Archive for the ‘Children and Animals’ Category

Animals are Angels of Comfort (Part 2)


As of today, I have been working at my local animal shelter for nine months. I have only missed one day of work so far this year. My responsibilities include sanitizing the main cat room, cat shed and cat roaming room.

In addition I clean dishes, sweep and mop the cat room floors, and take out the cat room trash. On rare occasions I clean the dog kennels to stay updated on the cleaning method. I work all days of the week, four hours a day. My goal for the next year is to obtain a full time working position. If I was to be earn a full time working position, I would acquire several more responsibilities such as; answering phone calls, adopting out animals, talking to customers and giving basic vaccinations.

I have communicated to my boss that I am eager to go full time and that I am completely open to learning all that is necessary for me to be successful as a full time worker. So far I have been taught to do several basic tasks that an assistant would do in a veterinary hospital and some basic paper work.

Last week I administered a cat Corid (a substance that prevents infection by a single-celled protozoa called coccidia). I was permitted to draw the liquid out of the bottle, measure it, and administer it orally to a cat that was sick with toxicity. I also very recently had the privilege to give a cat a shot. It was a new experience to me. I did not poke myself or the boss, and I did get it in, I just pushed a little too hard. In the next few months I will get it down. Practice makes perfect.

One part of my job that I prize most preciously is my role as cat volunteer trainer. I train all new volunteers and community service individuals that are assigned to clean the cat section. I take this role very seriously. I make sure that all the windows are void of any snot or cat litter, the sides and bottom are clean, and the cage gate washed of any feces. Food and water bowls are sprayed and cleaned thoroughly with mint disinfectant and paper towels. Cat toys or accessories are placed back in the same cage. Litter boxes are scooped of urine and feces, completely being swapped out if the litter box is too filthy to be used again.

Covers are evaluated on their overall condition. If covers are covered in tons of cat hair, urine or feces, the cover is completely replaced. If the cover is in decent condition then it can be reused (this is good for a new cat who depends on scent for comfort). While inoculations such as the FVRCP (rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, panleukemia) are effective in containing the disease, immunity is never one-hundred percent.

It is also important that precautions are followed to avoid contamination. The DHLPPC (the dog six-way vaccine) covers distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parvovirus, Para influenza, and coronavirus. And with as many dogs that catch the parvovirus every year, the vaccine is vital for puppies.

I often capitalize on the idea that cats need to be handled in the way they prefer – not the way we prefer. (The same can go for dogs, though aggressive dogs do need to be handled in a way that ultimately protects the person handling them.) I show people the handling method that is most comfortable to the cat, and least likely to elicit an injury as a result of miscommunication.

This method implies that the cat is carried out hindquarters first so that they are not introduced to a new environment too fast. I enforce sanitation rules strictly. Upper respiratory infections in cats are commonly spread by fomites and by air. A fomite is any inanimate object that can hold an infectious agent.

I have come up with a ping pong method to assure sanitizer use, and to make certain that proper protocols are followed. I place ping pong balls on all the sanitizer bottles and monitor them. If the balls are removed then the bottles are being used. If the balls are not removed, I say something. I also make sure that the animals are treated fairly. It is my obligation to speak up when someone doesn’t respect the animals or does not clean a cage properly.

I am appreciative that I am trusted with cleaning the feral cat cages. Feral cats and cats that are brought in by animal control are kept in the cat shed. After seven days the cats are moved inside for a health check and then placed into adoption.

If no room is present, and the cat is healthy, they are placed in isolation cages until room is available in the adoption room. Since I constantly brush up on cat behavior, I can accurately judge how a cat is going to react based on a specific situation.

I normally survey the cat’s behavior (eyes, tail, and body gestures) and I make a cleaning decision based on the overall message. If the cat is scared and anxious, I clean the cage with the cat in it for the first week. The first few times I move the cat I place my hand over the cat’s eyes so that they get used to be moved one step a time. If the cat is indeed feral or wild, I clean the cage with the cat in it at all times.

Feral cats can be dangerous if they get loose. I wear a pair of gloves and use a steel bar to pull the food bowl, water bowl, and litter box towards the opening of the cage. I continue to pull the tray out from under the cat so that it can be sanitized. When removing the bowls and litter box, it is important that I proceed with caution.

I sanitize the tray, clean and fill the bowls, clean the litter box, and set up a new cover on the tray. I insert the tray back into the cage and use the rod to push it all the way to the back. Quickly, I set the litter box and bowls in the front of the cage.

