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Litter Robot Open Air III: Our Choice For Automation

MeOW and welcome to an unService Cat Monday on Service Cat Monday. Which, due to technical difficulties beyond our control is wayyyyyyyy late. Now that was a mouthful wasn’t it? Anyways, fur mommy’s sanity and to furee up some time, Service Cat Monday question and answer and Training tips will resume in the new year. Altho’ mommy did say that our posty today could actually qualify as a Service Cat Monday posty. So, fur that reason, the followin’ will be in human English fur reader and translator ease. Actually, mommy will be doin’ most of this posty herself. But, you know Raena and me have to have our own meows ‘bout everythin’, so we’ll be includin’ our 2 cents too. Fur now, mommy, take it away.

 

 Dezi and Raena watch the Litter Robot Open Air Litter Box

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer: This is a Sponsored post. We received the Litter Robot Open Air III in exchange for our honest opinion. As always, we tell it like we see it and only bring products we feel would be of interest to you, our readers and friends.

 

 

     Thank you baby. As you all know this blog is all about the girls. And, as special as they are, there are still things they can’t do and require a human touch. Most of you know that I’m disabled and need help with a few things. Let me give you a little back story before we proceed. Dezi came to me as a very sick little girl at the age of 2 1/2 – 3 weeks old. She had one of the worst cases of tape worm I’d ever seen in a kitten her size. And, with all that baby fine fur, the diarrhea, and the worms exiting her little body were constantly getting stuck to her bloomers. My response was to clean the litter box and her every time she exited. I must say, it was definitely the right thing to do, but it had lasting consequences. Long after the worms and diarrhea were gone, Dezi expected me to clean the litter box the minute it got used. As far as she’s concerned, we could have 10 boxes and she would still want the one that was used to be cleaned.

 

 Dezi checks out litter robot from the inside

 

 

 

     When you think about it, it actually makes perfect sense. I mean, would you want to use a toilet that hadn’t been flushed after it’s last “visitor”? So, as much of a chore scooping might be, I didn’t really give it a second thought. But, c’mon now, all of us kitty parents know the litter box is probably our least favorite thing about being owned by cats. As I get older and my health declines, scooping at certain times of the day gets more difficult. And with the wheelchair broken, getting to the box first thing in the morning is almost impossible. That brings us to today’s topic, Automated Litter Boxes. If you missed our post about Litter Boxes, Litter and Feline Urinary habits, you can catch up by clicking here.

 

Raena sniffs the bag of SwheatsciipYep, that’s the right litter this time mommy.

     Automated litter boxes have been around for quite some time now. So, I began my search for the “purrfect” automated box that could meet all the needs the girls have and still work for me and my budget and ideals. Ideals being no clay litters. As a Vet Tech I’d seen too many kitties come in with blockages from clay litter, to be comfortable using it especially with long haired cats that get it stuck to their bloomers. That right there, made it almost impossible for us to use one of those automated raking systems. Not to mention the actual box size available for kitty to do their business. But, today’s not about the “bads” of certain boxes, but rather the good and bad of the automated litter box we chose.

 

     After much research, reading reviews, watching videos, and studying how and why the equipment works, we decided on the Litter Robot Open Air III. Now I’ll be honest, it wasn’t until I could actually see a video up close that I decided this was a good product. My initial thoughts were that the litter must end up in the top of the box since it rotates around to empty itself. With that thought, I couldn’t imagine why any cat would want to use it. After all, how would you feel if somebody pee’d or worse on your ceiling and you had to sit under that smell when you went to the bathroom? Thankfully, that’s not the case at all. you’ll see in the video below that the roof of the box stays free of dirty litter and smell. Before we get to the video, let me tell you what we were looking for in an automated litter box.

  1. Covered: Raena occasionally still tries to swat Dezi’s tail when she’s in the litter box, so we have to have a covered litter box for privacy issues.

  2. Size: Dezi is a large cat and Raena will be, so they need plenty of room to get in, turn around, stand, squat, dig and exit.

  3. Works with almost any Litter: I’m not changing my mind and using clay litter, so the box we choose must allow for the litter we currently use: Swheatscoop and/or Garfield.

  4. No Continued Expenses’ beyond electricity and inexpensive filters: Being on a fixed income means I can’t afford to by additional expensive boxes, special bags or trays.

  5. Night Light: Yes I Know it sounds silly, but something happened to Dezi when our apartment flooded and she won’t go to the litter box in the dark.

