Service Cats: How To Train Kitty To Massage Without Claws

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 

 Dezi looks smugly from atop the Liberty cat tree

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.

 Raena laying by the Kong play tent

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.

 Raena grabbing for Dezi's tail on the Liberty cat tree.

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.

 Dezi and Raena laying on the Liberty Cat Tree

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.

Dezi and Raena playing patty cake

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