MeOW Welcome to Service Cats and Everything Feline on Furidays. Mommy’s still workin’ on gettin’ those forms put together fur everypawdy from last weeks posty. She’s tryin’ to figger out how bestest to save them so everypawdy can save/download and make changes to them to fit your unique circumstances. Anyways, we’ll let ya’ll know when we get them done. It was really nice to know a lot of you already have plans in place fur your furry family members should anythin’ happen to you. Let’s get the business stuffs outta the way and get on with today’s posty. Remember, you can always ketch up on any post you may have missed or want to read again, by clickin’ the links on our Training Tips and Everything Feline page. And you can submit your own questions or topic suggestions by commenting on our posts or sendin’ us a purrivate e-mail via our Contact page. Purr the new GDPR, we have a new purrivacy banner on that page. But, let me tell ya’, we respect each and every one of you and would never, and me means never ever sell your infurmation to anypawdy.
The followin’ post will be written in human English fur reader and translator ease. Our Service Cat posts aren’t intended to be an all inclusive Trainin’ Manual but rather Tips, Tricks and Techniques used/developed by mommy A thru her many years of animal trainin’, cats in purrticular. And to offur insight into your questions about Everything Feline. Always remember, Training is all ‘bout Repetition and Rewards.
Today’s post will be more relevant for dogs than cats, but with more and more cats becoming the pet of choice with people we expect things to change. We were asked a while back, “How do you handle when your cat/dog is attacked by another that’s off leash/free roaming?” “Is there a way to avoid a confrontation?” Obviously, the best way to avoid a confrontation, is for everybody to obey the laws and keep their cat or dog leashed and under their control while out in public; whether on a walk, hanging in the yard or park, or anywhere else peeps and animals gather. Unfortunately, there’s always some idiot that doesn’t want to comply. And yes, we truly mean Idiot. We also find that when it comes to leashing, cat peeps are among the worst. It’s really embarrassing for us; so cat peeps listen up…If you take kitty out into public, be sure to harness and leash us before putting us into our carrier or stroller. The law applies to kitties and woofies the same. We’ve already posted harness and leash Training Tips and Techniques here and here, so we won’t go thru that again.
Raena in “Heel” position
You should also Train kitty or woofie to Heel beside you when anyone or any animal approaches. This will help you maintain control over your own animal without looking like prey to the approaching animal. Heel means that your kitty/woofie sits calmly at your side. To Train your kitty/woofie to Heel, call them to your side and ask them to sit and stay. Remember to Reward them every time they succeed. If possible incorporate another cat/dog in the training and have kitty/woofie Heel while the other animal approaches. The only time you should allow your kitty/doggy to meet and greet another animal in public is when they are both leashed and under control of their handler. You know your animal and know the warning signs of aggression. If both animals are leashed, it is much easier to separate them before an attack can occur.
Unleashed woofie doesn’t “look” aggressive, but you can’t be sure.
Steps to take when out and being approached by unknown animal:
So, you’ve done everything right. You’re out for a nice stroll with kitty/doggy and see an unleashed animal in the distance coming your way, what do you do now? Tighten your leash hold to make sure your pet is completely under your control. If kitty or woofie is small enough to pick up, do so. The best way to avoid conflict is not to be there. Don’t make yourself prey. Turn away from the approaching animal and go another way. However, Do Not Run, you immediately become prey when you run. If avoiding the animal isn’t an option, Heel kitty/woofie and evaluate the situation. You may have to use that pepper spray you’re carrying. In this situation, and this situation only, we recommend carrying a spray bottle or squirt gun to use to startle the advancing animal. If the animal is actually accompanied by a human, yell out to them to get their animal under control. Be prepared for “Idiot” to say something like, “He won’t bite, he’s just being friendly/wants to play.” Keep your animal under control and get your pepper spray/water bottle/squirt gun ready. You are obeying the law and have the legal right to defend/protect yourself, your animal and anyone else in the vicinity. Now is a good time to take a photo of the approaching animal and any human that may be associated with him/her. The photo will help you find the animal and it’s owner in the future if need be. Remember to stay calm. We animals feed off our handlers’ emotions. If you’re feeling stressed, we’re going to get stressed; if you’re calm, we’ll stay calm.