  6. Easy to Use: The girls must be able to enter and exit with ease. 

  7. Easy to Clean: Even the cleanest of kitties and “dustless” litter can eventually get any box a little dirty. But, due to my disabilities, handling and cleaning the size box the girls require must be easy.

  8. Safe: The girls can sometimes get a little dig crazy and curious, so I don’t want anything around that could hurt or cut them.

  9. Flexible Timer: Since Dezi will often pee and then need to poo almost immediately after, we need to be able to set a shorter timer than the traditional 15 minutes.  

    To watch on Youtube click here.

 

     The Litter Robot Open Air III meets all our needs. If I had to say something negative, it would be about the Control Panel. As most of you know, the girls are Service Cats, and as such they are trained to turn on and off certain equipment. And, as a lot of you may recall, Raena’s been turning on all the power toys since she was about 8 weeks old. So, if I could, I would probably have a small door of some kind covering the buttons on the Control Panel. The thing is, there probably aren’t many other cats out there pressing the cycle button besides Raena; so I can’t really fault the Litter Robot peeps for not thinking about that.

 

      They recently launched the Litter Robot Open Air Connect. If you already own a Litter Robot Open Air, you can purchase the upgrade equipment and install it yourself without voiding any warranty you may have or having to purchase a whole new system. The app connects your Litter Robot to your Apple iphone or ipad and allows you to monitor the waste drawer levels, usage and you could even trigger it to cycle if you have a kitty like Dezi that just peed and now needs to poo and can’t wait the 3 minutes.

 

Thumbs up emolji

 

 

 

 

     The Litter Robot Open Air III sells for $449.00, with the Connect upgrade it’s $499.00. Trust me, I realize that’s a lot of money. I don’t make this recommendation lightly. But, after all the research I’ve done, and after having the unit in our home, I must say, the Litter Robot is worth every penny. The company sells replacement parts for the entire unit, so that you can replace only what may break or wear out in the future. They do sell reconditioned parts and units as well, so that may be another avenue to consider. Yes, it’s an investment, but, aren’t your cats worth it? Aren’t you worth it? As cat owners, most of us scoop the litter box without even thinking about it, but it’s really nice not having too. I definitely give the Litter Robot Open Air III 2 thumbs up. I’ll let the girls tell you how they feel.

 

 Cat with paws up emoji

 

 

Fanks mommy. Me luvs PB. It’s pawsum to always have a clean pawtty no matter the time of day or what you might be doin’. It’s an all paws up from me. 

 

 Cat Paw animated emoji

 

 

 

          Is it mine’s turn now? Well it’s a bout time. I’s luvs, luvs, luvs PB the Litter Robot. I’s luvs to ride the rim sometimes. It’s so much fun. I’s still tryin’ to figger out how to make sissy go ‘round and ‘round like a ferris wheel. Fur some reason, it won’t cycle with her in it?. Other than that, I’s give it 4 paws up too.

 

 The Blessing Train

 

 

 

(Dezi shakes head.) That’s a safety feature Raena. Fankfully, PB has better sense than you do. Cuz guess who’d be getting’ the whacky paw ifin you did send me ‘round and ‘round?. Anyways, we sure are glad PB’s working in our house. Ifin ya’ have any questions, thoughts or comments, purrlease leave ‘em in the comments section. And, any purchases thru the links in our posty mean we make a few green papers. Our Blessin’ today fur the Blessing Train is Health. We have been blest with good health. Yeah Raena’s eyes might be a bit purroblematic, but overall she’s healthy and we’re both happy.

 

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

 

Dezi: Vibrant Blue 

Raena: Navy Blue 

Mommy A: Black

 

 

 

Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses

 

Deztinee and RaenaBelle with

Mommy A

Service Cats: Litterboxes, Litter and Feline Urinary Habits

MeOW Welcome to a brand new Service Cat Monday. We’re really behind today, but we think when ya’ get to the end, you’ll furgive us. We have quite a few questions regarding the wheelchair that we’re holding until the new chair gets here. In the meantime, we’re runnin’ low on your other questions. ‘Member, the only dumb question, is the one that’s not asked. Everypawdy can’t be a seasoned pet pawrent; ya’ have to start somewhere. So ask us anythin’ and we’ll do our bestest to help out. We’re tacklin’ a good one today. Let’s get the business outta the way and get to it. The followin’ post will be written in human English fur reader and translator ease. Our Service Cat Monday 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 Feline Behavior. Ifin you have any questions or topics you would like us to cover, purrlease let us know in the comments section or send us an email. When asking behavioral questions, 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. Always remember, Training is all ‘bout Repetition and Rewards.

