MeOW Welcome back to Service Cats and Everything Feline on Furidays. We wanna fank you all fur your patience while we try to get caught up from our week off. We’ve been dealin’ with a small flood here in our apartment fur the last couple of days, so we’re still behind. However, t’ween the flood and a couple of emails we received this week, we’ve decided to take a look at the lighter side of Training this week. Me will tell you more ‘bout that in a minute. We’d like to remind you that you can ketch up on any post in this series by clickin’ the links on our Training Tips and Everything Feline page from our menu. You can submit your questions or post suggestions by leaving a comment or sendin’ us a purrivate e-mail via the form on our Contact page. Purrlease ‘member to be as specific as pawssible when askin’ behavioral questions. Now, let’s get the business outta the way and get on with our posty.
The followin’ post will be written in human English fur reader and translator ease. Our Service Cat 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 Everything Feline. Always remember, Training is all ‘bout Repetition and Rewards.
We often receive comments like, “I’d love to train my cat, but, he/she trained me.”, or “My cat does that, but…”. As you know, mommy says all Training should keep the animal and it’s natural behaviors and size in mind, and to be realistic in your expectations. All of mommy’s Training Tips/Techniques involve things cats/dogs do naturally and just tweaks them a bit to accommodate the human need/desire. Mommy says a cat’s curiosity makes us the perfect animal for Training, just as the dog’s desire to please. We cats also want to please our humans, we just don’t show it the same way a doggy does. So, it’s up to you, our human to understand our language for the gratification you’re looking for. Since we’re cats, we’re going to focus on cats today, but as always, most of our Tips can be used for other species.
Most people know that we cats communicate with other animals through scent, rubbing, nose touching, etc.; we reserve most verbal communications for you humans. The more interaction you have with us, the more vocal we will become and the more we will interact with you. The more cat-like you interact with us, the more cat-like responses you will get from us. We’ve told you in earlier posts, that mommy plays the “Scent Me Up” game with all her kitties. It helps us to form a stronger bond with her. It’s also mommy using natural cat behaviors to communicate with us. Let me refresh your memory: Mommy rubs her cheeks, chin and forehead against our faces, chin, ears and forehead in an exchange of scents. This is how we cats would greet one of our family members or beloved housemates; even our larger wilder cousins do this. Our face contains all the good feeling scent glands, so this exchange brings us kitties pleasant and calming feelings. It also makes us very receptive to Training. But, what kind of Training and who’s doing the Training?
Let’s take a look at what mommy calls “Massage”. Kitties knead (make biscuits) naturally. We do it the minute we’re born. It helps move our mother’s milk into the teat so we can suckle and eat. Kneading makes us feel good by bringing up good memories. Kneading is most often accompanied by purring and a form of closed or open mouth suckling. So, mommy takes an innate behavior and makes a few adjustments such as where we knead, Training us to keep our claws sheathed and to knead on demand and it becomes a kitty massage. For Training Tips on Kitty Massage click here.
As most of you know, one of the most beneficial Tasks we perform for mommy especially when she’s out and about, is alerting before she passes out. We often get asked just what we do. Mommy says our alerts have become more refined through the years, as she’s learned to read them and her desire to bring less attention to the whole thing has lessened. You know, no need for everybody to know what’s happening. Anyways, as me said before, us kitties typically reserve our verbal communication for you humans. When we first sense that mommy’s going to pass out, we paw at her to get her attention and then we do a little turn when in our stroller, or meow to get her to follow us to a chair when at home/loose. And, if at first you don’t succeed…try, try again. If mommy doesn’t respond the first time, we get a bit more vocal with our next alerts. Meowing and chuffing until mommy complies. Again, mommy’s using a cat’s natural abilities to her benefit.
A mother cat will chuff at her kittens to call them to her. Chuffing can also be used to alert others to one’s existence or whereabouts as an alarm, such as a male lion or tomcat defending his territory from intruders. A cat or dog wanting another to follow them may touch noses and turn around excitedly in an attempt to get the attention of the other. So, this is a perfect action for us to use to alert mommy to the need to sit down so she doesn’t pass out and hit the floor.
These are just a couple of examples of our natural abilities being honed to accommodate mommy’s needs as a disabled person. So, to answer the question of Who’s Training Who, we could say a little of both. No doubt your kitty/doggy has Trained you to know when they’re hungry or need to go to the potty. By watching our behaviors, you too can learn how to hone those behaviors to accommodate your needs. We always say every kitty/doggy can use a little Training, even if they’re not going to be a Service Animal. Bonding with your anipal makes both your lives better, and Training helps to form a stronger bond. And, there are plenty of studies to show that cats only enrich the lives of their owners and help their humans to live longer happier lives.