For cages on the top that have no supports, the tray cannot be easily as removed and various tactics can be utilized to clean the cage without removing or upsetting the cat. The steel rod is a very useful tool when used humanely. In fact, it is a good idea to rub your scent on it and slowly pet the cat after time has been allotted for the cat to acclimate.

I am not talking about a huge rod; I am talking about a very skinny one that has a small, dull hook specifically made for pulling small objects. While a majority of the cats are more scared than anything, safety has to be assured for myself as well as the cats. When cats show signs of being more sociable and even allowing a basic petting session, efforts are made to adopt out the cat.

I have actively been taking pictures of all the adoptable cats, and a friend of mine snaps pictures of the dogs. I created a Facebook page for this purpose. Since starting this page and posting pictures, more animals are getting adopted and more people are becoming aware about adoption opportunities.

The humane society Facebook page has garnered over two-hundred members and three thousand weekly page views since the initial creation of the page in October of 2011. We have also erected a cat roaming room which houses multiple cats in an effort to get them adopted faster. The cat roaming room is made up of a rocking chair; several screen doors and a window, and several tiered shelves for effective cat roaming and exploration. Cats in the cat roaming room are sterilized before being placed into the cat roaming room.

Recently I have decided to end job coach services. Job coach services were becoming undesirable and awfully redundant, so I cut the service. While their interest was focused on my development I feel that they were under the impression that I needed a lot more help than what was really called for. Since I have terminated services, I have surpassed several road blocks. Some of the challenges I have faced include but are not limited to: expressing my opinions about cat behavior, talking to coworkers about problems, talking to my boss about my ideas, and so on. I still have life coach services which were implemented to teach me to cook and drive. This is still in development and I am working towards moving out on my own eventually down the line, so wish me luck!

Haven’t read the first part? Click here.

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Animals are Angels of Comfort (Part 1)

I work at the Northeast Missouri Humane Society here at Hannibal, Missouri. Despite having autism, I have volunteered there for two years. In the time I have spent there I have befriended countless feline, canine, and human friends. After graduating high school, I was offered a part time job. My job entails that I clean all the cat cages and dog cages, socialize animals, and help steer unwanted behavior in an effort to get more animals adopted. But my life hasn’t always been filled with happiness and success. Having lived with aspergers for eight years and having experienced abuse, I know the feeling of being alone and undermined in a world that seems to just spin on by. When I first voyaged out to be someone, anxiety and doubt shrouded my mind and I was completely clueless on what to do. Unless you are a paragon of confidence, the feeling ebbs at you like frost through leaf.

While a big part of elementary school impacted my life, middle and high school were probably the biggest stressors of all. On the first day of middle school my foster dad had just died and my mom was recovering from thyroid cancer. While I didn’t have a big attachment to my foster dad and I had been a victim of abuse, as well as many cats, it was such a hard hitter since he was changing over a new leaf prior to his death. We had to move multiple times due to a financial problem and foreclosure. Everyone was feeling the shock and it was a very sensitive time for me. At this point I did not fancy being socially active in middle school. I did not want any part of sports, class rooms, or discussion groups. Not only did students take part in embarrassing and tormenting me – teachers did as well. I was always picked on to give presentations, to stand up in front of the class, and answer questions on the chalk board.

I barely passed middle school with all D’s. Middle school did not improve, and as I made the transition to high school, I was scared. The feeling of being alone clawed at me. I was forced to participate in socially stressful situations such as gym and give oral presentations in English. And even though I had a disorder, they said that if I didn’t do then I would still fail. I was verbally abused and disliked by other students. My first year ended with attendance probation, a grade card full of f’s and a disappointed outlook on life. 10th grade was the year I dropped out – in the middle of the year. I did not see a light at the end of the dark tunnel, and there was no safety net to catch my fall.

The summer quickly crept up on me… I occupied my time by playing video games, chatting with friends, watching television. It was a teenager’s dream life. Half way through that summer year I found a new companion, and I named him Tiger – and F3 Bengal. It didn’t take long for the love affair to bloom. After spending a lot of time with Tiger and learning vitals about cat care and cat socialization, I dreamed about what it would be like to be a vet. This is where I came up with the idea of volunteering at the humane society. One week before school, my mom and Learning Opportunities really urged me to give school another try. They were trying to convince me that it was the only way to earn a good future. We talked about it, and deep into the conversation, my ambitions about working at the humane society popped up. The Learning Opportunities worker said it was a possibility if the high school agreed, and they did.