 

Dezi laying in cat tree in new harness

 

 

So, what’s the hot topic today that every kitty pawrent wouldn’t want to miss? Well, every living being on the planet has 4 basic functions they must do in order to survive: Eat, Drink, Sleep and Eliminate (urinate and defecate). Today, we’re going to focus on kitty’s need to Eliminate. We call this a hot topic because inappropriate Elimination has been the cause of so many kitties losing their furever homes. Problems arising from kitty’s inability to Eliminate can lead to illness and even death. And as every inside only kitty parent would probably say, the litter box is the least favorite part of being owned by a cat. But, it’s necessary. The litterbox isn’t something you or your kitty can live without. Now we know that some have trained kitty to use the human toilet, and some have kitties that go outdoors, but, ideally kitty should have access to a clean litterbox to use for their Elimination needs.

 

 Dezi sits on toilet

Me’s not usin’ this thing. Me wants a real box.

 

 

We’re not going to spend much time on the alternatives, but we would like to quickly address kitties using the human toilet. As we prove each week with our Service Cat Monday posts, cats are extremely intelligent, but even cats have limitations. Mommy had once thought teaching kitty to use the toilet would be wonderful. However, watching sis Lexi’s mobility and balance decline over the last year of her life has totally changed her mind. We Do Not recommend toilet training any cat.

 

 Open Litterboxes

 

 

 

So, whether you have a new kitty, one kitty or ten (or more), you’re going to need a litterbox. The rule of thumb is 1 box and a spare for each cat in your home. As most people with one or two cats will likely tell you, they’re getting by with just 1 box. But, be aware, the fewer boxes you have the greater chance you have of inappropriate Eliminating. Now, we’ll get back to choosing the right box in a minute. We’d like to talk Litter for a minute.

 

Swheatscoop Cat Litter

Multi Cat

 

SmartCat cat litter

 

 

With all the different types of litter on the market, it can be confusing. Especially to the novice cat owner. But, even long time cat owners can get overwhelmed at times. To Clump or not to clump, that is the question. If only it were that simple. But, that is the first question you need to ask yourself. We prefer Clumping. Mommy says she can’t even remember the day of non clumping litters and is thankful for that memory loss. MOL The next question you might ask is, natural or not? The truth is, clay is just as natural as corn, wheat or grass. The difference is how it reacts in the litterbox and inside kitty’s tummy. Make no mistake, kitty is getting some litter in their mouths. And just about anything that goes into kitty’s mouth is going down their throats, due to the nature of their tongue barbs. (we’ll cover that in another post if you’d like). Cats are such fastidious groomers, that anything left on our furs or between our paw pads is going to get licked and may be ingested. Here is where the natural difference comes in. Clay and it’s clumping additives are not naturally edible and don’t easily pass thru kitty’s intestines. Instead they do inside kitty the same as they do in the litterbox…form clumps and cause blockages. While there may be little nutritional value to corn or wheat in a cat food, it can certainly pass thru the intestines with ease.

 

Okocat cat litter

BoxieCat Clay Cat litter

 

The next question to ask is, Scented or Unscented?. The smell of cat urine is like pouring a bottle of amonia in a bowl. It can quickly cause burning eyes, burning and/or itching in the nose and throat and just plain be unpleasant. Many litters on the market add things like perfumes, baking soda and other scented additives to make the litter smell more pleasing to the human nose. Notice me said human nose. When was the last time you saw a kitty of any size looking for the closest lavender field to urinate in? Kitties have very sensitive olfactory senses (noses). We kitties prefer a totally Unscented place to Eliminate. Remember, cats are both Predators and Prey; and anything that draws attention to us could in our minds put us at risk of becoming something bigger’s meal. And hey, if you’re scooping like you should be, there shouldn’t be any lasting smells. (we’ve only posted a few different types of litter. there are many many more to choose from)

 

 Raena with 3 bags of Garfield litter

 

 

Another thing we’d like to bring your awareness too is Litters/Additives that can help one keep an eye on kitty’s urinary health. In recent years crystal type litters have gained popularity due to their lack of color or color changing crystal additives. These help humans identify Urine pH levels or blood in the urine easier. We’ll tell you that for this reason, we really like the Garfield Cat Litter. It’s completely clear, clumps well and keeps down odors naturally. It has minimal dust and a texture most cats like. It comes in two formulas, small grain and large grain. We prefer the small grain, as it’s very soft and easy on the paws. It feels a lot like sand. We think it would work great for older, paw sensitive and declawed cats. (PLEASE Do Not Declaw your cats!!!). Stay tuned at the end of this post, we’re giving away a couple of 10 pound bags.

