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Service Cats: How Long Does It Take To Train A Cat Pt. 2

MeOW and welcome to a new installment of Service Cats and Everything Feline. Keep the questions coming. ‘Member, there’s no stupid question, we can’t all know everythin’ all the time. We do want to remind you to be as specific as pawssible when askin’ behavioral questions. We want to give you the best Training Tips to correct the unwanted behavior. Well bahaved kitties mean more kitties stay in their furever homes. And yes, a lot of mommy A’s Training Tips can be used to Train dogs, horses and other species, not just the finicky feline in your life. You can ketch up on any of the posts in this series by clickin’ on Training Tips and Everything Feline on our menu bar. There you will find the links to all our Educational posts and Training Tips. Today’s posty is a continuation of last weeks post where we began to address the question, “How long does it take to Train a Cat?” Let’s get the business out of the way and get this pawrty started.


Dezi laying in cat tree in new harness





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.

Raena sits posing in her tiger harness




Last week we explained that we couldn’t really put an exact time table on Training because there are a lot of factors to be considered, such as age, breed, abilities/disabilities and personality. But, all kitties/cats can be Trained and actually enjoy Training. We briefly told you about how long it took Shad, mommy’s first Service Cat, to Train herself. You can read all about Shad here. We then moved on to Lucky and sis Lexi,  mommy’s first “driving” (wheelchair) kitties. The greatest thing you have when it comes to Training, is an animals’ curiosity and desire to please their human(s). A Bonded animal will go to great lengths to get their human’s approval and love.


 Lexi lays in wheelchair




So, let’s take a look now at how long it took sis Lexi to learn to drive mommy’s first wheelchair. As we mentioned it took about 3 months for Lexi to get over her fears of the wheelchair. You have to remember, a wheelchair isn’t just a big chair, it’s a big, heavy moving piece of furniture. Unfortunately, many a kitty has probably had their tail run over more than once by someone in a wheelchair. Unintentionally of course, but me’s sure it hurts just the same. So, we left off with Lexi trying to push the joystick one morning after having watched her brother move the chair the night before by doing just that. Altho’ the chair was plugged in and wouldn’t operate, mommy praised Lexi for her attempts and told her how proud she was. Once mommy was in the chair herself, she held Lexi in her lap while letting Lexi rest her front paws on mommy’s driving hand (mommy could still move her upper body well in the morning’s at that time). As mommy’s hand and Lexi’s paws pushed the joystick forward, mommy continued to praise Lexi and say “Good girl. Let’s go to the potty room.” yes, the first thing mommy ever needs to do in the morning is hit the bathroom. Seems everybody including the kitties all have to take advantage of the facilities first thing in the morning, so Lexi had jumped out of the chair and after using the litterbox took up her watchful place on the bathroom sink’s vanity.


 Lexi's signature pose

Mommy did well under the ever watchful eyes of sweet Lexi.




The next stop mommy always makes is the kitchen to prepare a kitty feast. Again, Lexi sat in mommy’s lap with her front paws on mommy’s driving hand as they headed to the kitchen. And again, mommy praised Lexi and said “To the kitchen, it’s time for brekky.” Yes, mommy’s always used a lot of baby talk with us. This pattern was repeated off and on during the day for the next several months. Training sessions lasted about 15 minutes each time for each kitty, Lexi and then Lucky. Remember, Training is ALL about Repetition and Rewards. In this case, taking kitty for rides and praising them throughout each session. Lucky caught on much quicker than Lexi and was driving without mommy’s hand in about 4 months. Lexi took her successful, no help from mommy drive about 2 months later; for a total of 6 months Active Training. That means a total of 9 months passed from the time the wheelchair entered the house to the time Lexi successfully maneuvered it by herself. When we say “by herself”, we mean that mommy’s hands were no where near the joystick. However, mommy did and still does use her hands to steady and support us on her leg.


