Category Archives: Tricks

Cat Dental Health – Resorptive Lesions

My vet shared this article with me and I thought I would pass it along.  The lesions cause pain, so it is definitely a good idea to get your cats dental health taken care of annually:

 

Cats are prone to a serious and very painful dental disease called “tooth resorption.” Various studies have found 28-67% of cats have tooth resorption. Tooth resorption is the most common cause of tooth loss in cats.

Tooth resorption results in the loss of tooth structure, starting with the outer enamel surface, usually at or below the gum line. The lesions, which are NOT cavities, begin as a loss of tooth enamel and can eventually spread to the dentin and then the pulp canal, which contains the blood vessels and nerves to the tooth. Sometimes, the entire crown of the tooth may be missing.

Tooth resorption is progressive and may be singular or multiple and on either side of the tooth. Some lesions are readily apparent and others may be hidden under areas of plaque or swollen gums. This is why a cat needs to be anesthetized to determine if such lesions are present: the entire surface of each tooth must be examined.

The cause of resorptive lesions is unknown. One theory is that the inflammation caused by plaque may stimulate cells called “odontoclasts,” which eat away at the enamel of the tooth. Other possible causes include autoimmune disorders, changes in pH in the mouth, viral diseases, or a problem with calcium metabolism.

Resorptive lesions that have eroded through the enamel may be very painful. Cats with oral pain may appear irritable or aggressive, have a change in appetite or food preference, and may have difficulty chewing and eating (food falls from their mouth). Cats with resorptive lesions may show pain when their jaws are touched and may also have increased salivation or oral bleeding.

 

STAGE I: Loss of enamel only, extending
less than 0.5 mm into the tooth.
STAGE II: Lesion extends into the dentin.
STAGE III: Lesion extends into the pulp
canal, but good tooth structure remains.
STAGE IV: Lesion extends into the pulp canal
and there is extensive loss of tooth
structure.
STAGE V: Crown of tooth is missing, but
roots are present.
Resorptive Lesions

Dental radiographs are essential in diagnosing this condition and evaluating the extent of disease. Resorption lesions are graded according to the amount of tooth that is lost (see right).

Depending upon the stage of resorption, the entire tooth with the roots may be extracted, or only a portion of the tooth is removed. Cats who have a history of tooth resorption should have a prophylaxis (professional dental cleaning) every six months. Good home dental care is important for cats with tooth resorption.

Source: Dr. Foster’s Smith.com

Weekly Trick – Top 5 Cat Tricks (According to Animal Planet)

Next week will be a new Saturday topic, as I have run out of tricks to share for now.  For this week, let’s talk about the top 5 tricks (for cats) according to the popular channel, Animal Planet.

The fifth trick in the top five is “shaking hands.”  This is probably the first trick anyone should try to teach their cat, as it is (believe it or not) the easiest trick for a cat to learn.  If they are receptive to learning tricks, this will be the test.

The forth top trick is “hurdle those obstacles”.  This trick is a little more advanced, but the basics of it is to put an obstacle on the floor (like a paper bag or a stick) and have the cat examine it and play with it, then run a “lure” (something like a feather or their favorite toy on a string), so that they will cross over top of the obstacle.

The third top trick is “hoop dreams”. This trick calls for a hula hoop and teaching your cat to first walk through the hoop, and progress to jumping through the hoop with the use of clicker training.  Animal Planet goes through how to perform each trick, step by step.

The second top trick is “paws-ing to shop”.  Use a large box with flaps, or if you don’t mind your cat crawling into a cabinet, and then place some of your cat’s favorite toys inside and use the command “go shopping” along with your clicker and have your cat pull out the toys one by one.

To find out what the number one trick is, click here for the article and have fun teaching your cat these great tricks!

Weekly Trick – Useful Dog Tricks

These tricks are performed by Jesse, and let me tell you, this dog has talent!  I wouldn’t know where to start to teach your dog all these tricks, other than to watch the video and break each step down into one trick at a time.  Also, loads of patience and amazing treats, along with a clicker would most likely help in learning how to do these amazing tricks.

The video is more like “a day in the life” with Jesse.  Jesse starts off pulling the covers off his pet parent and licking their face.  He goes to get a placemat, cup, and pops something in the toaster.