 

 Raena looking at the Garfield cat litter

 

 

 

Let’s talk about scooping for a minute. No matter how many cats and/or litterboxes you have, you should scoop the litterbox at least once a day. Me personally, thinks it should be scooped every time a deposit is made. Yes, mommy spoiled me and me never grew out of it. But, one day when she was mumbling about scooping so me could go poop, me had just peed and so the box must be cleaned ASAP; she thought to herself, “I wouldn’t want to use a potty that hadn’t been flushed after the last use so really…why would I expect my girls to use a dirty potty?.” When ya’ put it that way, it makes total sense. She doesn’t mumble as much anymore. MOL   Anyways, for the rest of the world, we say at the very least, once a day. The cleaner the box, the less chance you’ll have of Inappropriate Elimination. Remember, us cats really like clean.

 

Hooded and High Sided Litter boxes

So, you’ve chosen a litter and are ready to go. How do you pick a litterbox? The box you choose must be large enough to accommodate kitty. Most kitties are going to want to turn around a time or two, dig a little and then pick a spot and squat. Of course there are the kitties who forget to squat. If you have one of those, be sure to look for a box with high sides or maybe a lid. Just be sure the lid is large enough for kitty to be able to stand up straight in. If you’re using an enclosed litterbox, regular scooping becomes even more important. Most of the smell is trapped under the lid. We shouldn’t have to explain walking into a stinky bathroom, we think most everybody already knows about that one. You may also want to look into an automatic litterbox. They’ve come a long way in the last few years. Stay tuned, we’ll be giving you the scoop on our pick next week. The last step is to place kitty’s litterbox in a quiet place with easy access in and out. You don’t want kitty to feel trapped or cornered.

 

 Dezi and Raena watch the Litter Robot Open Air Litter Box

Hmmmmm I’s don’t know sissy, what do you think?

 

 

 

So, you’ve done everything right. The box is the perfect size, you chose the best unscented litter with a texture kitty loves and placed it in a quiet location, but kitty’s still Inappropriately Eliminating. Here are a few tips to get kitty and their pee and poop back in the box where it belongs. Do Not Punish kitty!!! Remember, all successful Training is about Positive Reinforcement, Repetition and Rewards. First things first. Clean the area well with an odor neutralizing cleaner. You don’t want to mask the odor, but eliminate it altogether. Take kitty to the VET to rule out any medical reasons such as Urinary Tract Infections, Kidney or Bladder Stones, etc. If kitty gets an all clear, try placing a litterbox over the area kitty is using temporarily to entice kitty to use it. Sprinkle a litter attractant, catnip, silvervine or valerian on the litter and the lip of the litterbox. If you see kitty start to use the floor, say in a firm voice, “NO” and move kitty to the litterbox. Each time you see kitty use the box, praise them and reward them with hugs or treats. Always set kitty up for success and you’ll have a much happier home. Remember, you might like the scent of all those scented litters, but you’re not the one trapped inside a small enclosure with them. The litterbox should be attractive to kitty, not necessarily you. 

 

 Litter Robot Open Air III with Garfield Cat Litter

Litter Robot Open Air III with Garfield Cat Litter.

 

 

 

Whew, That’s a lot of infurmation and we just barely scratched the surface. MOL But, we’ve got a give away to get too. So, tell us ‘bout your litterbox or favorite litter in the comments and then paw the Enter Here graphic fur your chance to win a bag of Garfield Cat Litter fur yourself. And don’t furget, you can ketch up on any post you may have missed by clicking the links below. Send your questions to us by commenting below or sending us an email.

 

 

Give away entry graphic

         

          Don’t furget the Blessing Train sissy. Our blessing today is the wonderful companies that allow us to pass a blessing along thru give aways. And, a pawsum mommy who cares more ‘bout us likin’ our litterbox than her.

