Archive for January, 2014



Darcy, our 7ish year old lap cat, is the most food motivated of our current trio. Hence, he has been chosen for my grand experiment. Clicker training is a form of operant conditioning that can improve your relationship with your cat. It helps to strengthen your bond, may improve behavior problems, and alleviate the boredom of indoor- only living. Or so I’ve been taught ;). Even though I have used basic clicker training techniques with several of my shelter cat “clients”, I’ve never tried to clicker train one of my own cats. That changes today! I look forward to sharing helpful, and I’m sure humorous, updates.


Here is some info on clicker training.


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So…it’s been a while ;). Going to give this whole blogging thing another go!

Phil is our 9 year old feral/semi-feral boy. He is funny and quirky, only allowing us to touch him when we’re in bed at night, and then he can’t get enough. Clipping his nails used to be possible only by hunting him down, cornering him, and then hanging on tight while getting as many clipped as possible before he freed himself. Not a series of events that a cat behavior consultant could feel proud of, but a necessity none the less. For the last two years, however, even that has become impossible. With our sweet Juno gone, and with the addition of Mak, our lovable,



but hardly top cat material, senior boy, Phil finds himself vying for the highest rung of the hierarchy around Chez Sleuth. Basically, no one has the desire or skill set to be in charge, and since Philsy  has the ability to “go all feral” on the other two, he’s gotten a bit more confident, and this extends, sadly, to refusing to allow me to hang on to him for more than a scary second or two.

Here’s the problem. If an indoor cat’s nails NEVER get trimmed, they will eventually curl around and grow into their pads. My options are to bring him to the vet, wish them luck, hope they succeed, and repeat a few times every year, or to find something he will enjoy scratching that might wear down or even break off some of the tips. I’ve just brought in a nice, nubby welcome mat because he tends to like to lie by the door, and has shown a preference for that kind of scratching surface. I’ll keep you posted!


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