 Dezi checks out the new Powerchair




The joystick extends anywhere from 6 to 12 inches from the arm. The wheelchair’s arm is approximately 2 to 3 inches wide, so there’s technically not enough room for us to stand, lay or sit on the arm and drive. We must remain in mommy’s lap and stretch/lean forward to connect with the joystick. This “stretch” makes us a little unsteady, especially when the chair is in motion. Because the chair can continue to move slightly even after pressure on the joystick stops, means that it can be extremely dangerous if we were to fall, thus the need for some support from the rider/mommy.


 Baby Dezi looks up at Lexi laying in the wheelchair

35mm camera image

Hey sissy, how’d you get up there? Me wants to be just like you.




Let’s move forward a bit to the time me joined mommy, and sis Lexi. By this time, sis Lexi was 10 years old and pretty much everything was old hat to her. Meaning, she was fully Trained and wasn’t learning anything new. At least that’s what mommy thought. We’ll come back to this a little later. So, me came to live with mommy and sis Lexi when me was about 2 1/2 – 3 weeks old. Me was very tiny and very sick. Thankfully, me was in the purrfect home with just the right mommy. Me had picked mommy instead of her picking me, so me bonded with her right away. Oh how me loves and adores mommy and me’s then sis Lexi. Me wanted to be just like sissy. Even though she was huge compared to me, me tried to do everything she did.


 Baby Dezi her first week at home

35mm camera image

Yep, me was so tiny the only potty box me could reach was a foil bakin’ pan.





Mommy remembers one of the first showers she took after me came to live here. When mommy would get in the shower, sis Lexi would automatically jump into the shower with her and stand at the back or on the other side of the shower curtain that was in the tub. This time, mommy had just stepped into the shower accompanied by sis Lexi when she heard a banging echo on the tub. She pulled back the curtain to see little o’l me trying desperately to jump into the bathtub with her and Lexi. Me wasn’t even as tall as mommy’s ankles, so the tub was certainly to tall for me to get into. And, ya’ know what? Those tubs are slippery. There’s nothing for a kitty to grab onto for climbing. But me had watched mommy get into the shower accompanied by sis Lexi for a couple of days, and remember, me wanted to do everything sissy did. Anyways, sis Lexi jumped on the edge of the tub and laid down to comfort me while mommy continued her shower. Mommy says shortly after she got into the shower, she could hear me meowing me’s squeaky meow like crazy. And, when she came to, she found me laying under her wet hair on the floor. Little did mommy know at that time, but me had been trying to tell her that she was going to pass out.


 Lexi lays in bathroom sink while Dezi lays on vanity beside her

Me sure did luv me’s sis Lexi.




Mommy says this topic is lengthy, so we need to wrap it up fur today. But, we’ll be pickin’ up where we left off next time. We know you want to know all ‘bout how me learned to help mommy and how long it took, so be sure to click that follow button ifin you haven’t already done so. And don’t furget to submit your questions, whether about us, Training, Health issues or Anything Feline in the comments or via email thru our contact page. Mommy has experience with other animal species as well, so just leave your questions and we’ll try to give you an answer. And, you can ketch up on any post you may have missed or just want to re-read by clickin’ Training Tips and Everything Feline from our menu above. Well, that’s it fur now, see ya’ soon. 


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




Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses


Deztinee and RaenaBelle

Service Cats: Defining Service, Therapy And Emotional Support Animals

Meow and welcome to another installment of Service Cat Monday on Friday. We’re actually going to be changin’ the name to avoid any confusion. We also want to remind you that you can ketch up on any posts you may have missed by clicking on the Training Tips and Everything Feline link in our menu. Please send us your questions and topic suggestions in the comments below or via our contact form on our contact us page.  


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.



