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.
Meowllo and welcome to Service Cat Monday. On Monday’s we answer your training questions and tackle topics associated with Service Cats and their training. As with all our educational postys da followin’ will be in human English. And ifin you’ve missed any of da posts in this series purrlease click on da linkys at da bottom of this post. Ifin you have any questions purrlease leave them in da comments or email us via our contact page. Our post today is all ‘bout gettin’ emergency help to our disabled handler/mommy. Awnty Katie and Katie Kat of Katies Furry Mews asked, “How do you train a kitty to dial 911?” So let’s get right into it.
Mommy says, Purrlease remember, our training posts are not intended to be a complete blueprint for your training. These posts are merely tips and tricks mommy has developed over many years of animal training. Mommy adopts a positive method of training closest to the animals true nature. You must always be realistic in your expectations, and never ask more of any animal than said animal is capable of performing. Training is Consistency and Repetitive.
First up you’re gonna need some old fashioned supplies. Our training is ever evolving, but mommy still hasn’t figured out a way to train a cat to dial using a cell phone. If a cell phone is all you have and you’re not worried about being incapacitated, then you can train kitty to bring you the phone, but at this point and time, there’s no conceivable way to train a kitty to use a cell phone. For all of you who just said, “My cat plays games, or My cat can take a selfie, or I’ve seen lots of videos of cats playing with cell phones;” we would say, those phone are already unlocked and the app opened for them. So, you’re going to need a landline with at least basic local and 911 service. We have magic jack and pay one low rate each year for unlimited calling anywhere in the U.S. and Canada. The phone can be corded or cordless but should have a speaker phone feature. This is a typical feature on most phones these days. If you’re using a cordless phone, make sure to attach the belt clip to the phone so kitty will have something to pick the phone up with.
So you have your phone and are ready to train kitty. Make sure you have implemented the bonding exercise discussed in our Training Foundation post. You must make the phone fun for kitty. Use the speakerphone option when talking on it. Let kitty sniff and paw at the phone. Do Not let kitty chew on the cords. If there’s an answering machine, let it answer calls. All these things will cause kittys’ interest to be peaked. Once kitty is comfortable with the phone, you can begin training. First you’ll want kitty to turn on the speakerphone. Put kittys’ paw on the speakerphone button and gently press down while saying, “Call for help, or Emergency”. Repeat this step while gradually calling for kitty to come and press the speakerphone button even when kitty’s nowhere near the phone.
As me said, our training is always evolving; so mommy now uses a preset emergency button instead of the old dialing of 911. All phones allow numbers to be programmed in for the speed dial option. Mommy recommends using the number 1 spot for 911 programing. Typically all one needs to do to complete a speed dial call is to press the assigned number and the speakerphone button. So this step cuts down kitty having to learn 4 pushes to only 2. It’s easier for large pawed animals. It also lessens the chance of accidental number pushes by large paws. When you are ready to train kitty to dial 911, DISCONNECT the phone from the jack. It’s a crime to call 911 without having an actual emergency. And it takes away valuable time and resources from those who have an emergency. So let’s get on with it.
Gently push kittys’ paw on the number 1 and then speakerphone while saying, “Call help”. Repeat this step daily for 10 to 15 minutes in the morning and night. That means kitty will get two training sessions a day. Once kitty can successfully push the buttons by themselves, reprogram the number with a friend or family member who can assist you with the next step. Ask kitty to call for help. When your friend or family member answers the phone, they should say, “911 what’s your emergency.” This will get kitty used to having someone answer their call and let them know what they’ll be hearing. Since you are pre-programming the number, you can choose who your emergency contact is. You might prefer a family member over 911. Whoever your choice, just make sure the number is programmed in so that it’s easy for kitty to remember. Always reward kitty with lots of praise and extra love during training sessions.
When kitty proves to be consistent with their calling for help, check with your local dispatchers for a less busy and stressful time to actually call them so kitty can get the full experience. Check with your local phone company and/or emergency dispatchers to see if they can add instructions to your number for emergency dispatch. When our number comes up on 911 calls, it says to send an ambulance if there’s no response or just meows. Remember training is all about consistency and repetitiveness. Calling for help isn’t something kitty will have to do often, so you must maintain kittys knowledge and ability with continued training. And remember to always reward kitty with lots of praise and extra love during training. You’ve got to keep it fun and rewarding for kitty.
Well that’s it in a nut shell. How long it takes depends on your kitty and whether or not you are committed and consistent. And how successfully you implement mommys Training Foundations. We’re runnin’ outta questions to answer, so ask what you will and we’ll give it our bestest answer. Next week we’ll be dealin’ with our shower duties, so stay tuned. In da meantime, have a pawsum day.