His pet parent gets out of the shower, just in time to get a towel from Jesse.  This dog is amazing.  Each trick is better than the last and more amazing.  I watched most of this video in amazement and had to pick my jaw up off the floor several times.  I cannot imagine how much time it took to teach Jesse how to do all these amazing tricks.

Too tired to do some cleaning?  No worries, Jesse will dust for you.

Spill something on the floor?  Jesse’s got you covered.

From vacuuming to mopping, Jesse can do it all and then some.

To see this amazing dog in action, click here!

Weekly Trick – A Mix Of Tricks (Cats)

Since kitty tricks are few and far between, I am sharing a whole montage of videos, many you have seen before on this blog and a few new ones.  I hope you enjoy all the cuteness!

All the tricks are found on one page and I will share the link to the cuteness.

You may remember Kizzy, the Bengal cat who did many dog-like tricks, like sit and shake a paw.

Cooper, a Persian cat was well trained in playing dead. This little cutie could play dead like nobody’s business, when their pet parent pointed their finger at them like a gun and said “bang”.

And we have Kaiser, the cute and highly intelligent Bengal performing all the greatest tricks like a pro.

Here is the link to all these amazing videos.

And of course, this isn’t a trick, but what video montage of kitties would be complete without Maru.  This cat is hilarious and loves to try to fit in boxes that are 10 sizes too small.  Funny!

 

Weekly Trick – Eating Treats From Chopsticks (Cats)

This is something I saw on youtube and am teaching Isis how to do this.  She pretty much has it down, but I sometimes have to remind her how to do it.  It’s not difficult and I will explain, along with posting a link to one of the cutest cat eating from chopsticks videos ever!

This is fairly easy to teach your cat.  What you need are wooden chopsticks, patience and time, and some of your cats favorite treats.  I actually use pork because Isis would probably do back flips in order to get some pork.

The first step I did was make sure that Isis hadn’t eaten anytime before doing this trick.  I cut up the pork into small treat size pieces.

For the first day, all I would do is hold out the pork and have Isis take it from my fingers at her eye level.  The next few days, I stood up and would raise the treat up a bit higher each time, until she was standing on her hind legs and taking the treat easily from my fingers (I would make sure that there was a 90% success rate.  That is, she would take it from my fingers at least 9 times out of 10). All the while doing this, I would say the command word “pork”, so that she would associate that word with what she was doing.

On the fifth day, I ended up putting a piece of pork into the chopsticks.  I held the chopsticks up to the level where she would be standing on her hind legs and said my command word “pork”.  She stood on her hind legs and took the pork from between the chopsticks.

As promised, here is the trick in action.  This is such a cute, smart cat!

Weekly Trick – Fetch A Diaper

Even if you don’t have children, this can be a good trick to teach, just substitute diaper with something else!

The first thing to do is get your dog interested in the diaper.  Put something inside the diaper that the dog loves (toy wise) and start to try to play with them and throw it around, give them lots of praise while doing so. Make sure to use the word diaper and “fetch” so that your dog knows what you want them to do.
Walk away from the dog and have the dog come to you with the diaper in their mouth.

The final test for this aspect of the trick is to have the diapers in another room, call your dog over and ask them to “fetch diaper”.  If they go into the other room and get the diaper, the first phase of this trick is complete.

Next, you will want the dog to learn to jump over the baby gate.  Some dogs will be able to do this very quickly, other dogs, you will need to set up stages (put up a rope for them to jump over at different heights until they can jump over the actual baby gate easily).

The last part of the trick is making sure your dog will bring you the diaper in any room of the house.  Make sure you are in a different room and tell your dog to “fetch diaper”.  If the trick has been learned successfully, your dog will go into the room that you keep diapers, grab one off the shelf and bring it to you in the other room.  This trick will take time to learn and lots of treats.  Make sure to teach it in stages and not for longer than about 5-10 minute sessions at a time.

Here is the video for the trick.  In case it doesn’t load, it is the second trick video.

Weekly Trick – Stunning Cat Tricks By Kitty Lucy

Teaching a cat how to do tricks can be difficult, but I have found that there are commonalities in every video and common techniques to use to be successful in teaching a cat to do tricks.

The first thing is to make sure to teach tricks when your cat is hungry and use their favorite treat/food ever.  This seems to get them interested enough in doing what you want them to do, when you want them to do it.