 

Blessing train sm4   

 

 

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

 

Dezi: Vibrant Blue 

Raena: Navy Blue 

 

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      Fighting or Posturing

Clicker Training & Operant Conditioning      Wheelchair Training

Basic Training Continues      Managing Without A Wheelchair

Are Spray Bottles Effective      Hands Are Not Toys

Does My Cat Need A Friend      Helping Your Bullied Shy Cat

Why Cats Scratch      Halloween Safety      Stop Cord Chewing

Pica: Unusual Habits     Holiday Safety Tips

Service Cats: Holiday Safety Tips For Kitty

MeOW Welcome to Service Cat Monday. The holidays are upon us. Here in the U.S. we’ll be celebratin’ Thanksgiving this week. And in me’s house, we’ll be celebratin’ me’s Gotchaday. Anyways, we thought we’d take today to point out some helpful Tips to help your furries enjoy the holidays too. We are often asked ‘bout nutrition and human food safety fur kitties. We know it can be confusing, especially when you have V-E-T’s who really push prescription diets and commercially purrpared pet feeds. But, food isn’t the only pawssible danger that arrives with the holidays, so let’s have a little chat. The followin’ post will be written in human English fur reader and translator ease. Our Service Cat Monday 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 Feline Behavior. Ifin you have any questions or topics you would like us to cover, purrlease let us know in the comments section or send us an email. When asking behavioral questions, 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. Always remember, Training is all ‘bout Repetition and Rewards. 

 

 Dezi laying in cat tree in new harness

 

 

 

Let’s take a look at Thanksgiving. For most people it means a big feast, family get togethers and the beginning of Christmas parties and decorating. A traditional Thanksgiving feast might include a turkey tom lurkey, dressing, cranberries, potato salad, possibly a ham and much more. So, are any of the foods you’ll be preparing safe fur kitty to have? We do love us a big ole bite of real live cooked turkey. No seasoning required. A nice raw turkey neck, altho’ messy, is good fur helpin’ keep kitties teeth clean. But only if it’s raw. If you try to cook it, the bones become brittle and can be dangerous. What about the side dishes? Dressing/Stuffing often contains onions and other spices that can be toxic to your cat/dog. Altho’ we’ve also learned that stuffing actually cooked inside the turkey cavity may very well be dangerous for humans as well (possible e coli or salmonella poisoning). So, skip stuffing your turkey and leave it off your furries plate as well. Garlic and Onions can damage kitty’s red blood cells. You might think about making a small amount specifically for kitty/doggy. Avoid spices and seasonings when preparing foods for your pets.

 

 Thanksgiving Turkey wallpaper

 

 

 

Pass the cranberries please. That’s right, cranberries are a great source of vitmamin C, flavonoids and phenolic acids. Cranberries are used in many of the UTI (Urinary Tract Infection) prevention foods, treats and supplements. Kitty may or may not like them, but they are safe to offer. As for all the other sides and salads, kitty can skip those. Cats are obligate carnivores and can’t actually digest most fruits and vegetables. And, Raisins and Grapes, often found in salads and deserts can lead to kidney failure in cats/dogs. Here’s a quick list of some human foods that are NOT safe for your pets: Avocado, Chocolate, Coffee, Caffeine, Citrus, Grapes, Raisins, Nuts, Onions, Garlic, Xylitol, Yeast dough and Alcohol. Mommy says a good rule of thumb to help you remember what plants or foods might be toxic is: If the plant has a bulb, avoid it. While pumpkin is great fur kitties and doggies, pumpkin pie should be avoided, as well as pumpkin pie filling in the can. 

 

Cranberries

Fanks Wikipedia Commons

 

 

 

For a lot of peeps, Thanksgiving is just a precursor to Christmas. Christmas trees and other decorations are often brought out and the decorating begins. Remember, not all anipals enjoy the hustle and bustle of parties, so be sure to set up a Decompression Room beforehand. Even if your furry does enjoy the party, it’s always nice for them to have a quiet place to get away if it becomes overwhelming for them. Christmas trees, real or faux mean dangling wires from lights and decorative balls. If you’re not sure how kitty/doggy will react to a tree, you might want to skip the antique decorations and place plastic or other non breakables toward the bottom of the tree. Remember, always set up kitty/doggy to succeed, not fail. Avoid Tinsel, Flocking (fake snow), Edible Ornaments, Lit Candles, Holly Berries, Mistletoe, Angel Hair or PVC Decorations and Ribbons.

 

Raena biting light on Christmas tree

 

 

Make sure all guests know not to feed kitty/doggy. This will help to insure begging doesn’t start and kitty/doggy doesn’t eat.drink anything toxic. Alchohol, Marijuana, and all other drugs/medications should be kept away from kitty/doggy as well. If you use Potpourri, essential oils or other air fresheners, keep them out of kitty/doggy’s reach. Many essential oils can be toxic or irritating for kitty/doggy and even some human guests.