Is there something specific you would like to train your kitty or doggy to do?
Would you want your kitty or doggy to answer the phone?
Well meowllo and welcome to another installment of our Service Cat Picking and Training Series. As with all our educational postys this will be written in da human English. Altho’ we will give you tips fur training and will post about RaenaBelle’s training, our posts are not intended to be an all encompassing training manual. Training is tedious and repetitious and doesn’t happen overnight, so keep that in mind befur you decide to take on the training of a Service cat. Ifin you missed any part of this series you can ketch up by clicking on the links below.
Now we got a few questions we would like to answer. And we also want to say thank you for your questions. The first question we want to address is the age of the kitten we started with. Several of you mentioned that particular breeders don’t let kittens go to their furever homes till they’re around 16 weeks old. That’s fine. The age doesn’t matter so long as training begins the moment the kitten is in your home. Mommy starts the scent me up game as soon as she picks the kitty up. We chose a younger age because that’s what we’re working with and when adopting from shelters one often finds kittens under the age of 12 weeks old. We will say the younger the kitten is, the quicker the kitten will adjust to your schedule and lifestyle. But don’t let the age of the kitten or cat dictate everything. The most important factor is the bond you develop or already have with the kitten/cat.
Now, the next question we want to answer is: How much will the new kitten pick up from the resident Service Cat (ie: me, Dezi. cuz it was asked specifically about us) If like us, you already have one Service cat, they will be a huge help in the training of the new Service cat. Like children, kittens want to emulate the older cat.
An example of this: Raena can smell the chemical changes in mommy’s body before a syncope incident, and by watching me alert mommy to sit down, causes her to want to do the same. So the next time she smells that change, she knows she should take action. It’s like clicker training if you will; it’s like the clicker going off telling her to respond. We also need to clear up some confusion about Syncope. Syncope is a fancy medical term for passing out/losing consciousness. Mommy DoesNot have seizures of any kind. There are several reasons that mommy passes out, and she tries to avoid those that are caused by actions, but she does have to continue to live. Those times that are not caused by actions are just unavoidable, so having an alert is very helpful. Mommy says it’s so nice not to find herself on the floor and all bruised up or with a crowd of people all around blocking her air.
The last thing we want to talk about today is Kitty Massage. DO NOT DECLAW KITTY!!! Please know we are Not passing judgement as mommy had done it in the past when she was young and ignorant. BUT, it’s not necessary. A lot of you talk about how your cats like to “make biscuits”. Kneading is as natural to a cat as purring, and can be focused and trained for massage. Altho’ Ragdolls are known to be soft pawed, we can still get excited and the claws will come out. So mommy needs to train us to keep those claws in. We massage her head and body everyday. And yes, Raena is already learning to focus her kneading to specific areas. Altho’ she’s smart and tried to massage mommy’s head her first day here. As training progresses with Raena, we will try to get better photos. Altho’ some photos will never be taken because of the circumstances surrounding the trained behavior. We will of course inform you of those times.
Anyways, with kitty on your lap or laying next to you, initiate the kneading process. You know what gets your kitty to knead. Mommy generally uses cooing and petting. It’s that sweet talk to kitty telling them how much she loves us and how pretty we are, etc. That gets us going everytime. At first kitty generally keeps their claws in. It’s once they get a little excited that the claws start coming out. Mommy quietly says “ouch” and gently taps kitty’s paw with one finger only and says “No Claws”. This is repeated until the claws are retracted. It’s important that you not scream, jump, hit or get frustrated. When kitty retracts, mommy says how much she loves us and how blest she is to have us and what a great job we do. Eventually, kitty will learn to keep the claws in and the kneading becomes more of a pushing instead of the traditional push and pull. Once this behavior is learned you can start to focus it on specific areas. We’ll talk more about that in a future post.
You’ve all been waiting to see our patty cake game photos. Sorry it’s not great, but here it is.
Me’s gonna wrap it up now. We hope we’ve answered your questions. Purrlease leave any additional questions in da comments; or ifin we didn’t answer your question clearly let us know. We don’t know what or how much you all want to read here, so we’re just kind of playing it by ear. Altho’ mommy has started Raena’s training, she’s still to small for a lot of things. She can learn massage at her current size and learn to obey (come when called, stay, lay, be quiet, etc.) and to alert, but not much else. So let us know if there are specifics you’re interested in hearing about. Now, mommy’s case manager is comin’ by today. And da girl mommy was gonna hire to help her ‘round da house fell thru so we’s gotta run some more ads; so we’ll be by to visit as soon as we can.
Are you (humans: have you) trained to do anything particular?