Blog Archives

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: 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

Service Cats: Should Spray Bottles Be Used When Training Cats

Meow and welcome to another Service Cat Monday. We’re getting a lot of questions regardin’ the “new” wheelchair and how we’ll be affected by it. Unfurtuantely we can’t really answer those questions till the “new” wheelchair gets here. We can say that mommy’s had 2 wheelchairs now and, fur the most pawrt they are similar enuff that they don’t require a lot of new training. However, we will certainly keep you all updated once we’ve received the chair. As with anythin’ involving the government, the red tape is long and we’re still waitin’ fur said chair to be ordered and delivered. That bein’ said, let’s get the business pawrt of this posty outta the way and get on with today’s question. 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 thru her many years of animal trainin’, cats in purrticular. 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

The first question we’re going to meow about today comes from our sweet friend Annie from the Gooeylounge. She asked “what we thought about the use of water bottles, water pistols and the like being used to Discipline kitties.” She noted that they’re not used in her house, but she’s familiar with a lot of peeps that do. We added the word Discipline to her question, as a water bottle can really only be used for discipline purposes. Since so many kitties actually hate water, being squirted with the same for sure wouldn’t be seen as kitty having fun.

 

 Water Spray Bottle

 

 

As you know, we always tell the truth. When mommy started out, she had a water bottle. It was recommended by not only the VET, but also several trainers at the time. We must note, these trainers worked with dogs only. Back then there weren’t any kitty trainers to get advice from. The first time mommy used the water bottle, it had very little effect on the kitty’s behavior. Mommy quickly learned that discipline should NEVER be used as a training tool. So, the water bottle moved back to it’s home in the bathroom to be used to spruce up mommy’s perm (a hairstyle popular throughout the late 70’s and early 80’s).

 

 Water Pistol

 

 

In recent years we’ve seen Air Cans being used to train cats. The idea is the same as the water bottle. A can of compressed air is placed near the area you want kitty to avoid. When kitty comes near it, the Air can forcefully spews out a blast of air at kitty to startle him/her. These Air cans are yet another form of disciplining kitty. Our stance on any form of Negative Discipline to kitty’s body is that it has no place in Training. The old saying, “Two negatives doesn’t make a positive” is absolutely true. We suggested other forms of swaying kitty to behave properly in our post entitled Discipline. Cats respond better Positive reinforcement and Love. 

 

 Air Can

 

 

We also wanted to address a question asked by Jan from the Funny Farmers. She said, “Raena seems to be doing a lot and going everywhere now. Does Dezi get jealous? How is Dezi?” Thanks for worrying about me awnty Jan, but, no worries. Me is doing great. When me joined mommy and sis Lexi all those years ago, me did most of the going and doing as sis Lexi was getting older and not enjoying the hustle and bustle of certain outings anymore. She still enjoyed trips and short outings, but Walmart and the like were a bit overwhelming. While we may be calm and quiet, our presence does draw attention. A lot of children seem to have no boundaries and often try to poke at us through the stroller. As a kitty ages, that type of behavior can become a bit too much. Me loves mommy very much and will tolerate anything for her, but thankfully, Raena enjoys being the center of attention and for the most part doesn’t get annoyed at the poke attempts from sticky little fingers. And, me quite enjoys the few hours of alone time me gets while Raena is out accompanying mommy. There’s no reason for jealousy, because when we’re together, mommy spends plenty of time with me. Me also continues Training each day to stay sharp; and me still goes on short outings with mommy as well as strolls around the apartment complex. 

 

 Dezi sits in stroller

 

 

Well, we hope we’ve answered some of your questions today. As me said earlier, we have quite a few questions regarding the “new” wheelchair that we can’t answer till it gets here. So, ifin you have any other questions or topics you’d like us to cover, purrlease leave them in the comments section or send us an email. And, remember, you can ketch up on any post you’ve missed by clicking the links below.

 

 Dezi gets loving while laying on the arm of the chair

 

 

Are your kitties sociable?

Do you have one that seems to like outings more than the other(s)?  

 

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

Service Cats: Managing Without A Wheelchair

MeOW and welcome to a brand new Service Cat Monday. Yes, we know it’s Labor day, but we don’t really celebrate it here. We find it strange that one would celebrate laboring by takin’ the day off. Back when mommy worked, she always worked on Labor day, so, we will too. With the wheelchair breakin’, things have really changed ‘round here. Lots of you had some very good questions ‘bout how things work when the wheelchair’s broken and how we adjust; so today we’ll be meowin’ ‘bout a day in our life without the wheelchair. Let me get the business stuffs outta the way and we’ll 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 thru her many years of animal trainin’, cats in purrticular. 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 questions are: “With the wheelchair broken, how does that affect your day? Is it confusing and how do you help your mommy?”  As we’ve said before, generally mommy only needs the wheelchair first thing in the morning. However, she will often use it to take out the trash or check the mail. When she does this, she usually drives it herself and we watch from the door or window. Thankfully, mommy discovered that the wheelchair was broken while taking out the trash. One of the motors is out, so all the chair does is go around and around in circles. So, instead of taking the wheelchair to the bedroom at night, mommy covers the control panel so we don’t attempt to retrieve the chair in the morning. This change in our normal routine is very upsetting and confusing for us. But, mommy is ever patient and understands that we are confused. She gently guides us through our new routine with voice commands, gentle reassurance and lots of extra loving.

