Calling And Hygiene Training Techniques For Domesticating Your Cat

Perhaps you’ve just come home with the new arrival, or your feline friend has grown from a cute, cuddly kitten to a full sized adult with claws and teeth. Training a cat is sometimes seen as a fool’s errand because unlike dogs, cats by their very nature are independent animals. They like to be alone, and just like their larger cousins lions, like to patrol their territory quite avidly and routinely so. It can be quite the challenge trying to domesticate a cat that you’ve recently bought because integration for cats takes longer than pack animals who are social creatures, like dogs. However, with a few simple steps, you can teach you cat to be obedient and comfortable in all situations that may have previously been stressful.

Training your cat to come to you 

Getting your cat to come to you is the first part of training your cat to know that you are the ruler of the roost. Cats unlike dogs, don’t always work to please their owner for the sake of it, and in fact, need an incentive in the form of something beneficial to them in order to cooperate. The first action should be to instill within the cat to align positivity with the sound of calling them. Food is the great reward and incentivises the cat to engage in the activity. It will take experimentation but find their favorite treat which they enjoy the most. If treats don’t work then use a toy or something used to pet them with like a cat brush

  • Establish a call, that will be word or sound used to bring your cat to you. Decide on something and stick to it, and don’t change it.
  • Stand a few feet apart from your cat and call it. It may not respond at all, but don’t lose hope. Keep calling until it looks directly at you.
  • You may find that making noise by tapping your leg or rustling the bag of treats will get his or her attention quite regularly.
  • As soon as the cat acknowledges your call and comes to you, immediately give the cat a treat, with gentle petting.
  • Stand up and walk away after a few seconds, and the repeat the process. This is to establish the call and treat with a positive reaction the cat expresses by coming to you wherever you are. Above all else, remember to be patient and be persistent.

Eventually, you should slowly wean your cat off the treats and instead reward with affectionate petting and confirming each other’s bond. It’s important to establish such a connection with your cat because one day the simple act of calling it might save its life. When your cat recognizes your call it may stop them from running out into the road, or perhaps stop a fight with another animal, preventing injury.

japanese-litter-box-in-use

Cats are able to be house trained to also go outside to toilet

Cats must be house trained just like dogs to avoid bad smells and general poor hygiene. If you live in a safe area and your cat is outdoors then training to also go to the toilet outside may make sense. Of course, the alternative is to buy a litter box, but having you still have a chore to clean it and refill the box; it may not eliminate bad smells either. It takes time to educate your cat and training him or her to be respectful of the home will be a lengthy training process with a learning curve that requires patience.

Decide on the specific area where you cat will go to the toilet. The could be a specific area is most likely going to be the garden. However, if you cat feels vulnerable out in the open, move the litter box into the bathroom near the toilet. You’ll need a variety of supplies to train your cat to go to the toilet in a sensible manner that transitions them from the litter box to outside in the garden.

  • When you think your cat needs to go to the toilet next time, gently pick them up and take them outside.
  • They may want to go back inside to go in the litterbox, so bring the box outside and place it in a secure spot, out of view of the majority of the garden.
  • Allow them to go in the litter box while you give them praise. After the cat has finished, gently pet them.
  • Start playing with toys in an attempt to reward them. The best reward is catnip as their senses go wild and the brain releases substantial amounts of pleasurable chemicals.
  • The best catnip for cats will improve their responses to your commands because catnip can be put into toys and used as a reward.
  • Use the catnip toys to encourage your cat outside and slowly transition him or her off the reliance of a litter box.
  • Eventually after multiple times, take the litter box away completely and allow the cat to walk around getting comfortable. Reassure it with gentle petting and give it treats and toys to play with. Naturally, your cat will have to go to the toilet, and it will be excreting or urinating on the grass or soil of the garden.
  • The cat will try to bury their waste by putting grass blades or soil over it because cats are very concerned about cleanliness. This obsessive compulsive disorder stems from their ancient need to mark territory using their pheromones only.

cat-in-the-garden

When your cat is learning to be domesticated, it will often feel nervous and very tense. As the owner, try to be understanding and provide care and give your pet confidence by not making sudden moves or loud noises. Be as patient as you can because what you’re training the cat to do is sometimes against their instinct and building up trust is one key factor in maintaining a healthy relationship. The use of toys and treats cannot be overstated as your calls and affection won’t be enough because as mentioned before cats are often seen as solitary animals and may find it hard to do as you ask them. It’s a challenge to try and balance the normal behavior the cat possesses with fully house trained practices, but much like a dog, the cat will get used to willfully going outside if it connects doing so with a positive experience.