 

Dezi eats grass

 

 

Now for a few Training Tips. Redirection is Key to training kitty/doggy to leave holiday decorations alone. While catching kitty in the middle of the tree might make for a “funniest holiday moments” video, it can also be harmful. Remember all those live wires entwined on the branches? Electrocution is not fun for anybody/kitty. Getting wrapped up in cords or hung is no fun either. A lot of real trees have been treated with toxic chemicals to help prolong their life inside the home. If you have a live tree, be sure to cover the water dish with foil so that kitty/doggy can’t drink the water. If kitty attempts to play with the tree decorations, Redirect them immediately with a favorite toy. If kitty attempts to climb the tree: say NO in a firm voice and move them to an appropriate place (cat tree, cat shelf, etc.). Keep Poinsettas and other Christmas plants out of kitty/doggy’s reach and think about growing them their own pot of grass or catnip.

 

 Dezi lays on the chair arm and gets loving from mommy

 

 

The holidays can be fun for everyone with a few safety precautions implemented. And don’t forget to keep the V-E-T’s number handy. It might be a good idea to keep the Poison Control Hotline number close by as well: 888-426-4435. You can check the ASPCA website for a more comprehensive list of foods, plants and other items to avoid for your pet’s safety. The last thing you want to do at the holidays (or any day for that matter), is to have to rush your furry friend to the emergency clinic/hospital because they ate or played with something seasonal. Something that could have been avoided.

 

 Raena lays on back of chair

 

 

Well, we’re gonna wrap it up fur today. We hope we’ve helped you and your furry with some suggestions fur a happy, healthy and safe holiday season. We wish you all a pawsum Thanksgiving. And remember, ifin you have any questions or topics you’d like us to cover, leave them in the comments or send us an email. You can ketch up on any post in this series, by clicking the links below. Come back Wednesday to help me celebrate me’s 8th Gotchaday.

 

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      Fighting or Posturing

Clicker Training & Operant Conditioning      Wheelchair Training

Basic Training Continues      Managing Without A Wheelchair

Are Spray Bottles Effective      Hands Are Not Toys

Does My Cat Need A Friend      Helping Your Bullied Shy Cat

Why Cats Scratch      Halloween Safety      Stop Cord Chewing

Pica: Unusual Habits

Service Cats: Pica: Why Is My Cat Eating That

MeOW  Welcome to Service Cat Monday. Sorry ‘bout last week, seems winter has arrived and with it winter storms. Anyways, let me get the business outta the way and we’ll get on with today’s posty. The followin’ post will be written in human English fur reader and translator ease. Our Service Cat Monday 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 Feline Behavior. Ifin you have any questions or topics you would like us to cover, purrlease let us know in the comments section or send us an email. When asking behavioral questions, 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. Always remember, Training is all ‘bout Repetition and Rewards.

 

Dezi laying in cat tree in new harness

 

So, the last topic we dealt with was inappropriate licking and Chewing. We’re going to take that a bit further today and meow about something called Pica. Pica is an actual defect that goes beyond the casual curiosity chewing of cords and other non food items. Did you know that some humans are affected by Pica too? Sure ‘nuff, but today we’re dealing with kitty/doggy Pica. First let’s explain what it is. A cat/dog with Pica will regularly eat or try to eat things like wool, socks, plastic (baggies), cotton, cords, boxes and other non food items. Pica is actual ingesting and not just chewing/suckling. Pica is not about your animal being hungry. Starvation is a whole other issue and not one a well cared for pet should be in danger of.

 

Watch on youtube here . Please subscribe to our

channel while you’re there.

 

 

This behavior (Pica) can be extremely dangerous, even deadly. Eating any of these items can cause tummy upsets, choking, unknown health issues/diseases or obstructions that require expensive surgery. We often see kittens kneading and “suckling” those soft floofy blankets/throws and think it’s cute. We have some really cute videos of me doing just that. You just watched one of them. Mommy needs to replace our blanket and throws every year because of it. Thankfully, me doesn’t actually eat the blankets/throws, but some kitties/doggies do. And, it’s NOT cute, it’s very Dangerous.

 

 Dezi and Lexi lay on the bed together

You can sort of see the suckled parts of this throw. Sis Lexi

and me both luvved it.

 

 

 

What causes Pica you ask? There are several possible causes: Nutritional Deficiency, Boredom, Anxiety, Teething, Early Weaning, Compulsive Disorder, and some Diseases and Health Problems, such as Diabetes, Leukemia, Tumors, Anemia and more. So again we say, Pica is not cute. It’s an outer symptom of an inner problem. If your cat/dog is exhibiting signs of Pica, DO NOT jump to conclusions or think the worse!!! We are NOT Vets nor is this post a means of diagnosing an illness.