Dezi laying in cat tree in new harness




     We got a great suggestion on our last post, asking us to feature other Service Cats and their duties. We so wish we could do that, but, there aren’t many actual Service Cats out there. We only know of one other, and his person/handler doesn’t like to discuss her disability or what her kitty does for her. We have to respect her right to privacy. Mommy said she agreed to be open and honest about everything when we started our crusade to bring awareness to Service Animals other than dogs, but not everyone else did. That being said, if you know of or have a Service Cat of your own, please contact us so we can share your story. You can use the contact form on our contact page or the Training Tips page. You can also send us an email directly to:


 Raena poses on the Liberty cat tree in her tiger harness




     It’s a new year and we’ve gained some new followers, so we’d like to take today to remind everybody just what a Service Cat is. According to the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act), a Service Animal is a dog that is individually Trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability. There are no certifications or licensing’s required, nor is there any one place or government body overseeing the Training of such animals. Dogs and in some unique cases miniature horses are the only animals recognized as Service Animals that are afforded protections and rights under the law. The ADA definition doesn’t affect or limit the broader definition of Assistance Animal under the Fair Housing Act or the Air Carrier Access Act. That would be where our protections come into play.


Raena in stroller

     A Service Animal, regardless of species is well behaved, comfortable in just about every situation and IS NOT a pet. There used to be an old saying, “Children should be seen and not heard” when in public and especially around a lot of adults. The same is true of Service Animals/Cats. A Service Animal isn’t bouncing off the walls, or barking/meowing, being a nuisance, playing or drawing attention to themselves or their handler. The exception would be if the Service Animal’s task is to alert others to it’s handlers’ situation (ie: handler is having a seizure and requires human assistance, etc.). A Service Animal stays beside their handler at all times and doesn’t pull at their leash or try to interact with other animals or humans while in public. They are not easily distracted. That’s why it’s so important to ask the Animal’s handler before interacting with/petting the animal. The Service Animal is “on duty” and is not a pet. Altho’ we think the “ask before petting” should be a rule about every animal one might encounter other than their own. Just because an animal looks cute, doesn’t give you the right to approach him/her without getting permission from the owner first.


 Dezi sits in stroller




     There seems to be a lot of confusion about Service Animals, Therapy Animals and Emotional Support/Companion Animals. These three titles describe three completely different classes of animal and should not be confused with one another. We’ve given you the definition of a Service Animal and now we’ll define the Therapy animal and ESA (Emotional Support/Companion Animal.


 Therapy Animal:

This is probably the most recognized of the classifications and often gets confused with the Service Animal. A Therapy Animal is an animal (any species) that has been Trained to provide comfort and affection to people (other than their own humans) in hospitals, retirement facilities, schools and other such places. You might be asking what kind of Training is required to make an animal “provide comfort”. Truth is, this Training is more for the human handler than the animal. An animal chosen to be a Therapy Animal is one that is outgoing, comfortable with people and in a variety of situations, calm, and generally well behaved. Training teaches the handler how to prepare the animal (grooming, bathing, etc.) to go into these places and who/how to contact to set up visits in these places. Certification is required for Therapy Animals. If you think you have an animal that would make a good Therapy Animal, check with your shelter or the ASPCA about classes. But, a Therapy Animal Is NOT a Service Animal.


Raena lays sleeping in mommy A's lap

 Emotional Support/Companion Animal:

The Emotional Support animal is any PET that provides health benefits to a person. That’s pretty much all animals. There’s no Training required nor any certifications. This group is growing as more and more people move into homes/apartments requiring rental assistance. Usually pet deposits./fees are waived for those who can get their doctor to write a letter stating they require their animal for emotional support. These animals ARE Pets and NOT Service Animals. This classification comes with no rights, protections or privileges under the law other than that of personal property.



 Dezi lays in lap and gets loving




The bottom line here is that all animals are special and give health benefits to their owners. But, not all animals can be called Service Animals. Mommy says we’re the most special kitty girls on the planet, but not any more special than the kitty or doggy that lives with you and gives you joy, comfort and love. We just help mommy in a different way. We still provide her with joy, comfort and lots of love, but we’ve been individually and specifically Trained to perform certain tasks that help her to live independently. We’ll be talking more about those things soon. We’ve been asked some questions that we thought we had already answered, but again, we’ve had quite a few new followers. Mommy says it never hurts to tell something again just in case it was missed the furst time. So join us here each Friday for a look into our lives as Service Cats and answers to your questions about everything Feline. Purrlease leave your questions in the comments or send us a message via email on our Contact us page. And don’t furget, you can check out all the posts in this series by visiting our Training Tips page. And let us know ifin you know a Service Cat. We’d luv to meet them and share their story with everypawdy. 


