Hey, is anypawdy out there? It’s me, RaenaBelle. Ya’ know how we’re always meowin’ ‘bout how kitties have these basic needs. Ya’ know, the things that drive us. And, we’re very blest to have a mommy that unnerstands that and thinks humans shouldn’t try to change us. And yet, every day mommy gets furustrated with me at meal time over one of these drives.
Raena, me can’t believe you meowed that. Mommy doesn’t get furustrated with ya’ ‘bout the doin’, it’s the result of the doin’ she gets furustrated ‘bout.
Hmmmmpht It’s me she’s talkin’ to, I’s think I’s oughtta know what she’s furustrated with. Let me just tell ya’ ‘bout it and see what ya’ll have to say. Ya’ know, us kitty cats, like our big cousins, are finely tuned purr-edators. Yep, we’ve got mad skills.
Raena…you’ve been watchin’ too much teevee. Meow right or don’t meow at all.
Whatever sissy. Anyways, the feline form was built to hunt and kill. Unfurtunately, there are some animals that think we’re prey. Hmmmpht They’ve never met mine’s claws or fangs.
You deserved the whacky paw of justice here, but
it’s just not who we are.
Raena, we’re Ragdolls, we don’t actually do much real huntin’. We don’t even give the old whacky paw of justice when it might be needed. It might be in our DNA to hunt, but me doesn’t think we’d do too much actual killin’.
There ya’ go sissy. X’actly!!! That’s why it’s so ‘purrtant fur me to cover mine’s meal in t’ween bites. I’s fur sure don’t wanna end up as somethin’ else’s meal. I’s don’t want somethin’ bigger and meaner comin’ along and smellin’ mine’s noms and thinkin’ I’s would make a good snack.
Raena, the only thing bigger and well, she ain’t meaner, me doesn’t think anythin’ could be meaner than you…
Sissy!!! That’s not very nice. I’s gonna tell mommy you’re bein’ mean to me.
Sorry Raena. Anyways, like me was meowin’, the only thing bigger than you in this house is mommy, and she ain’t gonna sniff your noms and try to eat you. She’s just kitten ‘round when she says she luvs us so much she could just eat us up. She doesn’t mean she really wants to eat us.
Well course not sissy. I’s know that. I’s meowin’ ‘bout all those things you claim to be purrtectin’ us from durin’ the storms. What ifin they was to smell mine’s noms and think I’s be tasty.
Trust me Raena, there ain’t nuffin in this house that thinks you might be tasty. And, there’s no way mommy would let anythin’ or anypawdy ever hurt you, much less eat you. So all that scratchin’ and turnin’ over of your food plate isn’t necessary. All it does is make a mess and waste food. That’s the pawrt mommy gets furustrated ‘bout. She spends good money, money we don’t have in abundance to make sure we have the very bestest noms to eat, just to see you flip the plate at every meal. You’re like one of those silly housewives on that reality teevee you like to watch so much.
Nah sissy, they’re always mad, I’s just doin’ what comes naturally.
Really? Then why doesn’t me need to cover me’s noms? Could it be that me’s older and wiser and maybe you could learn a thing or two from watchin’ me?
Sissy, get outta mine’s noms!!!
Hmmmmpht Like watchin’ you eat mine’s noms ifin I’s don’t cover it up?
(Dezi shakes her head) There just ain’t no reasonin’ with you, is there? Well, guess mommy’ll just have to keep turnin’ your plate back over and puttin’ the food back in it. Let’s go finish brekky, mommy’s got your food back in the plate now.
Okay sissy. I’s’ll be right there. I’s just wanted to remind everypawdy there’s still time to enter our pawsum give away. Check it out here.
Do any of you try to cover your food?
Till the next time……………………………………Be Blest!!!
Raena: Navy Blue
Dezi: Vibrant Blue
Luvs and Hugs and Kitty Kisses
RaenaBelle and Deztinee
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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
When the Handler Dies Proper Training Methods Pt. 1 & Pt. 2
Discipline: Stop Countersurfing Kitty Internal Disputes
The Rest of the Story Raena & the Wheelchair Pt. 1 Pt. 2 Pt. 3 Pt. 4
Stop Kitty’s Begging Calling For Help Options Pt. 1
Going for a Walk When in a Wheelchair Calming the Tiger Pt.1 Pt. 2 Pt. 3
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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 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.
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.
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..
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.
Till the next time…………………………………………..Be Blest!!!
Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses
Deztinee and RaenaBelle