Meowllo everypawdy, it’s time fur another Service Cat educational posty. As ya’ know da followin’ will be written in human English. It appears there’s still some confusion ‘bout da difference ‘tween Service Animals, Therapy Animals and Companion Animals. Purrlease see our Service Animal page by clicking on da Service Animal tab on our menu bar or click here to read da full definition of each. Me will give a very brief definition of them later in this posty. It’s very purrtant dat everyone understands da differences. Anyways, we got a few good questions to answer today. And we asked a couple questions dat we think you’re gonna be surprised by da answers. Ifin you’ve missed any of da postys in this series you can get caught up by clickin’ da links below.
So let’s get on with it. First up we need to make a few things clear. Mommy talked to one of our friends this past week and learned there’s a lot of confusion about this subject. First and foremost, If you are breeding your non pedigreed cat, that cat is NOT a Service Animal!!! And please STOP!!! Are there not enough unwanted kitties in the world as it is? True Service animals are spayed or neutered for their health and temperament. Now we know a lot of you just said to yourself, “How can you make that judgment and say that?” Well let us explain. If you need a Service Animal, you need said animal all the time. A mother cat will be out of commission for at least 6 weeks, barring complications; her kittens need her more. And most Service animals are not pedigreed animals but rescues. And to breed your non pedigreed indoor kitty is irresponsible at best, but to supply you with barn cats is the very definition of cruel and unusual punishment. And training is not passed on through DNA.
Secondly, we’ll repeat this again. Any Cat at any age can be trained. The number one requirement is the bond you share. Please see the Training Foundation post. It isn’t necessary to start with a kitten. We did because mommy requires 2 cats to help her and there was just me after sis Lexi went to heaven. Introducing a kitten into our home is easier than an adult cat. If you already have a cat or three, you can train one of those. There’s no need to adopt a new cat or kitten or to breed any of your existing cats. We hope that clears a few things up.
Now awnty Jean, Shoko and Kali of the Canadian Cats asked a couple of questions about training. Mommy got a great laugh at the wording of the question, so we’re going to copy and paste it in here for all of you to read. Me must say that mommy and awnty Jean have had many a conversation so she knows mommy pretty well.
Question: Do you ever run across times when Raena just wants to play and is not interested in learning? How long can she get away with not wanting to be taught? Did you ever have a cat that was more interested in playing?
So this question is specifically asked about Raena because that’s who mommy’s training now, but it could apply to any cat or kitten in training. The answer is Yes, of course there are times when Raena just wants to play, she’s a kitten. The trick is to make learning fun so that at least at first she thinks she’s playing. And remember, training is about repetition not a one shot deal. So it’s better to have many short training sessions than one long one. Altho’ mommy makes a game of training for some tasks, it is very serious, and she doesn’t tolerate nonsense. Mommy looks at these times as an opportunity to “train out” unwanted behaviors; such as, hands are not for biting, toes are not for biting, cords are not for biting, etc.. It’s also a time to train kitty to accept being held down, and other things like pilling and bodily exams. These are things that all pet parents could benefit from not just those that are training Service Cats. Unfortunately as kitty ages, there may be a time when medicine needs to be administered, and it’s so much easier if kitty has been trained to accept whatever you do to them as good.
Raena had been playing but jumped on the small cat perch to be closer
to mommy to alert her to sit down. Mommy had been conducting
a photo shoot when Raena and Dezi felt a change and knew
mommy was going to pass out.
Now, we mentioned cost. We asked what you all thought the average cost for a Service Animal is. We also asked who you thought paid for it. We got some mixed answers here, and a couple that mentioned Companion Animals for Service men and women. We realized that most people thought Service animals were given to the disabled free or that some charitable organization paid any fees, and that again, there was some confusion about the differences between Service Animals and Companion Animals. So, here’s a really simple definition of the three classes.
Service animal: An animal that has been specifically trained to perform duties to assist it’s disabled handler/owner.
Therapy animal: An animal that has no particular training other than basic obedience that after certification goes into places like nursing homes, hospitals, etc. to cheer up people by just being there or allowing people to pet it.
Companion animal: A Pet.
These aren’t the full definitions, but hopefully they will help to clear up any confusion anyone still has. Now let’s answer those questions we asked. A few years ago, the average cost of a Service Animal was between $20,000.00 and $50,000.00. This was for a rescue dog purchased through one of the certifying organizations. Dogs trained by individuals could cost exponentially more. Insurance does NOT pay for Service animals. There are organizations one can apply to for financial help, but they’re on a first come first served basis and income based and often require the person in need to pay up to $10,000.00 of the fees. So in the end, the cost of a Service animal is solely on the person needing one. That’s one reason you don’t see more. Most people who need Service animals are on fixed incomes and can’t afford the initial cost. Once a disabled person has a Service animal they can apply to several organizations to receive food and vet care for that animal. These are run by the big pet food companies and are part of their “giving back to the community”. Remember, these organizations only provide for those Service Animals the ADA recognizes as Service Animals.
Anyways, we feel like we’ve given you information overload today, so we’ll wrap it up for now and let ya’ digest all of this. Remember to leave any questions you may have or want answered in da comments or feel free to email us. We’re trying to answer them all as best we can. Raena’s getting’ bigger so she’ll be starting to learn how to use da fone in da next week or so. Mommy’s gonna try to get some good fotos, but since she ain’t da bestest with da camera, we’ll settle fur any fotos. MOL Anyways, da lawn crew’s here. Raena may be fearless, but she hasn’t yet convinced me. Oh, we were asked what mommy did with our fotos in da new editing app yesfurday. She turned our fotos into talking videos.
What would you like to learn (know how to teach your cat or dog)?
How do you feel about the cost of and that insurance doesn’t cover the cost of Service Animals?
Do you think that Service Animals make a difference in the lives of their disabled handlers as opposed to those that don’t have one?
Till da next time…………………………………..Be Blest!!!