years ago, a popular YouTube video showed a young woman
attempting to bathe her cat in a tub of water. The
horrified cat appeared to be screaming nooooo each time
it was moved closer to the water.
I ask, how funny is that?
very, unless you are sadistic and enjoy scaring the wits
out of a helpless animal.
person recording the event and the woman holding the
feline thought it was hilarious enough to publish the
owners of the cat were unaware of the abject fear the
cat was exhibiting, but the video was shockingly brutal
to someone who understood the catís body language.
donít think they were trying to be mean, I just donít
think they recognized the catís trauma," said
Jennifer Mauger of Akron, Ohio, owner of LíChaim
Canine and Feline.
a certified professional dog trainer, said she realized
that for the sake of their feline pets, owners needed to
be educated to the responsibilities of owning a cat.
pet owners believe it is necessary to bend a pet to
their will for its own good. All that does is cause ill
will between a cat and its owner, Mauger said.
can do almost anything to a dog and it will forgive you.
A cat is not like that," said Mauger during a class
on kitten basics held earlier this week at her
Richfield, Ohio, studio.
classes teach kittens 8 to 12 weeks of age the art of
socialization under the tutelage of staff cat, Juice.
The sessions help accustom the kittens to different
sights, sounds and textures via a mat in the center of
the room piled with irresistible toys.
a couple of them discovered it was more fun to explore a
few boxes stacked under a table.
took about 15 minutes of solitary play before the six
kittens discovered the toys were more fun while playing
with a companion. Those favoring the boxes began chasing
each other in a game of tag.
are taught to recognize feline behavior and how to
handle a kitten properly so they arenít fearful. The
class teaches owners it is possible to take the fear out
of getting into a carrier for a trip to the vet, to
trimming their claws so there is no need to have a cat
declawed ó a horrible and inhumane surgery in the eyes
of most pet lovers.
we can avoid declawing, thatís what we want to do. If
the nails are short enough, they arenít going to
scratch," she said.
word to the wise, Mauger noted: Cats need scratching
posts taller than they are when stretched out. Donít
waste money on a too short scratching post.
if your cat is 20 inches long when stretched to its
fullest length, you should provide it with a 25-inch
high scratching post," she said.
an ill cat into a carrier is very traumatic for an
animal that is not crate trained and can result in
numerous cat scratches for the owner.
No. 1 reason people donít take pets to the vet is
because they canít get them in the carrier,"
a recent Monday, assistant trainer Kelsey Hrusch clipped
the claws of an 8-week-old kitten that was so intent on
licking baby food from a spoon she had no idea she was
being attended to.
kittens from Pawsibilities, Humane Society of Greater
Akron attended the sessions "because they needed a
little extra socialization," Mauger said.
of the younger kittens at the class, a feral rescue,
learned hand targeting ó touching its nose to Maugerís
hand to get a reward ó in less than three minutes.
Mauger moved the treat-filled spoon in her left hand
behind her back until the cat touched her right hand,
unbeknownst to Mauger, a second kitten patiently waited
behind her for the spoon to reappear to delicately take
termed the phrase "dumb animals" obviously
never met an 8-week-old kitten.
the two-week, $40 session, kittens learn to adjust to
harnesses and leashes, meet friendly dogs, come when
called (OK, if they choose to come) and get into their
crates by themselves.
whole idea is to accustom animals to the things you want
them to do and not make them afraid and run away, or
are members of a family and should be treated as such.
arenít just furniture," Good noted.
learn more about positive, reward based training,
contact Mauger at LíChaim Canine at 330-962-1878 or
visit her website at