Who could resist this face?
Well, we hope you enjoyed today’s post. Altho’ Training is a very serious matter, remember to keep it fun and natural. Using your cat/dog’s natural abilities will make Training more successful. Don’t forget you can ketch up on any post in this series by checking out our Training Tips and Everything Feline page. We love hearing your questions and post suggestions and look forward to answering more of them in a future post. We have some great posts coming up, so be sure to meet us here each Furiday fur a new topic. You never know when it just might be something you’re wondering about or the answer to your question. Me so furgot to link up with Comdey Plus fur Feline Furiday, so me had to come back and edit me’s posty. Sorry ifin ya’ got it in your email twice. But, check out all the feline fun here. We’ll see ya’ soon.
Till the next time…………………………………Be Blest!!!
Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses
Deztinee and RaenaBelle
Well meowllo and welcome to another installment of our Service Cat Picking and Training Series. As with all our educational postys this will be written in da human English. Altho’ we will give you tips fur training and will post about RaenaBelle’s training, our posts are not intended to be an all encompassing training manual. Training is tedious and repetitious and doesn’t happen overnight, so keep that in mind befur you decide to take on the training of a Service cat. Ifin you missed any part of this series you can ketch up by clicking on the links below.
Picking a Service Cat Part 1
Foundations of Training Part 2
Now we got a few questions we would like to answer. And we also want to say thank you for your questions. The first question we want to address is the age of the kitten we started with. Several of you mentioned that particular breeders don’t let kittens go to their furever homes till they’re around 16 weeks old. That’s fine. The age doesn’t matter so long as training begins the moment the kitten is in your home. Mommy starts the scent me up game as soon as she picks the kitty up. We chose a younger age because that’s what we’re working with and when adopting from shelters one often finds kittens under the age of 12 weeks old. We will say the younger the kitten is, the quicker the kitten will adjust to your schedule and lifestyle. But don’t let the age of the kitten or cat dictate everything. The most important factor is the bond you develop or already have with the kitten/cat.
Now, the next question we want to answer is: How much will the new kitten pick up from the resident Service Cat (ie: me, Dezi. cuz it was asked specifically about us) If like us, you already have one Service cat, they will be a huge help in the training of the new Service cat. Like children, kittens want to emulate the older cat.
An example of this: Raena can smell the chemical changes in mommy’s body before a syncope incident, and by watching me alert mommy to sit down, causes her to want to do the same. So the next time she smells that change, she knows she should take action. It’s like clicker training if you will; it’s like the clicker going off telling her to respond. We also need to clear up some confusion about Syncope. Syncope is a fancy medical term for passing out/losing consciousness. Mommy Does Not have seizures of any kind. There are several reasons that mommy passes out, and she tries to avoid those that are caused by actions, but she does have to continue to live. Those times that are not caused by actions are just unavoidable, so having an alert is very helpful. Mommy says it’s so nice not to find herself on the floor and all bruised up or with a crowd of people all around blocking her air.
The last thing we want to talk about today is Kitty Massage. DO NOT DECLAW KITTY!!! Please know we are Not passing judgement as mommy had done it in the past when she was young and ignorant. BUT, it’s not necessary. A lot of you talk about how your cats like to “make biscuits”. Kneading is as natural to a cat as purring, and can be focused and trained for massage. Altho’ Ragdolls are known to be soft pawed, we can still get excited and the claws will come out. So mommy needs to train us to keep those claws in. We massage her head and body everyday. And yes, Raena is already learning to focus her kneading to specific areas. Altho’ she’s smart and tried to massage mommy’s head her first day here. As training progresses with Raena, we will try to get better photos. Altho’ some photos will never be taken because of the circumstances surrounding the trained behavior. We will of course inform you of those times.
Anyways, with kitty on your lap or laying next to you, initiate the kneading process. You know what gets your kitty to knead. Mommy generally uses cooing and petting. It’s that sweet talk to kitty telling them how much she loves us and how pretty we are, etc. That gets us going everytime. At first kitty generally keeps their claws in. It’s once they get a little excited that the claws start coming out. Mommy quietly says “ouch” and gently taps kitty’s paw with one finger only and says “No Claws”. This is repeated until the claws are retracted. It’s important that you not scream, jump, hit or get frustrated. When kitty retracts, mommy says how much she loves us and how blest she is to have us and what a great job we do. Eventually, kitty will learn to keep the claws in and the kneading becomes more of a pushing instead of the traditional push and pull. Once this behavior is learned you can start to focus it on specific areas. We’ll talk more about that in a future post.
