Service Cats Proper Training Methods Part 2

Dezi: Your lap is the best mommy

Well it’s Miserable Monday and da beginning of another work week. It’s also time fur another Service Cat posty. Furst mommy and me would like to thank you all for your kind words with regards to yesfurdays Blest Sunday posty. We are still working through our feelings over losing sis Lexi, and purrobably always will be. But one thing is certain, we are extremely blest to have had her in our lives. Now, as with all our educational posts, da following will be written in human English. Ifin you’ve missed any posts in da series, you can ketch up by clicking da links below.

 https://dezizworld.wordpress.com/2016/06/20/service-cat-what-to-look-for/  

https://dezizworld.wordpress.com/2016/06/27/service-cat-training-foundation/   

https://dezizworld.wordpress.com/2016/07/06/service-cats-how-to-train-kitty-to-massage-without-claws/  

 https://dezizworld.wordpress.com/2016/07/11/service-cats-smelling-disease/ 

  https://dezizworld.wordpress.com/2016/07/18/service-cats-do-you-need-one/ 

  https://dezizworld.wordpress.com/2016/07/25/service-cats-who-bears-the-cost/ 

  https://dezizworld.wordpress.com/2016/08/01/service-cats-housing-laws-and-exceptions/ 

https://dezizworld.wordpress.com/2016/08/08/service-cats-accommodations-and-common-sense/ 

 https://dezizworld.wordpress.com/2016/08/15/service-cats-what-happens-when-the-handler-dies/ 

 https://dezizworld.wordpress.com/2016/08/22/service-cats-proper-training-methods/ 

Now that you’re all caught up, let’s talk more about training today. We didn’t get any questions from our last couple of posts, so we’re not sure which direction you all would like us to go, but we need to expand on training a bit. We have been asked where mommy learned her training methods. Years ago she started out training dogs. Once she fell into the clutches of a cat, she quickly learned she had to modify her training techniques to fit the feline behavior and mind. Most of what she learned she learned from raising motherless kittens. As most of you know, the mother and littermates would train a kitten to use the litterbox, how hard and when to bite, scratch, play and everything else a new kitten would need to know to survive. Kittens who lose their mothers before learning these things can grow up to be unruly and/or have a lot of behavioral issues. But even the kitten with an ideal upbringing can still benefit from a little training.

 Raena laying on the floor

Last week we told you that positive reinforcement is the best and proper method to train a cat. Negative reinforcement in very limited amounts has it’s place (the ear biting technique we discussed last week). Positive reinforcement can be anything from a treat to a hug or pat. Get to know your kitty, and you’ll quickly learn what their preference is. We also stated that most cats are not ruled by their tummies, so treats are not always effective training tools. Please, Do Not starve your non food motivated kitty in order to treat train. Mommy prefers to use other rewards anyways.

Last week we talked about inappropriate scratching, and offering appropriate options for kitty to use and even how to get kitty to use them. Remember if kitty is exhibiting behavioral problems, see your VET and rule out any illnesses before proceeding with any training. A sick cat, or one in pain will not learn no matter what method you try. We’ve been asked about how mommy trains us to massage her and what to do about kitty claws. We briefly covered this in a post above, but the question has been asked since then as well, so we thought we’d go over it again. Because we are Ragdolls and soft pawed, we don’t use our claws. But Shad, Devon, Lucky, Ransom and Lexi all had claws that needed to stay retracted, so mommy learned a technique that with repetition will work.

 Dezi scratching the cardboard race car

Kitty massage is merely kitty kneading that has been focused to a specific area. Almost all kitties knead. Mommy starts training massage as soon as kitty first starts to knead her. It’s never too early or too late to train kitty to retract their claws. Once kitty starts kneading, (usually a leg while sitting or laying in your lap) which is a push and pull with the paws; mommy lightly taps kittys paws when the claws come out. At the same time, she will say “ouch” and make a whimpering sound, or say “no claws” or “it hurts” followed by a small whimper. Typically kitty will splay open their paws, stop kneading and look up. Mommy smiles and asks kitty to massage her again while stroking kittys’ head, neck and/or face/chin; focusing on the scent gland areas. Typically kitty will start kneading again, but instead of a push and pull, kitty will push hard and almost pick up their paws to draw back. This may not happen the first or second or even tenth time, but repetition and sticking to the same method of training will cause kitty to eventually get it.

 Raena getting mommy loving

Once kitty is proficient in massage, it’s time to move them to the area you need massaged. For mommy, that’s just about everywhere, but let’s say your issue is migraines and you want a head massage. Mommy finds laying down to be the best for her, but if you have a chair with a back that kitty can lay on without falling off of and can reach your head, you can sit up for your massage. Let’s go with laying down. Either carry kitty with you or call kitty to come to you once you’ve laid down. Place kitty beside or behind your head, depending on how your bed is made up and where you are laying. Remember, wherever kitty is laying must be stable without the possibility of kitty falling off. Kitty will become euphoric during the massage process and thus lose their sense of balance. They may also drool and/or nuzzle.