I returned to school only to expect the same abuse as last year. At the beginning of this year, I was pushed around and tormented like a rat in a labyrinth. People passed me in lunch lines, made up stories about me and got me in trouble, and often referred to me as a mute. The school allowed me to volunteer at the humane society for two hours a day and I enjoyed socializing the cats, but in honesty, I was quite lazy and did not even have the initiative to learn how to clean cages. I was still bummed out about not having many friends and not having good grades like everyone else. Every scintilla of my confidence was breaking apart. I barely made it through 11thgrade, almost dropping out two times throughout the year.

In 12th grade, I requested that the school allow me to work at the North East Humane Society for four hours a day, instead of two. My request was accepted. When I had decided to volunteer four hours, I was very pessimistic about the outcomes and had premonitions of failure. Since I was working four hours instead of two, I would have more responsibilities and obligations. The animals were depending on me to clean their cages, to socialize them, and find the best way to get them adopted. Carrying all this responsibility would be a big step up from socializing the cats and just lobbying around.

I started volunteering four hours a day at the humane society and it really boosted my confidence. Since I was doing four hours, I got to clean about five to ten cat cages a day and the other part I usually spent socializing and grooming the cats. I really loved grooming the cats. I volunteered until the end of school, and also joined the HSUS club at my high school where I helped in various fundraisers. I met a lot of friends and people that shared my interest in animal welfare in the HSUS group, and together we made a dramatic impact in the lives of the animals. I ended up passing high school with all A’s and B’s and with an attendance of over 95% on my senior year. On the last day of school I walked out with my diploma in one hand and my Northeast Missouri Humane Society club scholarship in the other!

After school, I was employed as a part time worker on behalf of learning opportunities. Being employed as a worker involved a lot more than when I was a volunteer. Being a worker involved sanitizing dog and cat cages, cleaning floors and windows, and taking out the trash as well as a few other tasks. I was very ecstatic to get started. The first task that I learned was to clean the cat cages the professional way. I was pushed to know everything about cleaning them; from sanitizing the food and water bowls all the way to proper glass cleaning and moving the cats. When I first attempted to clean a cage by myself without a staff member helping me out, I messed up the windows and faltered on returning the cats to the right cages. After much trial and error, I finally got the trend down to a tee and was able to sanitize the cages fast and effectively. Cleaning twenty cages as opposed to ten was a big step up – and moving cats was always a learning experience. The next month when I learned to clean all the dog cages, I made quite a few mistakes while changing the food and water. On top of all that, I did not even know how to use a hose.

Given a bit of instruction, I was taught to sanitize the dog cages almost flawlessly. I copied all the tasks that I had learned and executed them all excellently, with only a few mistakes here and there. In the beginning I was having panic attacks from talking. Now I found myself volunteering and talking to almost everyone there. The welfare of animals helped me regain my confidence. Helping animals find new homes and helping the humane society was akin to being king of the world.

It is hard to fathom that some people claim that volunteering at the humane society is a severe punishment. To me, it is a gathering of animal lovers to help the unlucky ones. While some people do not like volunteering and would rather be shoveling coal, there is one common that we all share regardless; Even if our life is soaring off, or crumbling apart, we all want our lives to be better. Animals don’t ask for much; to be fed, watered and to just have a loving family. In return, animals offer all the reassurance we could ever ask for. One vital thing I have learned is to never judge a shelter animal by their roots. Animals have most likely on one occasion, faced abuse or abandonment and need a home just like any other animal. Donating to a humane society or volunteering helps an astronomical amount.

Success does not arrive in a parcel overnight; rather it comes from hard work and devotion. The time I was in school seemed tantamount to three lifetimes, though in reality, it is not nearly as bad. I encourage everyone to find their calling and source of happiness. I have learned to stand up for myself now, and not let people run me over. Animals have done more than enough to show me that love is real, and that they care. I was never taught the basic tasks that most children were taught when they were young and for that, I had to work harder at the humane society to learn them. Trial and error really do make perfect.

Working at the humane society with the help of Loqw and Vocational Rehabilitation gave me the confidence I needed to succeed. I discovered that I actually have skills and knowledge that can be helpful in a work environment. The rewards that are reaped from securing a friendship with animals is special, and is one that intertwines more than humans can see with just their eyes. Do not think the smallest opportunity can’t make the difference – it can.

Ready to Read Part 2? Visit here.

