Making progress getting Mellie to wear her collar - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-13-2005, 07:39 PM Thread Starter
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Making progress getting Mellie to wear her collar

Some time ago I wrote about how I was having problems getting Mellie to wear her collar. Every time I put it on, she would immediately begin to "clean" it off her neck and get her lower jaw caught under the collar strap. Since I wrote that, I saw a couple other posts from other members who had the same problem. I've been working to get Mellie to wear her collar and have been making some progress, so I'm going to share what I've been doing in the hope it helps someone else.

First, I adjust the collar so that it's VERY loose, so that if she gets her jaw underneath, she can get it out herself without my intervention.

Then I put the collar on her only during times when she will be distracted by something else and not focus on the collar. This is called desensitization.

The times I have her wear her collar are times she finds enjoyable...playtime and mealtime. This is called association. She associates wearing the collar with something she enjoys.

So far, I'm making slow progress. When I first tried to introduce her to a collar, she couldn't wear it at all. Now she's wearing it for about 15 minutes before it starts to bug her. If I do it every day, she should be able to wear it longer and longer.

Now, if I can figure out how Tommy is actually unfastening and removing HIS collar....
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-13-2005, 10:40 PM
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Oh my goodness, Tim! Such toil! You poor thing! It seems like such an obvious thing--that cats would wear collars--that when they don't want to, it's sort of a aggravating for us, isn't it. Like, "I'm doing this for your own good!" Just like kids, aren't they?!

All of that desinsitization and association "stuff"...really is the only way to get a cat (esp. an insistant cat!) used to something, isn't it? I mean, we use these methods on everything from nail clipping, getting used to carriers, taking meds, and even cat-to-cat introductions, really. I guess the underlying factor is: time. It takes time to get a cat USED to the idea of something new. So, it's good that you mentioned these terms. They are very important.

That's great that you are making progress with Mellie! Hopefully she'll be more accepting of her "fashion accessory" (words every girl likes to hear!) very soon.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-13-2005, 10:49 PM
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Wow, Tim, you are putting in a commendable effort with this collar!! You are truly a committed "parent." **applause**

Maybe you can teach my kids to eat their vegetables (just kidding)!!

Owned by Pepper and Pumpkin RIP Snickers 8/22/00 -- 11/28/06

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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-14-2005, 08:44 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lolakitty23
Hopefully she'll be more accepting of her "fashion accessory" (words every girl likes to hear!) very soon.
I think part of Mellie's problem is that she just knows she's so darn pretty she doesn't need any accessories!!
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-14-2005, 09:57 AM
 
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Hmm...I just walked up to my cats and slapped the collar on them....sure Milan writhed on the floor and made wierd cat screams for about 15 minutes...but then she was all good...every once in a while I catch her scratching at it with her back foot...but nothing to worry about.

I commend you for your dilligence and patience with getting Mellie to wear her collar.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-14-2005, 09:59 AM
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why are you trying to get her to wear a collar? how old is she? why now? I found when i got marsh his hot pink collar he too tried to get it off, and i just left it at that - plus, it was more a gimmick than an actual need since he never goes outside.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-14-2005, 12:24 PM Thread Starter
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"In case" they ever get loose outside.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-14-2005, 01:04 PM
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Dory seems to be fashion conscious.
We tried a black and white reflective collar on her and she freaked out doing all the things you described. After she danced most of the way across the garden on her back feet doing star jumps, I managed to catch her and take it off.
It was a fairly stiff nylon type collar, so we got a different one - a nice pink / aqua cotton type collar which was elasticated rather than quick-release. I got Dory into this one and she was a bit concerned for 10 minutes or so, so we plied her with kitty treats and chicken. Since then, she's been fine. Two weeks ago I managed to get the name tag on to the collar, and again she was a bit panicky for a few minutes because of the jangling and the new item around her neck, but she settled down.
Shortly we're going for the "piece de resistance" - the IR coded catflap transmitter. If she takes to that, the old cat flap gets taken out and the coded one gets put in. And that's the point of the whole exercise with Dory - to get a coded cat flap.
Jeez - the amount of work we idiot cat owners do for our pets.....they have us so well trained.
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