One of the things that Spice and I have worked on over time is her ability to listen and take some kind of command. As someone who is getting ready to travel the United States with my cat I want her to be ready for almost anything. So one of the things we do at home is off leash training. At home we have an area where it is enclosed. This is a good place for me to let her off leash and to let her have some free exploring time. Personally I think it is nice to have those moments and it really does help when it comes to giving both us not only space but also time to explore on our own.
When I take Spice outside it is usually when I need to my artwork. I do it on the table in the back and its right in the center. This way I have a full view and can watch her at all times while I also stay shaded and can work in peace. Once I get to a point in a piece where I need to let it dry fora certain amount of time I take off my gloves and go to Spice. I usually pet her, give her some loving nad tell her shes a good girl. Then I walk around the area and call her name out until she catches on and follows me.
I do two loops around so that we can exercise not only her but also the ability to come when called. This gives her a chance to understand what is going on but to do it in a safe place. Sometimes she meows at me while she walks and other times she just follows along as I walk around.
The more I have exercised this the more she has gotten used to being off leash and the more excited she becomes about going outside and exploring. Every time we get a chance to go outdoors together it gives her some sunshine and me a time to work on my art. Really it is a win, win situation and I Really do enjoy those moments together.
My adventure kitty is getting more and more adventurous as time goes on.
So Spice's Birthday is today. This wonderful little cat of mine has turned four, which is about the age of 32 in human years. That’s crazy to me and I can't really say that I totally believe the chart I’m looking at but that’s what it says.
For those of you that have been here a while you all know little things about Spice but for those of you that don’t I will go ahead and give you some information.
I got Spice as my 18th birthday gift. She came from a house that was filled with cats and she belonged to one of three litters at the time. She was very much loved and the owners had a hard time letting go of her. She was so adorable and really she was one of the cats that they wanted to keep around. See the people that had her had issues with getting their cats fixed since they 1)had so many animals and 2) not enough money to go to the vet and make sure that all the kittens got fixed at once. Not only that but the house was filled with fleas and so every time I went there I felt like I had left with a nest on my skin. It was not a fun time but I kept going back because Spice kept coming up to me and loving on me.
After about two weeks of consistently going back to the house and spending time with them they decided to go ahead and let me take her. They were upset but they knew that Spice had made her decision so they went ahead and gave me the ok to take her.
When I took her out of the house she was so scared that she was shaking. I cleaned her off in a tub and had her wrapped in a towel. For the drive home I had her in my lap and against my chest. The entire time she was staring up at me and giving me those half closed eye look. I knew that this little kitten had taken my heart.
From then on I knew that I was going to love her for her entire life. I had no idea what would come with this crazy feline but I knew that I would give her all the love.
Now fast forward to three years later and this little kitty is celebrating another birthday with me. Once I get back from work, the gym, and the bar I will be throwing her a cat nip party and taking tons of photos. I can't wait to share them with you all.
Happy 4th Birthday Spice!
Spice has adapted pretty well to being outside. She now can explore without much trouble and walks right out the door. For the most part the harness doesn’t bother her and she seems to really enjoy getting some fresh air. Of course I’m sure that me being with her is part of the reason that she feels comfortable. When we go outside it usually is because I want to make an art piece so when I do I take her with me and let her explore the area. I let her have an along enough line that she can choose to being the sun or the shade and so that she is still within distance of me. I am always within her sights and she is always within mine.
Once the art piece is done and I feel good about what I did I then let her walk around the area with me and smell the area. While doing that she takes her time and walks slowly beside me. She’s taking in all the sights and sounds and I know that it is a time where I have to be aware of her stress levels and how I react to what she does. Honestly tis quite the task but I enjoy watching her discover the land.
She doesn’t call as much to me but she does rub up on me when she needs some reassurance and its nice to see her adapting to this new life. At the end of the month were going to be heading out for a week of exploring and of course we will have most time to spend to hike and for her see new places. Truly I am excited to get away from home and to have some new scenery and I’m sure that it will be fun for Spice as well.
Of course there will be all kinds of videos and photos to follow and I can’t wait to share them with you guys. You will get to see more of her cuteness and progress we make our way to the ultimate dream.
