Brie, Cheddar, and I are published! We have a piece in the brand new IAABC Journal. Turn to page 5 and look for “Brie Breathes Easy: Training a Cat to Enjoy an Inhaler.”
This is the very first issue of the journal, published by the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, of which I am a supporting member. IAABC has a certification program based on review of case studies that I will eventually undertake, but for now I gathering in the knowledge and practicing a lot with my own guys. Thank you to Jacqueline Munera of Positive Catitudes and Miranda K. Workman, the chair of the IAABC Cat Division, for encouraging me to make the videos and write up how Brie learned in 24 hours to accept the inhaler.
I have learned a lot from observing the videos, too, and from a great conversation with Jacqueline about my training technique. The best thing about my technique not being really polished, is that BRIE LEARNED ANYWAY. We don’t have to be as good as our mentors to succeed in teaching our cats what we need or want them to learn!
If you are interested in hearing what I would do differently in the training, let me know and I’ll message you directly. Here are direct links to videos with Brie and Cheddar for those who simply want to see cute cats with an inhaler.
With experience, we are getting better with the inhaler. We moved to a different room while Lily was here. While Brie was under the weather, we did his puff in the living room. We did have a less than successful effort when he was on top of the piano, but we learned that he enjoys lying down on the floor and having me directly behind him. That’s valuable knowledge.
In the past month, I’ve been pulling myself together after an exhausting spring semester. The cats have, mostly, been on holiday until recently. They have been working on daily behaviors like don’t-swarm-the-guy-getting-treatment.
In addition to Brie’s regular inhaler treatment, three have had to take a course of antibiotics for an infection they have contracted one after another. We got liquid Clavamox (who ever decided that cats like bubblegum flavor, Zoetis?) and had some great learning about grudgingly cooperating with administration of the medication.
Last week, Bleu rode his skateboard and Cheshire learned a signal to offer his left paw (he had one for the right paw). Today, we started playing carrier games again.
All is good.