 

 Raena sits and poses in her new tiger harness

 

 

The first morning, and every morning after goes something like this:  We wake up as normal and start in with our morning massages. We’ve got to help mommy get the blood flowing to her extremities and wake up the muscles and nerves in her arms, legs, hands and feet. Me has lived through several wheelchair breaks, so me takes to the new routine much quicker than Raena who starts bouncing off the walls. Raena’s confusion is manifested in her running through the house to the wheelchair and back and the bathroom and back several times. Me continues to massage mommy while she gently tries to calm Raena and get her back on the bed, to help me roll mommy onto the floor.

 

 Raena lays on shower bench

 

 

Finally, Raena seems to tire herself out and returns to the bed and lays down beside mommy and begins to massage her and purr. Mommy calmly and softly tells Raena and me how proud of us she is and how much she loves us. Me takes me’s head and begins to push mommy’s legs over the side of the bed while mommy tells Raena to push. This is part of our normal routine, although we’re usually pushing mommy into the wheelchair. Still looking confused, Raena starts to help me push mommy closer to the edge of the bed. With one last push, mommy falls to the floor with a thud. Raena quickly jumps down and starts licking mommy’s face. Me jumps down and tries to help mommy roll towards the bathroom. Mommy pulls herself to the bathroom with her barely awake arms and starts pulling herself up to the sink/potty using the shower chair/bench and finally the vanity. Raena jumps up on the shower bench to watch, and me takes me’s place on the vanity.

 

 Dezi lays in the wheelchair while Raena meows t her from the top of the stroller.

 

 

When mommy finishes in the bathroom, she gently lowers herself to the floor and crawls to the kitchen. Me takes the lead in front of mommy with Raena prancing slowly behind her. Thankfully, mommy’s arms warm up pretty quick so she can pull herself onward. Once we get to the kitchen, mommy pulls herself up and leans on the counters to make her a cup of coffee and our breakfast. On good days, mommy’s legs are tingling at this point and she can furniture walk to put our plates down, get her coffee and get to the sitting chair. On bad days, mommy again lowers herself to the floor and carrying one plate at a time, pulls herself to the living room to place our plates in their spot and her coffee on the side table beside her sitting chair. Either way, we stay at mommy’s side until she’s safely sitting in the sitting chair.

 

 Dezi watching Raena while they eat

 

 

While mommy takes her medicine, enjoys her coffee and lets her body warm up, we eat, and keep a close eye on her. Hopefully, we’ll get a new wheelchair soon. In the meantime, this is our new normal. Well, guess me will wrap this up now. Remember, if you have any questions or topics you’d like us to cover, leave them in the comments or send us an email. And, don’t forget, if you’ve missed any post in this series, you can ketch up by clicking the links below.

 

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

 

Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses

 

Deztinee and RaenaBelle 

 

Service Cats 

What to Look For      Training Foundations      Train Kitty To Massage

Smelling Disease      Do You Need One      Who Bears the Cost

Housing Laws & Exceptions      Accommodations & Common Sense

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

Easiest Task to Train      Getting Kitty Ready for an Outing

Discipline: Stop Countersurfing Kitty      Internal Disputes

Calling Emergency Help      Just What Is Kitty Capable of

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

Dezi, the Wheelchair & Chest      Round and Round We Go

Tumble & Fall Response      Raena Calls for Help

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

When to Train      Explaining Rewards & Kitty’s Feelings

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

Medicating Kitty

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

Cats Love Training & Social Media Downfalls

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

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

Surviving A Remodel      Taming A Feral Cat

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

Clicker Training & Operant Conditioning      Wheelchair Training

Basic Training Continues

Service Cats: Basic Training Continues

MeOWww Everypawdy, me’s back. You give that Raena an inch and she’ll take a mile. MOL  Anyways, we got a lot of questions after our last Service Cat Monday posty with concerns ‘bout li’l ole me. Furst, me wants to fank you all fur your concern; but rest assured, mommy hasn’t cast me aside fur a newer, younger model, namely, RaenaBelle. Me still works every day. Let me get the business outta the way and we’ll meow ‘bout 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 thru her many years of animal trainin’, cats in purrticular. 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 behavorial 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

 

First, we want to follow up a little about last weeks post. For those of you who might have missed that post, mommy’s wheelchair is broken and unusable right now. None the less, Training continues as always. Awnty Kat from Momma Kat and her Bear Cat said, “I assumed part of the training was knowing what to expect (when Raena does one thing … the chair does this) – like how she might sit different if the chair is going forward. I would assume them learning to expect what the chair will do would cut down on anxiety and surprise when the action does happen.” And, she’s not wrong. However, if the chair doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. Unfortunately wheelchairs are expensive and most people don’t have a spare. Learning what to do when the chair is broken and can’t be used is just as important as learning how to drive the chair.