Ever since I have had Spice in my life I swear there is never a dull moment. From sleeping together, to chasing her around the house in a game of tag, to strange cuddle sessions on the toilet. Yes the toilet. I have tried so hard to have my own privacy around her but it is impossible. My room is connected to a bathroom and the way to get into my bathroom is through a sliding door. The sliding door is probably one of my favorite things about my room. It’s easy to use and at one time it was a very nice door (now it has scratches and needs a new coat of paint).
The one thing I have definitely learned is that locking Spice out is like leaving her at a fire station. When I am in the bathroom she wants in with me and she wants to be around me while I am doing any kind of business. Sometimes I accidently leave the door slightly cracked open and when that happens she is frantically trying to slide the door open and is trying to dig through the carpet on the other side. She wines and meows like crazy letting me know how upset she is by this.
On days when I leave it open enough for her to get in the bathroom she comes in and goes straight to rubbing on my legs and then goes into my bathtub where she loves going to the drain and fishing into the darkness. I don’t know what she is always trying to eat or what she loves about the tub but I just let her do what she wants. Of course that’s a normal day, other days she literally wants to crawl on my lap and lay there while I am going to the bathroom. I swear to god there is never a dull moment. Like why? Why is that a perfect time to cuddle? It never makes any sense at all and yet to her she thinks it’s a perfect moment. She purrs and looks at me with that cute face of hers. Like I got to get up eventually, I don’t just stay on the toilet forever.
Cats are so weird but I have never been so entertained.
There are a few lessons I have learned so far when it comes to Cat Training. I thought I’d give you some insight on how that is going and where we are on progress.
Lesson 1: Be patient: See one of the things that most people don’t realize is that to train a cat it takes a lot more patience then it does with a dog. Cats are hunters and domestic cats are no exception. I had to start small and introduce a harness that I bought from Walmart. At first I thought it may be easy breezy and she would adapt quickly to the idea of going outside. So of course I bought the harness and went straight to the big picture. What was that picture? To put her outside without any good influence. I didn’t bring treats, food, nothing. Just me and Spice. She flipped out and wanted to back inside almost immediately. So I gave up for a while. I honestly didn’t thin it through and I had no idea how to go about making it a good experience to her. Not too long after I decided to try again but start smaller. So I got a bag of treats, my watch and the harness. I started by letting her sniff the harness and then introduced her to it being on her body. I set the timer and continuously fed her treats every time she went to bite the harness. I even played with her and quickly all that idea on biting the harness and trying to make it come off went away. She was more into playing and the treats. Before she knew it the harness was off and she was free. AS time went on I increased the time she had the harness on and I kept up with positive experiences. If she could get it in her head that the harness wasn’t bad and that I was going to be with her then it was going to be ok. After a while she got used to the idea of it being on her, sure it was uncomfortable but she knew that if she did good then she would get treats and lots of rubs.
Lesson 2: Be Consistent: At first I wasn’t doing the training every day or every other day. I did it every couple of weeks and made sure to keep going up on the time she had it on and made sure to keep the happiness factor up at large. Soon I started to realize that if I wasn’t consistent that we would take a step back from what I wanted to do. So I decided to keep the bag of treats at my desk with the harness and whenever she would come say hello in the morning I made sure to give her lots of love and from there I would continue to pamper her throughout the day. When it came to training I figured out that the best idea was to keep with the consistency of letting her sniff the harness first, then feed treats and while she was eating the pile I put in front of her I then put on the harness. By the time she would be done with the treats it would be on and there would be no growling or protests. I let her sit in the harness and walk around in it for half an hour and from there I started introducing the outdoors. With this consistency she sees it as a good thing and now wants to go outside. She’s tried several times to go outside without the harness but we denied that to her and she’s learning that to go outside she has to have the harness on. Consistency is key to training and for her its becoming something she looks forward to.
For us both this is the right step in the right direction. I want her to go places with me and for that she had to be safe and she has to know that to go places she has to be in the harness itself. I feel really proud as a pet parent to bring her this far and for her to want more and to start seeing that she will be outside more often and with me is so awesome. I didn’t know if it would work but it has and if anyone has given up on cat training, don’t. It’s all about introducing the idea to them early and being positive for your cat. Positive experiences means that your cat will eventually start to love it.
Be patient and keep going, you may see something amazing.
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