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Service Cats: Designer Cats & The Importance Of Scent

Welcome to another Service Cat Monday. We wanna take a minute to clear up a few things. We received a few comments on our last post that seem to be a little confused. Mommy in no way endorses feral cats as Service Animals. Service Cat Monday started out with us telling about our specific training. However, we quickly learned that lots of peeps had kitty issues they were living with that could be corrected with a little training. So, we opened Service Cat Monday up fur any and all questions. Because of mommy’s experience with animal training, we wanted to help, and will continue too. We believe all kitties can benefit from some basic training, but, that doesn’t make them Service Cats. We hope that clears things up a bit.

 

Dezi laying in cat tree in new harness

 

Now, let’s get to today’s posty. And ‘member, ifin you’ve missed any of the posts in this series, you can ketch up by clickin’ the links at the bottom of this post. The followin’ will be written in human English fur translator and reader ease. We’re runnin’ low on questions, so ifin you have any questions you’d like an answer to, purrlease leave ‘em in the comments or send us an email. Our Trainin’ posts aren’t meant to be a step by step Trainin’ manual, but rather Tips, Tricks and Techniques mommy has used/developed throughout her many years of animal trainin’, cats in purrticular. And ‘member, ifin you have a behavioral question, purrlease be as specific as pawssible.

 

Savannah Cat

Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia.org

 

We have a couple of questions today that won’t take a whole post each, so we thought we’d address them together. First up, our sweet Weimareiner friend Phenny asked, “What do you think about all these Designer Breeds/Cats, like the Savannahs, Chausie, etc.?” Well, Da Phenny, we can sum it up by saying, We Hate Human Manipulation in the natural process of Any animal breeding!!! “Designer Breeds” as they’re called, often come with a host of health problems, and aren’t actually suited to life as a pet. You mentioned the Savannah specifically, so we’d like to address that particular breed. The Serval, which is the wild cat that makes up one half of this breed doesn’t actually desire to breed with the Domestic Cat. And the gestation period for the Serval and Domestic Cat differ which means that pairings can result in natural abortions, premature births and even absorption of the pregnancy. The resulting kittens are indeed attractive, but not actually suited to every household. They are extremely smart, large and highly energetic. They are completely driven by their wilder/baser instincts. For a complete look at these instincts, please see our post, There’s No Bully Cat Breed. Just because humans can do something, doesn’t mean they should. Science has proven that Natural bred cats are healthier, live longer, and are more suited to living with humans. We hope that answers your question. You can also see Wikipedia, TICA and the CFA websites for more information on these and all cat breeds. 

 

 Dezi and Raena lay together on the floor

 

Our next question comes from our dear Persian friend Valentine. Val asks, “I live with a D-O-G that I’m always sniffing. Am I marking my doggy or checking to make sure it’s still the same D-O-G?” Well Valentine, as we discussed in a previous post, us kitties use smell over eyesight to determine what’s in our world. Almost all of our communication with other animals can be summed up with scents. When you live inside, where most all kitties should live, the scents don’t change that often. Sure, the occasional visitor, or your human’s return from work, shopping or errands, can bring new scents to explore, but most of the time, there’s little to no animal communications. However, when the D-O-G goes outside to take care of their business or exercise, they return with lots of great information from the big outdoors.

 

Raena in stroller

 

The dog may have stepped in or brushed up against a spot where another kitty walked, rubbed, or otherwise marked. Yes, this can even happen if the doggy only goes out in your yard. Stray and feral cats know no boundaries. MOL  When the dog returns inside, us kitties must sniff and take in all the information from the great outdoors. This will usually be followed by some form of marking the dog. You know, we’ve got to reclaim our family members as often as possible. A cat in the wild will mark their territory several times a week in order to keep the scent fresh and let others know the territory is taken, by whom, and breeding status. Those of us inside, do the same thing with our humans, other animals, furniture, etc.. The same post as above, There’s No Bully Cat Breed, explains what drives a cat to do the things we do. So, to answer your question Valentine, you are smelling the D-O-G to make sure it’s still your doggy, but also to get information about your extended world; the great outdoors. This behavior would remain the same, even if you were allowed outside. Remember, us kitties use scent above all other senses to make determinations about our world.