You’ve all been waiting to see our patty cake game photos. Sorry it’s not great, but here it is.
Me’s gonna wrap it up now. We hope we’ve answered your questions. Purrlease leave any additional questions in da comments; or ifin we didn’t answer your question clearly let us know. We don’t know what or how much you all want to read here, so we’re just kind of playing it by ear. Altho’ mommy has started Raena’s training, she’s still to small for a lot of things. She can learn massage at her current size and learn to obey (come when called, stay, lay, be quiet, etc.) and to alert, but not much else. So let us know if there are specifics you’re interested in hearing about. Now, mommy’s case manager is comin’ by today. And da girl mommy was gonna hire to help her ‘round da house fell thru so we’s gotta run some more ads; so we’ll be by to visit as soon as we can.
Are you (humans: have you) trained to do anything particular?
What incentive do you want (do you give)?
Till da next time…………………………………..Be Blest!!!
Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses
Deztinee and RaenaBelle
Meowllo everypawdy how ya’ duin’? Me thinks meez growin’ fins. MOL Let me just say and then me won’t complain’ ‘bout it again today; that da Governor has declared a state of emergency and da weather guys are still tellin’ us weez in a drought. Duz this even make sense to you? Hmmmph Okay so on wiff meez posty. MOL Well you all know we be service cats. It sez so right there under Deziz World. We don’t tell ya’ everyday ‘bout it cuz well…you wuld get tired of readin’ da same fing over and over, cuz we do da same fings everyday. At least for the most pawrt. But here lately ya’ know wiff all da rain that weez been havin’, weez do a little more. So we fawt today we might run you fwu a day in our rainy day lives. And yes, sis Lexi still works just as hawd as ever. We kuldn’t get her to slow down ifin we tried. And twust me, weez twied.
Anyways, mommy has dat ole awfur-itis. You know da pain in da joints and bones what acts up specially when it rains. And as of late seems da only weather weez havin’ is dat of da wet kind. So she’s been getting’ wound purretty slow. So anyways, da udder night we all got ready fur bed and Lexi was layin’ on a box we had just got dat mommy hadn’t got put away yet. Well it was kind of a small box so it was purretty low to the ground. Mommy picked me up and turned off da teevee and lights and went to pick up sissy. Now member meez already in mommy’s awms, so mommy went to bend over and…crrrreak, crrrack went mommy’s back. MOL She reached out fur sissy and sissy swooshed hers tail and crouched and pounced off da box and onto da floor and ran like striped lightnin’ to da bed and up da steps afur stoppin’ and lookin’ back.
At which point she saw mommy all bent over and carryin’ me to da bedroom. Mommy kuldn’t stand up stwaight. So here we was slowly walkin’ down da short hallway all bent over and here comes sissy flyin’ down da steps and up on mommys back where she purrceeded to purr and massage. Mommy was laffin’ and still twyin’ to walk all bent over ‘cept now she was twyin’ to make sure sissy not go tumblin’ off. When we got to da steps sissy jumped off and mommy stood up stwaight again and we all cuddled together to sleep. We do like to cuddle wiff mommy. But wiff all this rain mommy really freezes up at night. And since sissy decided to stawt eatin’ again, when she’s hungwy, she’s hungwy.
So da next meownin’ we all wake up as usual, but sissy’s a little on da hungwy side. So da minute she sees mommys eye open she stawts goin’ up to give mommy a massage and then to da steps to get da chair. Meez still runnin’ on old mode where we get up when we get up. Usually ruled by mommy has to go to da pawdee box and can’t hold it no more. So da next fing me knows sissy be givin’ me a massage. Come on sissy, lay back down a minute or ten me meowed. She wasn’t goin’ fur it, so me got up and sleepily gave mommy hers massage. And then me laid down to massage hers legs and went back to sleep. MOL Not fur long tho’ cuz here came sissy meowin’ at me to get up. We finally got mommy in da chair and off we went fur da pawdee box room where me laid back down fur a few more zzzzzzz’s. Meez gunna stop fur now and tell ya’ da rest in meez next posty Till then why don’t’cha lay back down fur 10 minutes or so and have a little rest.
Till a next time…………………………………..Be Blest!!!