If you’re at the VET’s office or a Pet store or some other animal friendly place and feel threatened by another animal, ask the owner of said animal to tighten their leash and control of their animal. You may also want to ask the staff to speak with the owner of said animal. If at the VET’s office you can ask to wait in a room so that you and Fluffy/Fido can be separated from the “aggressor” and Idiot. You can also leave and return later when hopefully that particular animal is gone. Remember, the best way to avoid conflict/attacks is not to be there.
Attack is immanent.
The Confrontation and what to do:
You’ve done everything you could to avoid this confrontation, but the unleashed animal attacks anyways. If the animal isn’t accompanied by a human, we suggest not waiting to find out, and assume the approaching animal is dangerous. We suggest spraying the animal before it gets close enough to attack in the first place. If “Idiot” refuses to get their animal under control tell them you will spray their animal if he/she comes any closer, and follow thru. Do Not put your hands or face between the animals. Use your pepper spray/squirt gun/water spray bottle to break up the fight. Yell, stomp your feet and/or clap your hands to try to startle the animals. Hopefully, onlookers will come to help. If you plan to be in a secluded area, you should always have a second person with you to help in the event of an attack. Sometimes no matter what you do, an attack is immanent. As soon as the attack is over and the animals have been separated, check Fluffy/Fido for injuries and get to your VET. Remember to take photos of both animals and any injuries. Be sure to get at least one good clear photo of the attacking animal. Report the attack to the authorities and locate the owner of the attacking animal. Legally, they are responsible for any damages due to their negligence (ie; not keeping their animal leashed, confined and/or under their control).
I’s leashed up with mine’s harness on and all legal.
Attacks are never fun and can be avoided more often than not when we all follow the law. But remember, as long as your animal is leashed and under your control, the law is on your side. While you could care less during an attack, the end result is that the unleashed animal’s owner is liable financially for any damages suffered due to the attack. They are liable for any VET bills, doctor’s bills, lost wages, and other damages depending on your local government’s laws. Make Them Pay. Sometimes the only way “Idiots” learn is when it costs them. We will also add that while the thought of hurting any animal makes mommy cringe, she says to use anything at your disposal to stop an attack, such as a cane, stick, flashlight or whatever else you might have on hand. Again, legally, you’re in the right. While that knowledge won’t help your conscience, you don’t want your fur baby to be mortally injured. Mommy says when it comes to protecting us, she’s a momma lioness and would kill to keep us safe.
Me’s obeyin’ the leash laws and purrtectin’ me’s self by bein’
strapped into me’s stroller.
Well we hope this has helped a bit. We truly wish everypawdy obeyed the laws so there weren’t any attacks in the furst place. An animal who has been attacked can offen become fearful or aggressive themselves. We have written Tips fur helping kitty/doggy with fear/aggression here and here. Be sure to get your questions or topic suggestions in by leaving a comment or sendin’ us an e-mail. And don’t furget to check out the other topics we’ve already covered on our Training Tips and Everything Feline page in our menu. We’re also joinin’ the Feline Furiday blog hop.
Welcome to another Service Cat Monday. Grab your coffee, tea, coke (soda pop) or whatever your purrfered drink is and pull up a chair. Today we’re gonna be lookin’ at leash trainin’ and basic commands from a different purr-spective. Befur we move on tho’, we’d like to reiterate a sentiment from our last Service Cat Monday posty. After readin’ some of the comments, we wondered ifin some had actually read the post?. So again, THERE IS NO BAD CAT!!! CATS DO NOT ACT OUT OF SPITE!!! NOT ALL CATS OF A SPECIFIC COLOR PATTERN ACT THE SAME WAY!!!
Now, as with all our Service Cat Monday postys, the followin’ will be written in human English fur translator and reader ease. Our posts are not meant to be a step by step trainin’ manual, as trainin’ is all ‘bout Repetition and Rewards. Our posts consist of Tips, Tricks and Techniques used/or developed by mommy throughout her many years of trainin’ animals, cats in purr-ticular. Ifin you’ve missed any of the posts in this series, you can ketch up by clickin’ the links at the bottom of this or any Service Cat post.