The second important thing to remember is to be patient and only teach the tricks for no more than 10 minutes at a time.  After that, your cat’s attention span diminishes rapidly.

Next, use a positive, upbeat tone when asking them to do something like “sit” or “down”.  If you use a negative tone, your cat might think that you are mad at them and run away or not do what you want them to do.

In this video, Lucy performs many tricks.  Her pet parent uses hand gestures as well, which is another important point.  If you pat the floor and say “down”, your cat will associate the two and will learn to go “down” when you do this.

An example would be, if you want your cat to learn to “sit”, pat the floor and say the word “sit” at the same time.  Your cat will associate the two and will sit, learning the trick just like a dog would.  Praise your cat with treats and pets once they have done what you want them to do.

Associate the words with the actions, and give treats, and you will have a happy, smart, trick-learning cat.

Weekly Trick – Catch The Ball In Your Paws (For Dogs)

This little Beagle in the video is pretty talented and looks very sweet.

There aren’t any steps to training your dog how to do this trick but I would probably go about it in this way:

1. FIrst make sure your dog knows the command “sit”.

2. Next, start to teach the dog the command “up” so that they can stand on their hind legs and so that they can put their paws up as well.

3. Now incorporate the ball and start to throw the ball gently to your dog, aiming more for the paws so that they can catch it.

4. I would start using a word like “catch” or “hold” so that they associate that with catching the ball between their paws.

5. Then keep on working on that until the dog can catch the ball and hold it for a second or two.  Also the dog will most likely when trying to catch it, the ball will probably bounce back to you, so in essence, they are learning how to play and toss the ball back and forth and learn the “Catch” trick as well, so it’s a two for one!

Always remember to have treats handy, and make sure you have time and patience to teach this trick.  Do not try to teach it for more than 5-10 minutes at a time, as your dog’s attention span is not that long.

Here is the video to help you teach this trick to your dog.  Have fun!

 

Weekly Trick – Teaching A Cat To Do Tricks

Teaching a cat to do tricks can be such a daunting task.  Knowing what your cat will respond to and how far to push them are probably the top priorities in getting your cat to perform the tricks you want them to do.

Another important aspect is to get your cat interested in what you are doing.  Let me back up a bit here and start over.  If you want to teach your cat how to fetch, start to play with a ball (now start playing with a ball the size your cat will be comfortable with, like this, not a huge ball that your dog or a human would play with).

Keep playing with it each time your cat is in the same room with you, grab their interest.  If they come over to play, give them a treat of their liking (some cats really enjoy a good petting, some like treats, whatever will work).  Praise them and continue.

After some time, push the ball towards the cat and let them play, if they do, then reward them.  Try to grab the ball back and start to push it back to them again, then trace your finger on the floor so that they will come back to you with the ball in their mouth.  This will take time.  Also this may not work with your cat, it all depends on what your cat responds to.  Most important is that cats can sense frustration and anger, so if you start to get frustrated that they are not responding to what you want, do not let it show in your voice or trick learning time will be over.

Keep trying, keep rewarding, and keep playing.  Any kind of interaction will help. I know I have done posts similar to this one, but I wanted to share the process again as it can be difficult to teach a cat to do tricks.

Here is a video from a cat behavior specialist that may help explain how to teach your cat to do tricks better than I can.

Weekly Trick – Unique and Unusual Tricks For Dogs

This video is worth it just to watch the two dogs in the beginning.

I promise you, the dogs are so sweet.  The first trick they show is the dogs getting on their hind legs and hugging each other.  That was enough to melt even the hardest of hearts!

If you watch the video, you can kind of pick up how they taught their dogs these tricks.  Remember if you are trying to teach your dog more advanced tricks, patience is necessary and treats are necessary.

The dogs learn to weave in and out of their pet parent’s legs, as well as stand on the feet of their pet parent and walk with them.  BOTH dogs at the same time perform this trick!

Next, the larger dog stays standing on the pet parent’s feet, while the smaller dog goes in between the pet parents legs AND the larger dog’s legs!  These dogs are very smart and very well trained.

The next trick is outside.  The dog is walking and jumping around on their hind legs and then they walk over to the CD player and they change the CD in the player.

If you want to see these tricks in action and possibly try to teach your dog these amazing tricks, click here.  Prepare to be amazed.