 

 Send me mail animated kitty emoji

 

Well, that’s gonna do it fur today. No actual Training tips today, but we said we’d take any and all questions. And, we think these were some great questions, so fank ya’ll fur askin’. Ifin you have any questions, purrlease let us know. We actually enjoy these postys and hope you do too. ‘Member, ifin you’ve missed any of the posts in this series you can ketch up by clickin’ the links below.

 

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

 

Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses

 

Deztinee and RaenaBelle

 

Service Cats

What to Look For      Training Foundations      Train Kitty To Massage

Smelling Disease      Do You Need One      Who Bears the Cost

Housing Laws & Exceptions      Accommodations & Common Sense

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

Easiest Task to Train      Getting Kitty Ready for an Outing

Discipline: Stop Countersurfing Kitty      Internal Disputes

Calling Emergency Help      Just What Is Kitty Capable of

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

Dezi, the Wheelchair & Chest      Round and Round We Go

Tumble & Fall Response      Raena Calls for Help

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

When to Train      Explaining Rewards & Kitty’s Feelings

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

Medicating Kitty

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

Cats Love Training & Social Media Downfalls

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

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

Surviving A Remodel     Taming A Feral Cat

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

Service Cats: Calling for Emergency Help

Meowllo and welcome to Service Cat Monday. On Monday’s we answer your training questions and tackle topics associated with Service Cats and their training. As with all our educational postys da followin’ will be in human English. And ifin you’ve missed any of da posts in this series purrlease click on da linkys at da bottom of this post. Ifin you have any questions purrlease leave them in da comments or email us via our contact page. Our post today is all ‘bout gettin’ emergency help to our disabled handler/mommy. Awnty Katie and Katie Kat of Katies Furry Mews asked, “How do you train a kitty to dial 911?” So let’s get right into it.

 Dezi laying in cat tree in new harness

Mommy says, Purrlease remember, our training posts are not intended to be a complete blueprint for your training. These posts are merely tips and tricks mommy has developed over many years of animal training. Mommy adopts a positive method of training closest to the animals true nature. You must always be realistic in your expectations, and never ask more of any animal than said animal is capable of performing. Training is Consistency and Repetitive.

 Dezi with telephone making a call for pizza

First up you’re gonna need some old fashioned supplies. Our training is ever evolving, but mommy still hasn’t figured out a way to train a cat to dial using a cell phone. If a cell phone is all you have and you’re not worried about being incapacitated, then you can train kitty to bring you the phone, but at this point and time, there’s no conceivable way to train a kitty to use a cell phone. For all of you who just said, “My cat plays games, or My cat can take a selfie, or I’ve seen lots of videos of cats playing with cell phones;” we would say, those phone are already unlocked and the app opened for them. So, you’re going to need a landline with at least basic local and 911 service. We have magic jack and pay one low rate each year for unlimited calling anywhere in the U.S. and Canada. The phone can be corded or cordless but should have a speaker phone feature. This is a typical feature on most phones these days. If you’re using a cordless phone, make sure to attach the belt clip to the phone so kitty will have something to pick the phone up with.

 Raena learning to dial the phone.

So you have your phone and are ready to train kitty. Make sure you have implemented the bonding exercise discussed in our Training Foundation post. You must make the phone fun for kitty. Use the speakerphone option when talking on it. Let kitty sniff and paw at the phone. Do Not let kitty chew on the cords. If there’s an answering machine, let it answer calls. All these things will cause kittys’ interest to be peaked. Once kitty is comfortable with the phone, you can begin training. First you’ll want kitty to turn on the speakerphone. Put kittys’ paw on the speakerphone button and gently press down while saying, “Call for help, or Emergency”. Repeat this step while gradually calling for kitty to come and press the speakerphone button even when kitty’s nowhere near the phone.