 

Dezi and Lexi laying on the bed

See that spot behind me that looks a mess? Well, me just couldn’t help

me’s-self. Every meownin’ and night when me would give mommy a

massage, me would suckle the blanky.

 

What should you do if you cat/dog is exhibiting signs of Pica? Make an appointment with your VET to rule out any medical causes/diseases/illnesses or Nutritional deficiencies. Once kitty/doggy has been given a clean bill of health, remove the tempting items from kitty/doggy’s reach. This is a cautionary step and one that is often hard to continue for the life of the pet. Altho’ your pet’s health should be just as important as your own. However, we suggest finding the cause of the behavior and Re-Training/Directing the animal to proper behavior.

 

 Dezi kneads and suckles the cat bed

Me just can’t help me’s-self. 

 

 

 

We believe in treating the underlying issue so that kitty/doggy can live a full and happy life. Put on your detective’s hat and watch kitty/doggy closely for signs of stress, anxiety and/or boredom. Try to determine the Triggers, the Duration of the Licking/Chewing, what type of Object is chosen (the item may be different for different triggers), and the time of day/month/year. Holidays may cause your pet to become more stressed and thus cause Pica to be more prevalent at those times. Do you have guests? Is there a new family member, furry or not? Are you away from the home more than before? A little detecting will lead you to discover the cause or behavioral Pica. 

  

 Dezi poses for the camera while playing with the Cat Dancer

Inneractive play helps keep kitty from getting bored.

 

 

Some quick fixes/things to try, can be to set up a Decompression Room. Or, just spending more time with kitty/doggy. If kitty/doggy is bored, implement more play time. Maybe Train kitty to wear a harness and take them for walks. Please be aware of dangerous things kitty/doggy might try to eat while outside and avoid them. Redirect kitty/doggy immediately to an appropriate toy to play with. Include interactive play. Remember, Do Not Punish kitty/doggy, instead Always use Positive Reinforcement when they respond to Redirection. NEVER Hit your kitty/doggy. This will accomplish Nothing and only serve to diminish your relationship. You may also try medications. These should only be used under the direction of a licensed VET, and as a last resort. (in our opinion)

 

 Raena lays in house on liberty cat tree

Who? Me? I’s only suckle mommy.

 

 

One last thing, Suckling and Eating are 2 separate things. However, a cat/dog that suckles may progress to eating, so keep an eye on your pet and make sure that doesn’t happen. There’s no way we can cover every possibility here, but we do hope we’ve helped you to begin to understand Pica and how to help your kitty/doggy.

 

 Animated cats asking for email

 

 

We’re gonna wrap it up today. Remember, ifin ya’ have any questions or topics you’d like us to address, leave them in the comments section, or send us an email. And, as always, you can ketch up on any post 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 Pt. 3

Surviving A Remodel      Taming A Feral Cat

Designer Cats & Scent      DNA Doesn’t Change      Fighting or Posturing

Clicker Training & Operant Conditioning      Wheelchair Training

Basic Training Continues      Managing Without A Wheelchair

Are Spray Bottles Effective      Hands Are Not Toys

Does My Cat Need A Friend      Helping Your Bullied Shy Cat

Why Cats Scratch      Halloween Safety     Stop Cord Chewing

Service Cats: How To Stop Kitty’s Cord Chewing

MeOW and welcome to Service Cat Monday. We seem to be gettin’ later and later with our posts. All me can meow is that it’s gettin’ colder and we still don’t have a wheelchair, so we’re doin’ the bestest we can. Mommy’s been a bit unner the weather lately, but never fear, Raena and me are takin’ real good care of her. Anyways, let me get the business outta the way and we’ll get on with today’s posty. The followin’ post will be written in human English fur reader and translator ease. Our Service Cat Monday 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 Feline Behavior. Ifin you have any questions or topics you would like us to cover, purrlease let us know in the comments section or send us an email. When asking behavioral questions, 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. Always remember, Training is all ‘bout Repetition and Rewards. 

 

 Dezi laying in cat tree in new harness

 

 

 

Today we thought we’d talk a bit about chewing. This is something most dog owners are intimately familiar with, but only affects a small percentage of cats. Dogs never seem to outgrow their need to chew on things. Us kitties on the other hand, don’t usually find your stinky shoes appetizing. There’s a big difference between stinky goodness and the stench coming from your old sneakers. So, what do we kitties find interesting to chew you ask? Well, that cord draped from your desk to the outlet that connects you computer to the almighty power sure does look enticing. So does that cord that connects your monitor to the computer, or the one that charges your phone, tablet or other digital device.