Cats as Therapy Animals for Autistic Children: a Story of Trial and Success

When I was young, I noticed that something didn’t seem correct. Not in my world that is. I couldn’t speak to other people as easy as other individuals. Talking was as easy for other people as exhaling air. To me, talking was like learning to sky dive without a parachute. I also had a wild imagination and it worked against me in designing the worse outcome scenarios possible.

I had the ingrained thought that talking to someone would cause an emotion similar to drowning or that of the world crashing upon me.

From second grade all the way to the end of high school, I had many problems associated with communicating. I was unable to talk to people and walked with my arms to my side. Every time I attempted to talk or even had the thought of talking, I would shake with worry. What would people think about me? What if I stutter or fail to make a point? What if they hit me or hurt me? I had to walk down the halls with my hands fidgeting and hands cupped to avoid all communication.

The Real Pain Begins…

The symptoms didn’t really flare up until 6th grade. The beginning of middle school was really complicated due to the fact that my foster dad had just passed away. We had to relocate several times. During the duration of middle school I did very poor in my classes and played sick most of the time. If there was a social event going on, I would come up with a clever excuse not to go. I felt that no one would understand the way I was.

I had panic attacks, and I found it hard to breathe and to talk at times. My chest often felt as hard as a rock and I didn’t want to experience that. I had a lot of enemies and many people whom hated me for no reason. Even teachers made fun of me and that also lowered my confidence. I suspect it was because I was quiet and different. All this led up to attendance probation and my missing 50 days a year record.

After middle school, I decided I was going to go to high school. Ninth grade started out very bad. Since I was aspergic and did not necessary thrive on human communication, I had a multitude of problems in gym. Sure, it was only like basketball and softball. But by not being able to talk like other people discounted my confidence and even started to affect my physical shape and athletic ability. So I chose to not dress out and accepted the F – the same with art class. I had no confidence, so I gave no effort.

10th grade was the year that I dropped out and swore I would never return. The trouble was too much to bear. Mean students, rude teachers and complicated situations everywhere I went. You can only imagine how annoying it was in the lunch room, not being able to talk. In the summer of that year, I obtained Tiger, a Bengal cat who had graced my life. Tiger was a very friendly cat that often gave me company during troubling times and helped me though a few very difficult situations. I also met a lot of other affectionate animals and caring individuals who helped me.

My Introduction to Animals

11th grade was compared to all the previous years, better. I actually tried in some respects. I almost dropped out twice. One of the only things that kept me going on in school was the humane society volunteer program, and the support from several behavioral places. This program permitted me to volunteer at the humane society two hours a day from school. The volunteering counted for credit hours and went towards the credits needed for graduation.

I did not want to let the animals down. I always make sure that I give each cat a certain amount of time of play and love. Via the program, I had the opportunity to pet and play with cats, socialize them and train them. They really enjoyed it. I worked hard to steer their behavior, to understand their thinking and to help them adjust to not having a home and I tried to find them homes for them.

12th grade was the year that I got to volunteer four hours a day at the humane society. They extended my time for being a big animal lover! The next few months that followed, was rough but successful. I got all A’s and I got almost perfect attendance at school. I started feeling better about myself as a individual. Tiger often accompanied me and slept by my side to keep me company. Tiger would even sleep on my computer desk while I worked. My kitty companion and I would often play hide and go seek, and tag. Our favorite time was when we would play with the cat dancer. He can run fast!

Success!

I almost dropped out once in 12th grade also, but I made it. If it wasn’t for cats and inspiration from my family, I am almost certain it would have never happened. My mom and my job coaches helped in pushing me and my cats offered the leading line of support. I say that because their company made the difference. Sometimes we just need another understanding companion to spend time with us. Perhaps that is why cats are so good with autistic children; they are just there to understand. Not to judge, criticize or talk. Just to listen. Animals have succeeded where people have not.

It is now after high school and I have a job at my local humane society. I love spending the time with the cats. I have been making a major recovery from aspergers. The primary reason for my success is simple yet often not taught. I have not been trying to recover just for myself. I am trying to improve so that I can do a lot more for animals in the future. That goal requires that I communicate better. I find that when humans try to do things for themselves alone and not for the benefit for others, they are ten times as likely not to succeed. What’s more, it does not give us the confidence to try harder.

Cats make excellent therapy companions. Even if you aren’t autistic, cats always seem to bring us up from the deepest depths of depression and trouble. Cats are certainly a gift to be treasured.

11 Ways for Children to Raise Awareness of Declawing

I have been more appalled by declawing this year than any year prior. It is fair to say that the amount of people that are for declawing is far too many and the people who educate about declawing is far to few. While some shelters thoroughly explain pitfalls of declawing, many still don’t. In fact, a big portion of animal shelters even offer declawing. This leaves owners unaware and confused.