MeOW, Our disclaimer seems to get longer and longer each week?. Anyways, we got a question from a puppy owner that we felt needed to be addressed before the puppy became a full grown untrained/misbehaving dog. The question was: “How do you train a puppy/dog to heel while on crutches or in a wheelchair? How do you keep said puppy/dog from running into the wheelchair’s wheels and getting tangled up?” Being disabled and using a cane/wheelchair herself, mommy realized she had been remiss in dealing with training issues for a fairly large part of the population; the disabled. Mommy says you don’t realize how tricky every day living can be when you lose a basic ability/motor function. The whole world is set up for fully functional people. However, as medicine improves, both humans and animals are living longer. And, as technology advances, there becomes more ways people can have accidents and/or become disabled, even if only temporarily; such as after a surgery. Fur the purr-puss of this post, we’re assuming kitty or doggy is already trained to wear a harness or collar with a leash attached. If not, please see our post “Getting Kitty Ready for an Outing”.
Just because someone is disabled doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be able to have a pet. That being said, All kittens and puppies need some basic training. As anyone who has ever had their life blest with a kitten or puppy knows, they are full of energy and into everything. It’s the nature of youth. For their safety and yours, they need to learn the rules and at least a few basic commands. Before we proceed, we’d like to remind everyone that there are often puppy classes offered for free or a small fee by some of the local pet stores or humane societies. These classes help you bond with puppy and learn how to teach them to sit, stay, heel and usually a few tricks, along with socialization techniques. These classes are usually very beneficial, and you can find out what’s offered in your area by calling around or looking online. Your VET might even be a great resource in finding a puppy class.
But, let’s say the classes didn’t work for you; or due to your disability or lack of classes in your area, you need to train puppy yourself. And of course, everybody knows, there are few if any kitten training classes; so training kitty is all up to you. We stated last week, that one should NEVER walk a puppy or kitten while on crutches. That’s an accident waiting to happen. Crutches are very often a temporary situation, so we would highly recommend having someone else walk puppy until you’re off the crutches or at the very least can get by with a cane. Clicker training is very effective for puppies and dogs, and even some cats. Before you start training, you need to decide which Reward system you want to use. Mommy highly recommends “Love Rewards” because it’s simple and you don’t have to remember to have treats on you all the time.
Raena in a “Sit & Stay”
Because we don’t recommend walking a kitten/puppy while on crutches, we’re not even going to address it further. However, if you’re on a cane or in a wheelchair, there’s no reason you can’t train a kitten or puppy to behave properly. Of course you want to start with the “Scent Me Up” game with kittens, and you can even do it with puppies. They don’t have the same scent glands, but will enjoy the time and love you spend with them. The next step is “Sit”. If using treats as rewards, show the animal the treat, let them sniff it and then say “Sit”. Move the treat over the animals head. As the treat moves further back, the animal should respond by sitting and tilting their head to follow the treat. Have them hold that position for 5 seconds before giving them the treat. DO NOT give the treat if puppy/kitty stands back up; instead, start over from, the beginning. If you choose “Love Rewards”, move the empty hand over the animal’s head and after 5 seconds slowly drop the hand to pet the animal and tell them how good they are/proud you are/how much you love them, etc.. If the behind doesn’t go down, gently push the animal’s behind down with your free hand as your other hand goes over the head, while saying “Sit”. Repeat these steps until kitty/puppy sits every time.
The next step is “Stay”. While the animal is sitting, put your hand in front of their face and say “Stay”. Don’t leave the room, but walk a few feet away while repeating “Stay”. After 5 seconds, reward kitten/puppy and continue to repeat until “Sit and Stay” are performed every time. “Heel” is basically the “Sit and Stay” command performed together while on a walk, where the animal sits by your feet. However, if you’re in a wheelchair, you don’t want kitty/puppy by the wheels where they can get tangled up and choke or get run over. We recommend a retractable leash so the animal can get far enough in front of you in order to avoid the leash getting caught in the wheels (3 to 4 feet should be sufficient to keep the animal safe and allow you to have control of the animal). Mommy also prefers the animal to walk in front of a cane as well. This will help keep the animal from winding around the cane and tripping you. Anytime the animal gets excited and runs back to you, STOP and repeat the “Sit and Stay” command. Mommy prefers the animal to “Sit and Stay” directly in front of your feet or the foot rest on a wheelchair. Again, this keeps the animal away from the cane or wheels. Don’t forget to offer Rewards and then begin your walk again. Remember to Reward any successful walk.
