Meowllo and welcome to another Miserable Monday. Dat means it’s time fur another educational Service Cats posty. It’s also Labor day here in da U.S., and we gotta tell ya’ we seriously thought ‘bout lettin’ mommy have da day off. You know, no laborin’ on labor day?. But we got some great questions from our last Service Cats posty, so we thought we’d give ya’ some answers. Let me say dat some of da training questions we’re bein’ asked apply or can/should apply to all cats, not just Service Cats. We are covering them under the Service Cats posts, because Service Cats must be well behaved in general. Training a Service Cat isn’t just training the specific duties they will perform, but also good behavior. As with all our educational posts the following will be written in human English. Ifin you’ve missed any of da posts in this series, you can ketch up by clickin’ da links below.
Part 3: https://dezizworld.wordpress.com/2016/07/06/service-cats-how-to-train-kitty-to-massage-without-claws/
Part 9: https://dezizworld.wordpress.com/2016/08/15/service-cats-what-happens-when-the-handler-dies/
Now that you’re all caught up, let’s see what today’s question is. Awnty Jean, Shoko and Kali from the Canadian Cats asked, “How long does it take to train the average kitty to perform an “action” properly? And “Is there something they learn quicker than others, and why?” Well now those are great questions. Initially the first thing you want to train any cat/kitten is to know and respond to their name. We’re not trying to be “smart” with this answer. But before any training can commence, it’s important that kitty, doggy, whatever animal you’re dealing with knows their name and will respond to it. This can take anywhere from a couple of hours to a couple of days. Mommy doesn’t allow anyone to call us kitty kitty. The reason for that is because kitty is not our names and it’s very important that we respond to our names every time. As a result of this we do not respond to anyone who says “here kitty kitty”. And yes, any cat/kitten can be trained to respond when called by their name.
Now, we know this isn’t the answer awnty Jean was truly wondering tho’. She wants to know about those specific tasks we’re trained for like calling 911, massaging mommy or driving her wheelchair. So, we’ll address that now. First, every kitty is different, even within the same breed. Knowing that, you can’t expect each kitty to learn at the same pace. For instance, me was 3 weeks old when me came to live with mommy and sis Lexi, and me started alerting mommy that she was going to pass out within a couple of days. Sis Lexi had always known mommy was going to pass out, but she never alerted to it until watching me do it for about a year. And then suddenly one day, sis Lexi started alerting mommy too. So you could say it took sis Lexi 11 years to learn that task and me, 2 days. But in all fairness, mommy had never thought about training that particular task so she never asked that of Lexi, nor trained her for it.
Dat’z da spot mommy. How ’bout you, am I’z gettin
da right spot on your leg here?
Mommy says probably the easiest task to train a kitty to perform is massage. How long does it take to train a kitty to do this? Because it’s an instinctive behavior, it usually only takes a few training sessions before kitty performs perfectly. Remember, Raena was doing this her first night with mommy. It took me a couple of days to learn, and about 2 weeks to learn the specific areas me was to focus on. Now this brings us to another question and a few replies we’ve received. Let’s address the replies first. Several of you said that you had kitties that started out without their claws but eventually those claws came out and of course the massage is no longer enjoyable. Remember we told you that any massages should be performed in a place that was secure for kitty in the event they lost their sense of balance, etc.. The reason kitty loses balance or those claws come back out is because kitty has entered a state of “Euphoria”. That means kitty has entered a state of extreme pleasure and is no longer thinking; they are lost in the moment. A light tap on the paw will rouse kitty and cause the claws to retract again. You can also try speaking to kitty. If you choose to speak, do so in a quiet and calming voice. Mommy will say things like, “Claws in”, “That hurt a bit”, “Thank you”, “That’s enough”. Remember, Training is all about Repetition.