Education a great and valuable tool and one that must be used wisely. Many people are not aware of how bad declawing is. How can we help raise awareness of declawing in schools? Young children are the next adult generation and teaching them what is right and what is considered wrong is very important. So, I’ve thought some things though, and decided to share some of my thoughts here for children and even adults to educate about declawing.

  1. Tape a video of you talking about declawing. Talk about the pros and the cons, talk about alternatives and the ways that your audience can help protest declawing. You can either get down to brass tacks or make your video funny and humorous. If you are not comfortable with talking to a camera or out loud, making a video with facts and pictures demonstrating your point can be just as interesting. This video can go on Youtube and Facebook. Consider using this video for your next film project for school or sending it to a few friends and family. Another great idea is to make it into a slideshow and show it on TV for a class that is willing to listen to your views.
  2. Necklaces, bumper stickers, book bags, art boxes and even books help your cause. You can place them just about anywhere! They are very attractive and although they are small, someone is bound to notice them. You can also sell them in a fundraiser or just for fun. Either way, you are getting the word out.
  3. Create a poster and sell your thoughts. You can create your own poster or you can use Ruth’s posters which are both vivid and to the point. It is advised to have your poster lightweight; your poster must be to the point and easy to read. I heavily recommend you make friends with your principal before asking permission to post them around your school. It is also good if you have a lot of reputation in helping animals. if you get the go ahead from your principal, it is time to paste up your posters. Recommended places include: water fountains, lunch lines and bathrooms. Teachers I know would actually place them in front of the class for me too for the whole year – you just have to ask!
  4. Write your next book report over Homer’s Odyssey. Homer’s Odyssey is a memoir written by Gwen Cooper about a blind cat that quickly turns from a tiny blind cat that no one believed in, into a three pound dynamo that eagerly made friends. In this book, it has a brief mention of declawing. If you give a book report over this book in high school, you sometimes have to do a book talk. As long as you stick to the book and the main details, you are allowed to talk about anything pertaining to the book and that gives you the opportunity to have a little chance on your pedestal to talk about declawing.
  5. Do you want to speak up for your school? Schools welcome guest speakers, especially speakers that have an educational topic to share. They won’t allow a person that wants to speak just about declawing, but they would more than welcome a person that wants to talk about animal abuse. If you were to become a guest speaker and talk about animal abuse, you could also add in declawing as it is considered abuse and have a little talk about that along with all your other topics you have prepared. You can also bring cats to elementary schools if you want, especially if he/she is declawed you can explain that. Since kids are inquisitive they might ask “why?” Of course you wouldn’t go into explanation but say something that they can understand about it.
  6. T-Shirts are a great way to voice your cause. T shirts seem like a very small and ineffective way to educate but you would be surprised at the amount of people that have nothing to do in class and just look around. They will notice your T shirt and so will people in the halls, in lunch, and I’ve noticed that a lot of people are interested in what your shirt says for some reason. You can sell these if you get permission from your school which might also spread the word of your cause.
  7. Write your next essay, speech, power point or short story about declawing cats. Be creative and have fun. You can write your essay about an anecdote that includes declawed cats. For example, my eyes were opened once I found out my friend had eight cats that were declawed. They were scratched, paws bleeding, and they were always allowed outside. A short story might be about a declawed cat that was rescued from a shelter and the power point would be solid facts and pictures.
  8. The Humane Society should be behind you on this. Some humane societies have meetings just for communication between owners and animal lovers. Introducing each other’s views can increase healthy thinking and often makes us challenge our own views and decide what is best for our companion. Come up with good reasons about why your humane society should stop offering or promoting declawing and come up with sound and logical arguments. Make sure to join your HSUS group if you have one in your high school, and if you don’t, ask a teacher to help you make one. You can ask them if they would like to be the administrator of the group.
  9. Newspaper and media. You can write a simple post to your newspaper. Make sure your article is concise and rich in facts and details. Random students can get news interviews too. Try to entice a news reporter and see how far that gets you!
  10. Enlist the help of family and friends. Even your family and friends can  help end declawing. Tell them all they have to do is wear a T shirt or even just take a sticker or two. Minuscule or not, it still helps. There is after all, power in numbers. If your friendship proves to be genuine, consider forming a Facebook group and start regular discussions about declawing. For lower grade students, you can always make up an interesting tale about a declawed cat. Tell them a rescue story. Sure, they might not always remember the stories you tell them, but then again, they might.
  11. Job shadow a Veterinarian. Did you know you can actually job shadow a veterinarian while in school? You can job shadow anywhere for that matter. If you do, you might get to know the vet a lot better and discuss with him about declawing. Get to know him better first before rushing into controversial beliefs. It would be rude to barge though the front door and challenge his profession. If you are really energetic, job shadow a teacher and have story time – your perfect chance to spring a story about a declawed cat that once had a home. Depending on your audience, this story might transform multiple times.

