Archive for the ‘Cat Training’ Category

Mikan’s First Fun (?) Ride

January 21st, 2013

Our miracle cat, Mikan, has been so healthy and brightening our daily lives together by showing her ever-evolving cat-personality!  She is almost seven months old, and she is not yet in heat.  She had such a physically weak start of her life, so it might take a little bit more to mature physically.  Well, her mom thinks it is just fine, and is even happy about seeing Mikan still a little kitten.  Our vet suggested (and I totally agree) to wait to spay her until she hits a few heat cycles.  In that way, her skeletal system will be able to grow properly with support from adequate natural hormone levels.

Anyhow, Mikan will have a vet visit coming up this week (due to her coughing), and another soon for sure when she is ready for a spay surgery.  Now, I’m thinking how to make her feel comfortable with a car ride to the vet (or at least OK with it).  Only thing I could think of is…yes, you guessed it, positive reinforcement and training!  I wish I don’t need to do all that, but it seems necessary for the benefit to this family as a whole.

Happy cats = happy family.

It was a very sunny Sunday afternoon when we decided to take both cats on a pleasure ride. Mikan always follows Tora around everywhere in the house, so it could be good thing.  Jeffrey and I loaded up Tora and Mimi in my car.  Tora likes being “free” in the car, but we kept Mikan in her carrier where she feels safe with her blankie, with the flap left open so that she could come out if she wants to.  We drove around our neighborhood for about 15 minutes.  At first, Mikan looked nervous in her carrier.  She was watching the scenery passing fast in front of her eyes.  Her eyes were wide open.  Thankfully, her breathing was normal.  On the other hand, Tora was totally chilled and perched on the back shelf near the rear window, and enjoying the view and the movement of the car.

"Sister, just watch me!"

After the ride: "There are lots of space here."









After about five minutes of driving at 15 mph. in our neighborhood, Mikan came out of her carrier and walked toward the window.  I gave her a little treat – she ate it.  Yes, she is a sucker for these crunchy treats.  We did that routine a few more times, and it’s time to go home!  It’s good to stop when it is still positive experience.  I believe that Tora being there with Mikan helped her feeling secure about being in the car.  Tora’s energy was relaxed in the car, and our human energy was good also because we knew it was a fun ride for them.

"Hey Brother, the car ride wasn't that bad, but don't tell mom and dad because I prefer playing with you in the yard."

Who do I thank the most for the first training?  I thank Jeffrey for his safe driving (he hates driving slow, but he was willing 15 m.p.h. for his little girl, Mikan), and mostly, I thank Tora for being a such a confident car-rider!  He is my little big boy.

**Watch how Mikan thanked Tora… 

We continue to dream about days in the future that we could travel with our furry kids for a weeks-long or even a month-long vacation.  So far, so good.  More rides to come.


Acrobatic Cats: Does Your Cat Have a Potential?

November 13th, 2012

Two of my cat-fanatic friends notified me about this crazy cat show called Acro-Cats!  You might say, “Huh?”  Can cats do an acrobatic performance?  Without wasting any time, I booked the tickets right away to see the opening night of the show last night!  Let me tell you about these amazing kitties who are so well-trained to do the performances with about 100 people in front of them!

"Tuna" the cowbell drummer, and her fan!

Yes, she CAN rock!

See it to believe it.  There were about 13 performing cats on the “stage”.  They came out of their cages at the trainers’ command one at a time, and then they did all kinds of acrobatic performances including walking on a set of paralleled bars and on a ball (yes, true), ringing a cowbell, playing a guitar (uh huh), playing the keyboard, and many many more tricks.  All the cats are motivated by food/treats.  They do all these amazing things because they know they will get treats right then if they do certain things – we all know about “operant conditioning (O.C.)”.  Many cat human companions think O.C. is for dogs.  🙂  Cats are simply too intelligent and spiritual to be manipulated by humans, right?  Well, apparently, cats CAN be trained to be members of a rock band.

The Circus Cats group has their own trailer bus and tours all over the U.S.  I thought it was interesting that only two cats in the performing cats are males.  Their Mom, Samantha, said that the girls work harder than the boys.  Now I think about the many cats I encountered, including mine, I may agree with that statement.  I will not tell you more than this because I really want you to see these amazingly intelligent kitties.

Circus Cats Tour Bus

I truly, from the bottom of my heart, enjoyed watching their organic and somewhat naturally chaotic performance – that made it so special and charming.  I full-heartedly recommend you to go to the show here in Austin this week only!!  (

If you happen to go to the show, and buy their clicker-training packet as a souvenir for your kitties, keep me informed!  A trick for success seems to be keeping the cats hungry for a long time before the training.  🙂  Also, our patience will be challenged.  It is always two-way learning with our intelligent furry animals.

So Glad We Made the Family Trip!

December 21st, 2010

I am so glad that we made the family trip to Sedona with two cats! I’ve dreamed of car travel with Tora and Mimi for a long time – now, we did it without anybody being traumatized by the trip, including humans. Whew! Mimi was nervous and scared in the car and at the hotel on the way to Sedona, but once we got settled in at the rental home in Sedona, Mimi’s adjustment to a new environment was smoother and faster than I expected. Both cats’ complete adjustment took about five to seven days. Read the rest of this entry »

Have You Dreamed of Vacationing with Your Cats?! Training a Cat for a Car Ride

December 9th, 2010

Two months ago my husband and I planned a trip to Sedona, AZ. I have to admit that so many times in the past I had dreamed of a vacation with our two cats. I just didn’t have the guts to make it happen because one of our cats, Mimi, is not particularly in favor of a car-ride. My husband and I always thought it would be best for Mimi to stay at home with our other cat,Tora ,and have a cat sitter to check on them. On the contrary Tora absolutely loves traveling with us by a car. He is a dog-cat. Read the rest of this entry »