mommy throughout her many years of trainin’ animals, cats in purrticular. As always, we invite your questions, suggestions and comments. Ifin you ask a behavioral question, purrlease be as specific as pawssible. We do want to help, but we can’t read minds. Ifin you’ve missed any posts in this series, you can click on the links below. Befur addressin’ the topic of Aggression, we introduced you to the origins and natural instincts of the housecat here. And, ifin you missed the initial steps to take when dealing with an aggressive cat, you can ketch up by readin’ part 1 here. Today we’re going to look at the “Alpha cat” and the importance of “Scent” in having a happy peaceful house.

 

 Dezi laying in cat tree in new harness

 

We want to reiterate, THERE IS NO BAD CAT!!!  An “Aggressive” cat is trying to tell you something. Aggression can occur in a single cat household or multiple cat household; and can occur suddenly without warning, or evolve over time. It is important to try to find and understand the source of your cat’s Aggression. You will need to “become a cat”. When humans prepare for a baby/toddler, they have to look at their home through the eyes of a child to find the dangers and make them safe. (ie: outlet covers, stove knob locks, cupboard locks, etc.). The same is true for figuring out why your cat is acting out/hiding/acting aggressively, etc.. All the “pheremone” sprays, drops, collars and plug ins are essentially a band aid. They treat the symptoms, but not the core problem. However, if you find they help, Use them. Mommy suggests using the drops, collars, sprays and spot ons on all cats in the house. The reason will become clear in this post. However, you still need to treat and train the core issue. Last week we talked about how cats like routine and despise change. Any change in a cat’s health, surroundings, both inside and out, can affect your cats personality.

 

Lexi rides in her travel carrier home from BlogPaws Nashville

Fank da catz I’z used to change.

 

Cat people know no bounds. Mommy says, most dog peeps favor a particular look, size or breed, but cat peeps, they love them all. And, as a result, would have a houseful if they could. While that may be awesome for the human, and wonderful for the lives saved, a crowded house could also breed problems and ultimately Aggression in multi cat households. All cats in a house must be confident and feel like they own a space. Ideally, every cat in the household should own the whole house. In multi-cat households, there is always a “head cat in charge”, or the “Alpha” cat. It doesn’t matter if you have 2 cats or 20, one cat is “The Cat in Charge”. It’s important to watch your cats and figure out which one that is, and “cater” to it. Mommy wants me to remind you, that no matter how “in charge” your Alpha cat is, it’s also important to remember, that You, are the ultimate Alpha. This is even more so in a single cat house. After sis Lexi died, mommy had planned for me to be the Alpha cat; but me doesn’t have the “Alpha” traits. Me liked being the little sisfur and mommy’s baby girl.

 

 Lexi and Dezi loving each other in fromnt of the electric fireplace

Yep, sis Lexi was the Alpha. She was a gentle Alpha, but she

always held the top spot.

 

The “Alpha cat” will be the one, who all others look to and take their cues from. The “Alpha cat” will also spread their scent around to everybody, regularly. It can be so subtle, you might not recognize it at first, but it’s happening. The occasional hiss or swat, is perfectly normal. Your cats’ are communicating with/teaching each other. But, Do Not ever let it become a full blown fight. Cats live in a world of smells. They have scent glands located on their chin, lips, cheeks, either side of the forehead, paw pads, tail and of course there’s also the anal glands and urine. The scent glands in the head area are all friendly communicators. That’s why mommy loves the “Scent Me Up” game so much. A cat recognizes you and it’s home by Smell and Not Sight.

 

 Dezi pats Raena on the head

Me’s tellin’ Raena, she’s bein’ a little too much.

 

When you’re scent swapping, it’s important to rub your towel or whatever scent soaker you’re using on the cat’s head and not their paws or backside. The scent glands on the paws, make a statement. Think of your cat using it’s scratcher. An enthusiastic scratcher, is aggressively saying, “I own this scratcher, you can use it, but it’s All mine”. And, the scent glands on the tail and backside, communicate aggression and fear, as well as sexual readiness in unaltered cats. In a multi-cat household, ALL  the cats smell like the “Alpha”. Obviously, humans can’t smell this, but we cats can. Keep this in mind if you have a cat that is separated from the others in the house. A separated cat Does Not smell like the others and probably not even you. So they won’t be recognized by or recognize any other kitty in the home. And, remember, cats see with their noses and not their eyes. Think about that last Vet visit where only one cat went and the return home. 

