Welcome. Fank you fur celebratin’ our 3rd Blogoversary with us. Every year we learn a little more ‘bout this wonderful world of bloggin’. Which brings us to the topic fur today…Service Cat Monday. Raena’s trainin’ is movin’ right along, and we’re purrleased to have your purrticipation through questions and comments. As with all our educational postys the followin’ will be in human English fur translation and reader ease. Our Service Cat and Training posts aren’t meant to be a step by step trainin’ manual, but rather tips, tricks, and entertainment. ‘Member, trainin’ is all ‘bout Repetition and Rewards. Ifin you’ve missed any posts in this series, you can ketch up by clickin’ the links below. Well, the business is done, let’s get to the fun.
We got a great question from awnty Vanessa. She wants to know, “How can I get my cats to stop begging for human food?” We’re guessing there may be quite a few of you out there with this problem. And we know some of our doggy pals are for sure making meal time a real challenge for their peeps. Now we replied to awnty Vanessa by saying that she “oopsied” by giving kitty a bite from the plate. She didn’t respond, but mommy says that in her experience, cats aren’t typically beggars, especially of human food. That is, until they’ve been offered their first tasty bite. As most of you know, sis Lexi was a pizza fanatic, and then me joined the fan club. It’s not because we kitties think pizza smells so delicious we’ve just got to have a bite, it’s because mommy introduced it to us. We don’t have pizza very often, but when we do, we get the pizza first and mommy gets any leftovers. She created pizza monsters. MOL Another human food we’re totally crazy about is turkey. But again, only because mommy gave us our first bite. We’ve not had many turkeys, but we’ve never once tried to jump on the counters to scavenge the bird. But you’re not here to hear about our human food likings.
As with all training, it’s easier to train kitty/doggy “NO” by never allowing them to have that first bite. But you did, so now you want to know how to stop them from begging. Now this doesn’t mean that you can’t give kitty/doggy a few bites of their favorite good/okay for them human food. But, it does mean, they don’t get it from your plate while you’re trying to eat. This is one of those training tips that’s good for all anipals to have. The last thing you want is kitty/doggy jumping on the table and swiping food when you have guests. Because this is about food, no treats are allowed as rewards. Love is the only reward allowed.
Raena’s not actually begging here, but alerting. However, this
is often what begging looks like.
Remember, training is repetitious and must be implemented by every one in the household. That cutesy kitten/puppy behavior isn’t so cute when they grow into large adults or you have company. So, you’ve prepared your meal with kitty free counters (see our Discipline: Stop Countersurfing Kitty post), and are ready to eat. We should add that you might want to feed kitty/doggy their meal while you’re preparing yours, or about 30 minutes before your meal. Or, you might want to feed them their food while you eat. Other than a raw food diet, their meal shouldn’t have any of those delicious human foods from your plate.
Let’s take a look at where you eat first. Do you eat at a dining room table, or are you sitting in your favorite chair/sofa in front of the teevee? If you’re at the dining room table, don’t allow kitty to jump on the table. This isn’t often a problem with dogs, but if you have a dog that can/does jump on the table, stop allowing that behavior. The above “Discipline” post applies to you as well. If kitty jumps on the table, remove them while saying “No” in a gentle but firm voice. You may have to get up, because you want to put kitty in an appropriate area and reward them with a little love…”NO TABLE SCRAPS!!!” Mommy says not even if it’s the tastiest whole chicken ever.
Yep, only the kitties eat on the dining room table here.
And remember, Don’t Yell, Hit, Spray with Water/Air, Push, or any other negative reaction you might think of. Positive reinforcement is far more successful than Negative reinforcement. Sitting at your feet staring at you is not an appropriate spot; so remove kitty/doggy from the room altogether. The only exception to this rule would be Service Animals. They should be trained to lay beside your chair or under the table beside your feet (Please remember they are there and don’t kick them). Kitty/Doggy should be trained the simple commands of Lay/Down and Stay. (See the Proper Training Methods pt. 1 and 2 posts below). Remember, kitty/doggy should never be given a bite of human food from your plate. We’ll get to that in a minute. As long as you and everybody in the house follow the rules, kitty/doggy will be totally disinterested in your meal time in no time.