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


Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses


Deztinee and RaenaBelle

Service Cats: There Is No Bully Cat Breed: The Instincts of Cats

Meowllo and welcome to another Service Cat Monday. It’s cold and windy here, but fur the moment, we have sunshine and shadows. Mommy wanted me to let everypawdy know, that we might be writin’ a couple things today that will upset a few folks; but ifin you’ll stick with us, we purromiss you’ll unnerstand our point. We welcome all your questions, comments and suggestions. The only thing we ask, is that when askin’ a trainin’ or behavioral question, purrlease try to be as specific as pawssible. We’re not mind readers, and do wanna try to help ya’ out. But without specifics (you can even include an example) we can’t be sure ifin we’re actually givin’ ya’ the right tips. You can leave those questions/suggestions in the comments or send us an email. As with all our Service Cat postys, 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. Our Trainin’ posts include tips, tricks and techniques used/developed by mommy throughout her many years of trainin’ animals, cats in purrticular. Ifin you’ve missed any of the posts in this series, you can ketch up by clickin’ on the links at the end of this or any Service cat post. We’ve got some great questions to address, so let’s get to them.


 Dezi laying in cat tree in new harness


The question we’re gonna address today, was left last week. We’re not sure if this is an ongoing situation, or one from the past. Never the less, it’s weighed heavy on our minds since it was posted and we feel we just have to address it. The thought of it has haunted mommy all week, because there are currently breed laws in effect in many States against certain dogs because of misconceptions. And mommy couldn’t live with the thought of that happening to kitties. We’ll sum up the example given fur you: A person adopted a female Tuxedo kitty as well as an 8 year old human boy from a chaotic, violent, drug filled environment. Said kitty was terrified of the human boy and retreated to live in cabinets in the basement. Whether or not kitty had been abused, is/was truly unknown to the adopter. It also appeared that the adopter already had a resident Tuxedo male kitty in the home, possibly her littermate (the comment wasn’t specific). When the female Tuxie finally started to venture out of the basement she was bullied by the resident Tuxie male to the point that the adopter had to pen him so that he couldn’t get to her. And here is the question that was asked: Do you think it’s normal for some breeds to just be bullies and pick on those kitties who didn’t have such a good start in life? 


 Baby Dezi puffed up for intimidation

Me’s not a bad kitty, me’s just assertin’ me’s claim.


The short answer is NO!!! Absolutely Not!!! First, let’s take a look at Cat Breeds in particular. ALL cats are descended from the Middle Eastern Wildcat. That’s right, those smooshed faced Persians, Color Pointed cross eyed Siamese, Floofy, floppy Ragdolls, and every other breed descended from the Felis Silvestris. Through natural gene mutation, cats adapted to their environments. Until that is, humans got involved. Breeders started cross breeding, inbreeding, and manipulating nature to create more desirable traits so they could make money. Don’t you go and hit that unfollow button. Me has a point to make. The results are not always in the best interest of the cat species. Now don’t nobody get angry with us, we’re only presenting the truth. And you know it too. Let’s keep going here. There’s conflicting evidence as to exactly when cats became domesticated, but for sure we’ve been part of human’s lives for at least 9000 years.


 Felis Silvestris

Felis Silvestris

Now let’s take a look at a cat’s natural behavior. Yes, we have a point for all of this, so just bear with us. A cat has four basic functions bred into each and every one of us, wild or domesticated, naturally evolved or with breeder interference. We are born to hunt, eat, sleep and procreate. For the purpose of this post, we’re going to focus on our innate nature to HUNT. Cats are preprogrammed to hunt prey to survive. Yes, even the adorable kitty purring in your lap. Cats have amazing smell receptors. The thing that makes us great Service Cats is our ability to smell the changes in mommy’s chemical make up before she passes out. That ability also lets us smell fear, other animals (prey and/or appropriate mates), changes in the weather, and other scents we encounter.