The end of Semester 2

Today’s Diary Entry is sponsored by CarPet Best Pet Hair Remover

Well I’ve just finished semester 2 of vet school, now its just for exams and then I’ll have finished my first year of vet school! It’s still not really sunk in though I am looking at the lists of stuff we should know for our exams and having a moment of “how did we manage to cover all that?”. I’ve also managed to get some part time work over the summer to help with my tuition costs which I am glad about, my only problem is that there are just 24 hours in a single day.

In the next week I’ve got to catch up on my missed anatomy & histology tests from where I attended BSAVA Congress, and then the Monday after I start my finals with Latin. This is something I am not looking forward to as I really struggle with written latin as I am dyslexic so am going just give it my best shot! After that I have my Anatomy 1 final which is on the musculoskeletal system (aka all the bones, muscles and ligaments of different animals) and all the interspecies differences… This is the massive pile that I need to memorise for it!

Luckily I just need the muscles, ligaments and bones from the two big books, however one of the biggest test questions is asking what the differences are between animals. This is especially true of the skull which is composed of 17 parts with each having differences between species some of which are obvious in the shape of the head and others not so obvious with differences in the canals that the nerves and vessels lie in. Then there are differences with the muscles as different animals have different lengths of neck etc.

After this I have my Veterinary Genetics exam scheduled for the 6th June which is another big exam where I will be random asked 3 questions from a possible 80 covering different topics from dog coat colors through to the legislation for selecting which males to breed from! Its something that I find interesting however the amount of information that needs to be memorised here is absolutely staggering with the amount of different genetic diseases!

Hopefully after this exam is done I will have a bit more free time and so can write more diary posts which have been suffering with my current workload!

Selective Breeding and what it takes to be an AI Sire… (Day 88)

UVM Kosice Campus Snowy and Deserted

The only lecture I had today was Genetics this afternoon as Milk Hygiene is finished pending the exam and there was no power on campus this morning because they were doing work on the mains. Campus today was looking very nice yet was practically deserted when I arrived for the lecture…

UVM Kosice Campus Snowy and DesertedTodays lecture was on health and disease according to genetics, starting with looking at the Simple and Multifactorial causes of genetic diseases before then moving onto Health Hereditary Care (HHC).

To understand why HHC is important we need to consider how genetics are managed now. Previously where dairy farms each had their own bull (which is a dangerous animal to keep and work with!) many farms now use artificial insemination. Artificial Insemination (AI) is safer, faster and also gives the benefit of widening the gene pool as semen can be collected the other side of the world to be used if necessary. The question is how do you know that the animal that donated this semen doesn’t carry a genetic disease? This is where HHC comes in, and most countries have very strict legislation here, this can be based on four basic principles:

  • Phenotypic (physical) expression of the disease
  • Pedegree Analysis
  • Health Status of the Progeny (children)
  • Cytogenetic and DNA tests

The downside to genetics is that it is just not the sire that needs to be tested, but for the offspring as well for a minimum of at least two generations (some diseases skip a generation).

Within the Czech Republic and Slovakia the HHC testing is based upon the health status of the progeny, this means that breeding of a test group of animals (this is usually 1000 animals) is required. These then need to be grown on to sexual maturity and a second group inseminated to test for diseases that skip a generation This not only takes time (in cows gestation is around 9 months, plus 2 years for sexual maturity) so this process takes around 4 years before the collected semen can be used in production animals.

During this testing the fertility of the semen is checked, offspring for genetic diseases and fertility, and the pregnancy and delivery of the calves are monitored. The semen is then graded on a scale of C – A depending on the outcome of this.

  • C – Is pretty bad with lots of problems in pregnancy and with diseases in the calves. The sire is not used for AI and the offspring are sent to slaughter
  • B – The sire is acceptable to be used as a father for non-breeding stock only
  • A – The sire is breeding standard, and progeny is suitable for further development of the breeding line

One of the most important things that I have taken away from this is the great responsibility that vets have. When looking at this testing it is important to consider the entire population and not just a single animal, and the wording used when reporting is also crucial. Neglecting the word “suspected” when dealing with a uncomfirmed animal with a genetic disease can send a thousand animals to slaughter unnecessarily.

With that week 12 has ended, I have one more week of lessons remaining, and just weeks left to find the tuition that I need to raise to continue in vet school. Please if you can help, whether it is just £1 of more, please do! You can make a one off donation on the right of the page or set up a monthly donation securely by paypal. If you want to do a bank transfer or direct debit please contact me for banking details.