 

 Raena lays in the wheelchair

You can see the control panel in this photo. Power button on top,

horn just below and the 2 speed buttons just in front of the joystick.

 

 

Remember, there are quite a few steps that have to occur before the wheelchair, even when working properly, will actually move. Believe it or not, the driving is probably the easiest part. After all, pushing the joystick forward is only one step. Seat position, bracing and turning the chair on and off require multiple steps, especially when we can’t read. The control panel contains 4 buttons positioned closely together, Power, Horn and 2 Speed buttons. We kitties are pretty smart, but reading the names of the buttons is a bit beyond our purview. So, it is necessary for us to prove proficiency in turning the chair on and off every day; as well as sitting properly and allowing mommy to brace us. Each button beeps when pushed. This simple step can often be enough to spook a kitty and make them want to jump down and/or run away. We have to become accustomed to the beeps and to fall back to driving position whether the wheelchair moves or not.

 

 Dezi lays in wheelchair

 

 

In our driving position, we must make sure that our back paw claws aren’t digging into mommy’s naked leg; and that we’re comfortable with where she has placed her hand to brace/hold us in position. And, even tho’ the wheelchair isn’t going to move right now, we must show that we know to bite the joystick and push it after powering the wheelchair on. These are basic steps and the first steps we learn. Each kitty learns at a different speed, however, mommy will often focus our initial Wheelchair Training on these steps for at least a month before ever letting us actually propel the chair forward. We like to remind you all that Training is ongoing and doesn’t take breaks or vacations. The truth is, that even when the chair is working properly, whoever doesn’t drive in the morning will be going thru these steps as Training every day.

 

Raena lays in the wheelchair

 

 

We do take turns driving mommy in the mornings, but it’s not like today is me’s turn and tomorrow is yours. Each day, one of us will take up the Driving position, and that’s who drives. We don’t fight over who gets there first, we just kind of have an unspoken agreement, that whoever does, gets to drive. Of course, that’s after we’ve both proven ourselves proficient in driving. When Raena was first learning to drive, it was up to me to actually drive in the mornings. Even when she would take up the Driving position, mommy would give her some extra loving and then move her to the other leg so me could slip in and take the joystick. The rule is, whoever doesn’t drive the morning routine, gets Wheelchair Training that day. Now that we can both drive equally well, we take turns Training on those initial steps each day. Even sis Lexi, the last year of her life, still had regular Training Sessions. 

 

Lexi lays in wheelchair and Dezi climbs on cat tree

 

 

 

Mommy equates Training to an old human saying, “Once you learn to ride a bike, you’ll never forget.” However, if you don’t ride for a while, you’re most likely to be a bit wobbly. You know the steps, but you’re a bit rusty and may even fall a time or two. However, if you ride every day, you’ll keep getting better. The same is true for us. Just because we learn to drive, doesn’t mean we should stop practicing. Remember, Training is all about Repetition and Rewards. Me will be honest and tell you that it is confusing for us when the wheelchair is broken and our morning routine changes, but because of our continual Training, we adapt. We’ll meow more about that next week. In the meantime, me has a basic Wheelchair lesson to perform today. Me’s going to insist on Training first. Raena begs for treats better than me, so if she trains last, we’ll not only get lots of extra love but we just might get a handful of treats too. 

 

 Dezi lays in wheelchair

 

 

Me’s gonna wrap it up now. Fanks again fur your questions, and keep ‘em comin’. And ‘member, you can ketch up on our Training Tips by clicking the links below.

 

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

 

Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses

 

Deztinee and RaenaBelle

 

Service Cats

 

What to Look For      Training Foundations      Train Kitty To Massage

Smelling Disease      Do You Need One      Who Bears the Cost

Housing Laws & Exceptions      Accommodations & Common Sense

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

Easiest Task to Train      Getting Kitty Ready for an Outing

Discipline: Stop Countersurfing Kitty      Internal Disputes

Calling Emergency Help      Just What Is Kitty Capable of

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

Dezi, the Wheelchair & Chest      Round and Round We Go

Tumble & Fall Response      Raena Calls for Help

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

When to Train      Explaining Rewards & Kitty’s Feelings

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

Medicating Kitty

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

Cats Love Training & Social Media Downfalls

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

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

Surviving A Remodel      Taming A Feral Cat

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

Clicker Training & Operant Conditioning     Wheelchair Training

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