 Raena playing with wand toy


As most people know, cats are very territorial. Because of our need to defend and claim our territory, unaltered cats, especially males can exhibit unwanted/undesirable behavior such as marking or fighting. Spaying and Neutering goes a long way to alleviate this behavior. However, defending our territory is still paramount. The smell of fear often signals prey; and the scent of another cat, signals a possible change in the hierarchy. That innate need to hunt may cause us to attack a scared or weaker cat, as we see them as prey. Cats desire live prey. Chasing is part of the hunt. A scared cat with it’s tail tucked between it’s legs and running away is a sure sign of prey. And that instinctual desire to chase, catch and kill kicks in. We can’t fight it, it’s part of our nature.


 Dezi rolls on the Yeowww nip nana while Raena prepares for an attack


And the need to be “King of our jungle” may cause us to attack a scared or weaker cat. In the wild, only the strong survive to procreate and pass along their genes to the next generation. For these reasons it’s important for our humans to take appropriate steps to introduce new kitties to resident cats. A cat that exhibits fear, requires extra attention from his/her humans in order to rebuild his/her confidence.


 Dezi pats Raena on the head


The person who left this question stated that the young boy hadn’t abused the scared cat, but was unsure about the adults in the previous home, yet the cat was fearful of the child initially. We’d like to take a minute not to suggest that the boy had abused the cat, but to relate that children don’t know how to treat animals until they’re taught. Children often approach animals wrongly. It’s not uncommon to hear of a child or even adult who’s been scratched after pulling a tail or trying to restrain a kitty to hard or for too long. Cats can acclimate to chaotic surroundings, but they are generally happier in more structured surroundings.


 Dezi and Raena play


When Raena came to live here, me was unsure about the whole thing. Sis Lexi had left abruptly, mommy and me had been alone for a couple of months and suddenly there was a new smell with an attitude in me’s house. Her innate drive to hunt caused her to chase anything, including me, that ran from her. It wasn’t till me’s tail went up and me stopped running and turned to face her, that she stopped treating me like prey. Because of me’s uncertainty and confusion about everything that had happened, me no doubt smelled like fear, and weakness. One of the most desirable traits of the Ragdoll, is the laid back nature we have. None the less, Raena initially presented as a “bully”. However, she was and is not a “bully”. She was only acting on her feline instincts.


 Raena carrying her new nip toy


In conclusion, we say again, NO cat or breed of cat are born “bullies”. Rather, we have an instinctual need to hunt and survive. Some cats have a stronger drive than others, but we all have it. We realize this isn’t much of a training post, but we have several questions about aggressive cat behavior, so we decided to address this issue by introducing the back story to where cats came from and what drives a cat’s existence first. And to stop the perception that any cat is a natural born “bully”. Since we all have the same DNA, that argument would mean that all cats are bullies, and we know that isn’t true.


 Dezi on Liberty Cat Tree


As me just said, we have an aggressive issue comin’ up. But next week, we’re goin’ to meow a bit ‘bout leash trainin’ do’s and don’t’s and include a question from one of our doggy furiends. In the meantime, mommy wants to stress that you don’t walk a puppy while on crutches…EVER!!! That’s an accident waitin’ to happen. ‘Member you can get caught up on any trainin’ posty you missed by clickin’ the links below.


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




Additional Resources: National Geographic (link above)



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 and Exceptions     Accommodations & Common Sense

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

Easiest Task to Train     Getting Kitty Ready for Outing    

Discipline: Stop Countersurfing Kitty     Internal Disputes 

Calling Emergency Help     Just What Is Kitty Capable Of 

Shad: Original Service Cat     Harness or Vest Leash or Stroller

Dezi, the Wheelchair & Chest     Round & 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             

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