When starting the walk, Do Not allow kitty/doggy to rush out the door, but Do let them calmly exit in front of you. Start at the door with the “Sit and Stay” command and then say, “Walk”. This of course only works if you’re on a cane or an electric wheelchair. If you’re in a manual wheelchair, we don’t recommend walking an untrained kitten/puppy. Unless you have help, we would highly recommend adopting an older kitten/puppy that already has some experience with basic commands and walking on a leash. If you’re in a manual wheelchair, you’ll need to get an appropriate lead harness that can be tethered to the frame of the wheelchair. This is not a first time training harness! Puppy should already be comfortable walking on a leash and performing the “Sit and Stay” commands because it is hands free and you have very little actual control over the animal. DO NOT expect any cat, small dog or puppy to be able to pull you in the wheelchair. But, this type of harness will allow the dog to walk safely in front of you while allowing you to keep your hands free to propel the chair forward yourself. The above link is just an example. We’ve not used or tried the harness and therefor cannot endorse it.
Well, we’re gonna wrap it up. We do hope this helps some of you. Being disabled doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy pet ownership, you just have to be more aware of the added dangers to you and your pet. Take precautions to keep your pet safe around any medical equipment you might have while making sure they’re comfortable with it. We know this post was more tailored to the doggies, but as you can see from the fotos, more and more kitties are goin’ fur walks these days, so we hope to hear some of you kitties are enjoyin’ your leash time with your humans. We’ll be addressin’ some aggression issues next week, so stay tuned. And ifin you have any trainin’ questions, general questions, or suggestions, leave them in the comments or send us an email. And ‘member, ifin you’ve missed any of our Service Cat Monday postys you can ketch up by clickin’ the links below.
(Mommy A checks the progress of the new AeroGarden and the lettuce pods she had “planted” earlier. Seeing some sprouts, she took the plastic caps off of a few pods and turned to speak to Dezi and Raena who were closely supervising everything.)
Now girls, I know you both had a good time playing with the last pods we planted. But, this is my lettuce, and I plan to eat all of these when they get big enough. So, leave them alone. You can watch them, and sniff them, but no pullin’ the pods out, and no eating the leaves. Okay?
(Dezi and Raena look at mommy, the garden and then each other.)
Raena, did you hear what mommy said? She told you to leave the garden alone.
Uh, I’s heard her mention both of us sissy. Besides, I’s never took a bite outta anythin’, that was you.
Me only took a bite of what mommy said me could. And it wasn’t very tasty, so that doesn’t count. Come on, let’s go play with our toys. It’s so pretty and warm outside, maybe we can talk mommy into a stroll or two.
A stroll? Now that sounds like fun. Is it spring already sissy?
Nope. Me knows it looks and feels like it, what with the weather bein’ in the 80’s on Monday, and high 70’s so far this week, but mommy says that means we’re fixin’ to get hit with some really bad, cold weathers.
Well at least we’ve got the new ‘lectric blankey.
Yep, we sure are blest.
Can I’s help ya’ there O?
Hey sissy, did you see that O came back? Mommy was so relieved. They did some kitchen cleanin’ the other day to get ready fur the inspection today. He pulled everythin’ outta one of the kitchen cabinets so mommy could rearrange some stuffs and make it easier fur her to reach that pawsum food awnty Anonymous and awnty Cindy sent her. While he had everythin’ pulled out I’s got in the cabinet to play. I was havin’ me a good ole time. And ya’ know what? O was so nice. He didn’t get mad at me, he just asked me to get out so he could put stuffs back in. He even used mines name. He didn’t pull that ole here kitty kitty nonsense.