 Raena learning to dial the phone.

As me said, our training is always evolving; so mommy now uses a preset emergency button instead of the old dialing of 911. All phones allow numbers to be programmed in for the speed dial option. Mommy recommends using the number 1 spot for 911 programing. Typically all one needs to do to complete a speed dial call is to press the assigned number and the speakerphone button. So this step cuts down kitty having to learn 4 pushes to only 2. It’s easier for large pawed animals. It also lessens the chance of accidental number pushes by large paws. When you are ready to train kitty to dial 911, DISCONNECT the phone from the jack. It’s a crime to call 911 without having an actual emergency. And it takes away valuable time and resources from those who have an emergency. So let’s get on with it.

 Raena learning to dial the phone.

Gently push kittys’ paw on the number 1 and then speakerphone while saying, “Call help”. Repeat this step daily for 10 to 15 minutes in the morning and night. That means kitty will get two training sessions a day. Once kitty can successfully push the buttons by themselves, reprogram the number with a friend or family member who can assist you with the next step. Ask kitty to call for help. When your friend or family member answers the phone, they should say, “911 what’s your emergency.” This will get kitty used to having someone answer their call and let them know what they’ll be hearing. Since you are pre-programming the number, you can choose who your emergency contact is. You might prefer a family member over 911. Whoever your choice, just make sure the number is programmed in so that it’s easy for kitty to remember. Always reward kitty with lots of praise and extra love during training sessions.

 Raena learning to dial the phone.

When kitty proves to be consistent with their calling for help, check with your local dispatchers for a less busy and stressful time to actually call them so kitty can get the full experience. Check with your local phone company and/or emergency dispatchers to see if they can add instructions to your number for emergency dispatch. When our number comes up on 911 calls, it says to send an ambulance if there’s no response or just meows. Remember training is all about consistency and repetitiveness. Calling for help isn’t something kitty will have to do often, so you must maintain kittys knowledge and ability with continued training. And remember to always reward kitty with lots of praise and extra love during training. You’ve got to keep it fun and rewarding for kitty. 

 Dezi and Raena lay on cat scratchers

Well that’s it in a nut shell. How long it takes depends on your kitty and whether or not you are committed and consistent. And how successfully you implement mommys Training Foundations. We’re runnin’ outta questions to answer, so ask what you will and we’ll give it our bestest answer. Next week we’ll be dealin’ with our shower duties, so stay tuned. In da meantime, have a pawsum day. 

 

 

Is there something specific you would like to train your kitty or doggy to do? 

Would you want your kitty or doggy to answer the phone?

 

 

Till da next time……………………………………Be Blest!!!

 

Service Cat Training Posts

1. What to look for    2. Training Foundation   

3. How to Train Kitty to Massage    4. Smelling Disease   

5. Do You Need One    6. Who Bears the Cost   

7. Housing Laws and Exceptions   

8. Accommodations and Common Sense 

9. What Happens When the Handler Dies    10. Proper Training Methods

11. Proper Training Methods Pt. 2    12. What’s the Easiest Task to Train 

13. Getting Kitty Ready for an Outing    14. Stop Counter Surfing Kitty 

15. Internal Disputes 

Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses

Deztinee and RaenaBelle 

Meezer's Mews & Terrieristical Woofs

I'm Dalton, a Rat terrier mix and I came here in Sept, 2017, I was rescued from Hurricane Harvey. My birthday is 8-20-2016. My Gotcha Day is 8-27-2017. And I'm Pipo, I'm a Siamese, my birthday is 12-26-2004; my Gotcha Day is 2-14-2005. We also have Angel MrJackFreckles, (2-5-2018); and also we have Angel Minko, (6-18-2017). There are also Angels Groucho, Simba, Suki, & Toki. We meezers used to be known as WeBeesSiameezers. We'e all from Michigan, Dalton came here from Texas.

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