Raena and me eat in the living room so we can keep an eye on mommy.
So, you don’t eat at the table. You prefer to watch teevee while you eat. There’s a couple of different scenarios here. Some of you may have trays, desks or some other small table or you may just use your lap. Treat those trays, desks or small tables just like you would a dinner table. No kitty/doggy allowed especially during your meal time. If you’re using your lap, treat your body and the immediate area around you like the table; no kitty/doggy allowed on the chair or sofa beside you or behind you while you eat. Again, sitting and staring at you is not an appropriate spot. If you have a gate/room divider where you can separate kitty/doggy from you but where they can still see you, you might want to use it at meal times. Mommy does not like moving the anipals to a separate room and closing them behind a door. This doesn’t teach them not to beg. What it does teach them, is that while their family gathers for “fun”, they’re not wanted.
I’s offen lay right here at mommy’s feet while she eats in her
chair and watches teevee.
So how do you keep kitty/doggy out of your plate and off the furniture while you eat? The same simple steps of putting them down while gently but firmly saying “NO”. You may also implement the Lay/Down and Stay commands. Do Not throw any toys to redirect their attention. Dogs especially will see this as a game of fetch. Trust me, you’re not eating in peace if you have to keep throwing the slobbery toy. If you have one of those cool electric toys, you might want to start it up before you sit down with your plate. For the kitties, a Yeowww nip toy might be a welcome distraction before you sit. Just remember, don’t let your pet tempt you into an interactive play session while you try to eat.
Always remove kitty/doggy from your surroundings while you eat. Even if they appear to lie down peacefully on the other end of the sofa. If you allow it, before you know it, they’ll be right back to begging and sticking their paws in your plate. Provide kitty/doggy their own sitting/sleeping spots, such as a Cat Tree, Perch, Bed, etc., so they will have somewhere to go other than next to you. Service Animals should be trained to lay quietly at your feet. DO NOT Yell, Hit, Push or Spray with Water/Air. Always use positive reinforcement in the form of love. A pet on the head along with a little praise is sufficient reward. You do want to get back to your meal before it gets cold, right?. MOL
You can see in the background, me has food and a nip nanna.
Purrlenty to keep me busy while mommy eats.
Training is all about Repetition and everyone has to be on board. Finally, you’re eating in peace with kitty/doggy totally ignoring your plate of delicious goodness. Feels great doesn’t it? Only after 5 consecutive days of eating undisturbed can you reward kitty/doggy with a few bites of that human food they so wanted. Do Not let them eat from your plate!!! Do Not let them lick your plate or utensils!!! Do Not feed them at the table or sofa. After you have finished eating, get up and put those bites into a “special dish” and give to kitty/doggy in their normal dining area. You can also implement a “Special Place” for those “Special Bites”. As soon as they finish, pick up the “special plate” and put it away for the next time. Mommy likes to put our special plates on the counter while she eats. We see her placing them there and know that when she gets finished, we’re getting something special. We’re happy to leave her alone so she can finish faster and we can get our bites.
I’s have a Yeowww toy to keep me busy too.
So to sum up this training post, Don’t start kitty/doggy on human food treats while you eat in the first place. If you did, STOP. Always remove them from the area and reward them with love; No Treats, No Food. Once training has been successful, you may reward them with a few tasty bites on their own plate at their own space. Positive reinforcement and Repetition will always be successful, it just takes time.
We love ya’ll.
We hope this posty has helped ya’. Purrlease ‘member to leave any questions or comments in the comment section below. You may also email us any questions you might have. We try to answer all training questions in a post, cuz mommy says ifin one purrson’s askin’ there are 10 more with the same issue. Purrlease click the links below to check out other training tips and stories. And most of all, have a great week.
Do you (your anipal) beg for human food?
Do you humans feed your anipals human food from your plate while you’re eating?
Is there a particular human food you (your anipal) goes crazy/begs for?
Till the next time……………………………………….Be Blest!!!
Love and Hugs and Kitty Kisses