Yep, me heard him Raena. Me’s always wondered what self respectin’ kitty would actualy answer to here kitty kitty. Lessen it’s their name of course. And there ain’t nuffin’ wrong with that, but we’ve been blest with a mommy and names. Me don’t even know what that here kitty kitty means.
I’s don’t either sissy. Ya’ know, mommy’s case worker used to sit here and holler here kitty kitty all the time. I’s don’t know who she thought she was talkin’ too, cuz nopawdy in our house is named that. Then she’d try to pet me and say things like purretty kitty or good kitty. Hmmpht I’s just always walked off. I’s figgered she had me confused with one of her other peeps kitties, cuz mines name is Raena or RaenaBelle.
Yeah, me knows Raena. That’s one of the reasons me just takes a nap when she’s here.
Oh sissy, I’s almost furgot. Did you see mines new harness? Awnty Vonda sent mommy some green papers and told her to get me a new harness that would fit cuz I’s outgrew mines furst one. We even got a matchin’ leash. Isn’t it cool? I’s feel like a little tigress in it.
Hey Raena, you be lookin’ spiffy in your new harness.
Reckon me could try it on somtime?
Me saw it Raena. It’s made a little on the large side, so mommy says me might even be able to wear it. Me hasn’t tried it on yet, but it is nice. Me really likes the leash too.
Mommy says I’s’ll grow into it. It fits purrfectly ‘round the neck, but is a bit loose ‘round mines body. Mommy says I’s long and tall, but I’s’ll fill out in time just like you. I’s sure do fank you awnty Vonda, fur mines new harness and leash. I’s luvs it. We did have to buy it ourselves, but just in case any of ya’ are lookin’ fur a really well made harness fur your cats, ya’ might wanna check out the Kitty Holster. Unlike most harnesses that be made to fit doggies, these are specifically designed with the feline shape in mind. ‘Course they do have some fur doggies, chickens and rabbits too. They even make diapers, and chastity belts. I’s not know what that last one is, but mommy says most peeps will.
Let’s wrap it up Raena. We’ve got that inspection comin’ up today and the exterminator’s comin’ too. And O’s s’posed to be here this afternoon, so it’s gonna be a purretty busy day. And then mommy has her regular monthly doctor’s ‘pointment tomorrow. Things sure are hoppin’ ‘round here, and me doesn’t mean you Raena. Fankfully, you’ve not tried to hit your head on the ceilin’ again fur days now. Mommy’s so happy ‘bout that. MOL We hope you all have a pawsum day.
Well Meowllo, it’s time fur another Service Cat Monday. Can me be completely and totally honest with ya’? Yes? Good. We’ve only had the wheelchair workin’ again fur a couple of days. And durin’ those days mommy was hurtin’ purretty bad from head to toe; so she didn’t even put Raena in the chair once. Now me knows we told ya’ that mommy had intentions of trainin’ sis Raena to drive, and that we would chronicle it on Service Cat Monday. But havin’ fell on Thursday and with so much to do this week, mommy hasn’t even thought about trainin’ something new.
We hope you can furgive us. We plan to be back on track next week. Mommy told me that she actually thought about takin’ this week off cuz we had so much goin’ on. But we told her, that we had the bestest furiends in the universe and that you’d all understand.
Fankfully the snow has melted and the sun is shining. Mommy and Raena will be headin’ to mommys’ regular monthly doctors ‘pointment today, so they’ve gotta start getting’ ready shortly. Paws crossed, Raenas’ harness still fits. She has gained a few pounds. MOL
We haven’t decided who’s gonna get to go with mommy to that dental exam on Wednesday, but we’ll let ya’ know. Since Raena’s still in trainin’, she should be the one to go. But, the dentist is in the Wally World town, and me wants to go. What do ya’ll think? Should we toss a coin? Draw straws? How would you decide?
It’s simple sissy. You’ve gone everywhere with mommy fur 7 years, so now it’s mines turn.
Hmmmmpht That doesn’t make any difference. Maybe this should have been our Service Cat Monday posty; How to decide which Service Cat to take to town. What do ya’ll think? We’re gonna wrap it up now so mommy can get ready. We’ll be by to visit as soon as we can.