Remember that your school might not always appreciate your views. If they get mad at you or anything that would be considered antipathy, feel free to report them. If your principal says “no” to your ideas, you can always seek help to override that decision if the other administrators see good reasoning for your efforts. You don’t always have to accept no – animals have taught us that.

Declawing to Protect Children

To Declaw or to Not Declaw

One particular hot topic question that stirs a lot of discussion is declawing. Many adults find declawing acceptable. They declaw their family cat in order to protect their furniture and their children from scratching. If so many people find it acceptable, am I telling you that you should declaw the family cat? No. Declawing should not even be considered if the safety of your children or furniture is an issue.

The cat should be considered as much a family member as anyone else in the family. This implies that the cat should not be treated like a toy that can be thrown around and tortured. Everyone should respect cats for what they are; claws and all. It is also advised that everyone is educated in handling a cat properly. For that reason, it is important to for your to understand the severity of declawing and how declawing can endanger your child’s health, your cat’s welfare and your belongings.

I believe you when you say that your cat has claws like porcupine quills. But look at your feline’s mouth and you will soon realize that his teeth are also razor sharp. Without claws to warn children that they are being mishandled or are annoyed, they will resort to biting as their natural first instinct. If that happens, your child will surely receive more severe injuries than claws could possibly inflict. Scientific studies have also found that bites are more infectious than scratches.

Almost every well socialized cat that I have came in contact over the years was very good about using a very light warning scratch before resorting to full fledged claws. But your cat will not use the warning system if they do not have claws. It is also important that you supervise most if not all interaction sections if your child is under the age of six years old.

Safety Is Not The Only Reason

Child safety aside, declawing is notoriously regarded as a mutilation. Declawing, anatomically speaking, is the removal of the first digit of every toe. The pain of declawing is constantly contrasted to the phantom pain that an amputee feels after a limb has been amputated. Unlike mammals that can walk on the soles of their paws, cats are digitigrade and require complete paws to walk properly. Without claws and without that extra warning system, cats can develop a variety of behavior problems. Some behavior problems can include:

  • Aggressive biting and play
  • Urinating outside the box
  • Painful Foot Infections
  • Self-confidence loss
  • Fear of other cats and humans

If you want your children to learn the ideals of being a successful adult, I suggest that you begin by educating your child on how to handle animals respectfully. If handled correctly, an animal should almost never react with hostility. If you do not know the proper method for holding an animal, ask your veterinarian for an example – he should be happy to assist you with a demonstration.

Next, you may wish to teach handling and socialization skills. And Don’t only teach your children, teach other people how to handle pets as well. The most important rule is to say “No” when the cat bites or scratches, and leave the cat alone for a while, it tells him that it is not acceptable behavior.

Behavior Modification

I realize that declawing might also be considered as a possibility due to furniture and upholstery damage. There are very simple and effective solutions to furniture scratching that you can learn in minutes. A few of the many useful items to help you steer your cat’s behavior are as follows:

  • A sturdy 30 by 30 scratching post made of sisal rope
  • A variety of cat treats that your cats enjoy
  • A bag of catnip for enticing your cat to use the post
  • A favorite toy to help the cat familiarize himself with the post
  • Double sided sticky tape
  • Nail Trimmers

What you want to do is place the tape on locations you do not want him to scratch. Then you place the post near his most preferred sleeping spot, or his common eating location. Cats want an easy to access location to scratch at after a long sleep or after they have had their dinner. The cat might not take to the post right away.

There are an abundance of easy techniques that you can use to entice the cat to the scratching post. You can help guide him by scratching the post yourself as a demonstration, sprinkling a little cat nip to entice him, or by playing with him around the post. Nail trimming is also important in cat care. By keeping your cat’s claws dull, his claws won’t be nearly as sharp and pain inflicting.

There are countless other resources online that you may use that can provide helpful tips for this type of training. If you are still having problems, it is advised that you consult a behavioral book just as Twisted Whiskers or you can search the internet for additional help and modification methods.