 

Dangling Cords

Courtesy of Flickr

 

 

 

Yes, dogs seem to chew based on scent or sensation, but we kitties chew based on a response to Hunt, Catch, Kill. A dangling cord might look motionless to you, but we see the slightest movement caused by a shift in the air, or the slight shaking of your desk or table. We can’t help that our tail appendage just happened to touch the cord and cause it to sway as we passed by. But, that slight movement awakens our need to “Hunt, Catch and Kill”.

 

 Cat with yarn animated clip art

 

 

Kitties can also chew because of frustration or boredom. Generally, we still chew things like cords or small dangly items like curtain tassels, rug tassels, etc.. Why do you think we like wand toys so much? MOL There are exceptions to every rule. Raena likes to bite and chew metal and porcelain objects. Mommy finds this very frustrating herself, as these objects are extremely hard and could cause tooth breakage. But, let’s be honest, cord chewing isn’t any safer. The teeth might not break because of it, but kitty could get electrocuted or worse.

 

Electrical Tape in 6 colors

Electrical tape comes in fashionable colors as well as black

So, how do you get kitty to stop chewing? The good news is, that most cats grow out of this behavior. In the meantime, wrap cords in cord protectors when possible. There are many products on the market that are designed to dissuade kitty, but mommy says she never found them very effective. And in some cases they were a bit sticky and she feared they could cause bugs. Not something mommy ever wants to encourage. The one thing Mommy has found to be helpful is electrical tape. Electrical tape is an inexpensive fix to keep kitty from chewing on cords that must dangle for whatever reason. It even comes in colors these days. Although, mommy still prefers basic black. Just be sure to wrap the cord from the base of the plug to the base of the device it powers. In all of her years with fosters and resident kitties, she’s never had one chew a cord wrapped in electrical tape. You can also try hiding or blocking kitty’s access to as many cords as possible with furniture. Remove all tassels and fringed items. This step should only be temporary.  

 

 Fabric Electric Cord covers

Fabric covers, easily made by sewing a seam in one side of a

piece of fabric cut a few inches longer and wider than

the cord it’s covering.

 

Electrical cord covers

 

 

But, for those cats who chew out of boredom, electrical tape and removal of enticing items won’t be the only fix needed. So, Redirect, Redirect, Redirect. As soon as kitty starts chewing, firmly say NO, and get a wand toy or throw kitty’s favorite toy their way. IN KITTY’S DIRECTION, NOT AT THEM!!! The startle will be enough to stop kitty from chewing and get them to investigate the toy. Remember, spray bottles and water dousing doesn’t work. We know several of you just disagreed with us based on your own experiences. And while it might work a time or two, the damage it does in the long run isn’t worth it. Not to mention, kitty will eventually get used to getting doused and ignore it. Besides, spray bottles and dousings are for the lazy kitty owner who isn’t interested in learning why kitty is doing what they’re doing and helping them. You can also try some of the electric interactive toys on the market. We have several that will turn on intermittently throughout the day. Of course, they don’t work so well when kitty learns how to turn them on and off themselves, but hey, at least kitty isn’t bored. MOL You might also look into getting kitty a friend.

 

Brown Dog clip art

While we’re a kitty blog and focus mainly on feline behavior, we try to help all our friends whenever possible. We mentioned that dogs are incessant chewers. You’re not likely to stop your dog from chewing, but you can provide appropriate chew toys. Keep your shoes, clothes, remotes, phones, and other enticing items out of doggy’s reach. Keep closet doors shut, invest in a remote/phone caddy and Redirect, Redirect, Redirect. If doggy gets hold of an off limits item, immediately remove it (use basic training command: Drop It) and replace it with an appropriate chew toy. Again, there are tons of them on the market, from chew sticks to teething ropes, etc.. 

 

email dreaming cat clip art

Well we hope we’ve helped those of you who might be dealing with cord chewers. We got a similar question about fabric chewing that we’ll cover next week. These are two completely different behaviors. And remember, ifin you have any questions or topics you’d like us to cover, leave them in the comments or send us an email. You can ketch up on any of the posts in this series by clickin’ the links below. 

 

Animated cats asking for email

 

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      Fighting or Posturing

Clicker Training & Operant Conditioning      Wheelchair Training

Basic Training Continues      Managing Without A Wheelchair

Are Spray Bottles Effective      Hands Are Not Toys

Does My Cat Need A Friend      Helping Your Bullied Shy Cat

Why Cats Scratch     Halloween Safety

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