 Dezi getting mommy loving and petting.

Once you and kitty are in place, start petting the head and face and speaking softly to kitty until kitty starts kneading. At this point the knead will mostly be a pushing. Keep your head in place, don’t move it with the push. Begin to praise and thank kitty at this point. Mommy always says things like “Thank You”, or “That feels so good”, and always, “I love you”. At some point during the session, comment about how your migraine is feeling better. Be specific. There will come a time when you are able to say, “I have a migraine” or “I need a massage” and kitty will automatically get into position to give you one. You can use the same technique for any part of your body. Always remember, training is all about Repetition, Repetition, Repetition.

 Dezi and Raena eating treats on the liberty cat tree

Well there ya’ have it, mommy’s training tips on kitty massage. Mommy says there’s nothin’ better for a migraine, than a purring massaging kitty. We do want to remind you that kitty should not eat your hair, and anytime pawssible, the hair should be clean of hair products as a lot of those products are hazardous to kitty. Me’s gonna wrap it up now and see ‘bout getting’ a nap in and maybe even a stroll later today. Please leave any questions or topics you’d like us to cover in da comment section below.

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

Is there something you need help training your cat to do?

 

If there was a kitty kindergarten like there is for dogs, would you be interested?

 

Would you take (have taken) kitty to socialization training classes?

Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses

Deztinee and RaenaBelle   

42 thoughts on “Service Cats Proper Training Methods Part 2

  • Thanks so much for this post send helpfur info. Now the petcretary knows what to do about those holes which seem to always happen on her thighs…

    She has always taught all of her kitties to come when called, and they do, unless they are hiding from suspected kitty abuse such as getting in the carrier, or are scared. She cannot seem to get that instinct to be over-ruled by her own loving caresses and voice…(

    Pipo is the best at coming on command, and Toki was like a doggy, he followed her all ovffur and knew lots of commands and tricks, though none of them were service helps. (Maybe that’s why he bonded so well with our dog-guy!)
    Those kitty claws really do get us in their clutches, don’t they, MOL! (And they clutch our heartstrings too!)

    Liked by 1 person

  • dezi N raena….manee thanx for takin time ta
    post thiz post….we lurned a lot!! tho we gotta
    be honest N say we cracked up at “once she fell
    into the clutches of a cat, she quickly learned
    she had to modify her training “!! can we say
    mwa ha ha!!❤️❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  • My mom wants to know what you think about how to keep kitties off the kitchen counter when she’s trying to dish up the food for our dinner. Usually it’s Frank, Dori and Candy who counter surf. She puts them down, and they jump right back up. Especially Candy, who is new. Mom thinks she needs giant rings for them to jump through as dinner time is like a performing circus around here.

    I think kitty kindergarten is a great idea! I would send all of my fursibs so I could get some rest around here. Purrs, Herman!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  • We have to agree that positive reinforcement really works. Some cats prefer treats or, like our Ringo, praise is important. Ringo loves to be praised and pet more than a getting a treat.

    Liked by 1 person

  • I wish I could train Joanie not to use her claws when she needs me, but she thinks I am a pin cushion no matter how many times I saw ow! I try to keep her nails trimmed. XO

    Liked by 1 person

  • Very interesting. Repitition is the key with a positive reinforcement. I like this. How long would you say it takes the average kitty you have had to catch onto what you want and actually do it properly? What activities do they tend to learn before others? Why? Thanks ladies.

    Jean, Shoko and Kali

    Liked by 1 person

  • Great tips on how to get kitty to not use claws!!! I’m planning on taking Toby to BlogPaws next year. He is friendly and likes people and is harness trained. But I’m worried about how to get him accustomed to a lot of people at one time accompanied with noise and activity. I don’t want to freak him out.He’s generally okay on long car trips (he’s moved twice with me) as long as he can see me from his carrier. Any tips on getting him ready for BlogPaws? Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  • I have used the tapping paw method to teach my cats not to extend their claws for many years and it works well. Better if you start when they are kittens, but adult cats can learn too. I have not gone further and taught any of them to massage, but may in the future. Your posts are great tools when training cats. I have always found that even though cats do not respond to commands the way dogs do, they know their names, will come when called (mostly) and can understand “get down,” “no biting” and other commands.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fank you. Purropurrly trained cats do respawnd to commands, and their name everytime. Dat’s a requirement fur Service Animals, and we are Service Cats. Good luck with your training.

      Luv ya’

      Dezi and Raena

      Like

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