 

 Raena checks out the Cat Claws Butterfly scratcher

Cardboard cat scratchers are great scent soakers. Be sure to

scent them with scents from the facial scent glands if presenting

them to an already Aggresive cat.

 

Here’s where it can get a little tricky. Remember, it’s important to “cater” to your “Alpha cat”, but ultimately, all cats should see you as the glue that keeps the family together. This is really important for the cat that is separated. We told you last week to leave a worn piece of your clothing as a scent soaker, but we didn’t get to the importance of the attitude you had while wearing that item. Cats smell fear, worry, upset, joy, and every other emotion you have. Cats will also respond to your emotions. Mommy calls it “feeding off your emotions”. When she’s angry, we’re on edge and there’s a lot more hissing going on. Thankfully, that doesn’t happen often. MOL  To have a cohesive smell in our house, mommy lightly sprays the sheets (we sleep in the bed with her) with perfume. The same perfume she wears. She also lightly sprays our harnesses, sitting chair, cat trees and cat beds with her perfume. Mommy has always been a perfume girl. It’s her one guilty pleasure. Anyways, our furs pick up that scent. It’s very light, but we smell like mommy and therefore, we smell like each other. So, when we sniff each other, we know we belong together.

 

 Raena playing on the sheets

 

You don’t have to spray your sheets with perfume, but you do need to keep in mind, how your scent changes and try to present the most cohesive scent possible when approaching your Aggressive cat. Ideally, before entering the room to spend time with your separated Aggressive cat, you should hold and “scent up” with all the cats in your house; save the Alpha cat for last. That will be the strongest scent. And, remember, try to get those scents from the face area so you’re presenting as relaxed and friendly.

 

 Dezi and Lexi lay on the bed together

 

Scent is so important to a cat. It is, after all, how we communicate our intentions with others. It’s how we know our housemates and humans. Remember, a cat sees the world thru smells. That’s why a blind cat can still function and live a happy life. Just thought me would throw that in there in case you’re thinking about adopting a special needs kitty.

 

We’re gonna wrap it up fur today. We’ve given you a lot to think about and smell. MOL  Me would like to repurrt, that uncle Pete’s been workin’ on buildin’ the confidence with the other kitties in their home thru play, and the ‘Aggression” issue they were having has gotten much better. Confidence and Scent go a long way towards a happy and peaceful home. ‘Member to click on the links below to ketch up on any topic you may have missed. And leave your questions, suggestions and comments below.

 

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

 

Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses

 

Deztinee and RaenaBelle

 

Service Cats

What to Look For     Training Foundations     Train Kitty To Massage

Smelling Disease     Do You Need One     Who Bears the Cost

Housing Laws & Exceptions    Accommodations & Common Sense

When the Handler Dies     Proper Training Methods Pt. 1 & Pt. 2

Easiest Task to Train      Getting Kitty Ready for an Outing

Discipline: Stop Countersurfing Kitty     Internal Disputes

Calling Emergency Help      Just What Is Kitty Capable of

Shad: Original Service Cat      Harness, Vest, Leash or Stroller

Dezi, the Wheelchair & Chest      Round and Round We Go

Tumble & Fall Response      Raena Calls for Help

The Rest of the Story     Raena & the Wheelchair Pt. 1 Pt. 2 Pt. 3 Pt. 4

When to Train      Explaining Rewards & Kitty’s Feelings

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

Medicating Kitty

Training the Pig Headed, Stallion Strong, Submissive Pup & Conniving Cat

Cats Love Training & Social Media Downfalls

Reintegrating the Scared or Bullied Cat     There’s No Bully Cat Breed

Going for a Walk When in a Wheelchair     Calming the Tiger Pt.1

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