Allison's Book Bag

Critter Photo #39

Posted on: August 21, 2017

With our household of critters having expanded to include three cats and a dog, I thought it fitting to join a meme related to pets. After searching around, I came across Awww….. Mondays. The one rule is: “Post a picture that makes you say Awww…. and that’s it.” Every photo seemed to feature a pet and so the meme is a perfect fit!

“Bootsie, stroller!” I sat a few feet back from our pet stroller. It’s pushed up against our recliner with the flap open so that a cat could easily jump inside and explore. Bootsie turned my way. I tapped the clicker. As soon as she reached me, I gave her treats.

After praising Bootsie, I scooted closer to our pet stroller. The idea behind the training is to acclimate Bootsie to a stroller. Our other two cats enjoy rides in it. I suspect Bootsie will too, if she’ll learn to accept being confined to a stroller. Bootsie has a history of disliking closed spaces. I had to teach her to accept a crate so that we could take her for annual vet check-ups.

“Bootsie, stroller!” Once again, I called her. Once again, she turned my way. I tapped the clicker and waited for her to come. Ever cautious, Bootsie took one step, then another, and slowly made her way to me. As soon as she reached me, I gave her treats.

We repeated this process a few times and then it was time for the bigger challenge. I sprinkled treats directly in front of the stroller, at the front of the stroller, and at the back of the stroller. I issued the command, “Stroller!” And then I waited on the sidelines to see what would happen.

Bootsie showed no hesitation in seeking out the treats on the floor. Jumping into the stroller was an entirely different matter. She sat quietly on the floor. She studied me. She studied the carpet. She stared at the stroller. Finally, Bootsie stood on her back paws and stretched forward until she could reach the treats. One by one she ate them. And then she sat back down again. She studied me. She studied the carpet. She stared at the stroller. And I waited.

Just when I was ready to give up, Bootsie jumped into the stroller. She grabbed a treat, turned, and jumped back out. She did this once, twice … until all the treats were gone.

We still have a long way to get to the point where I can close the flap and zip it, let alone take Bootsie for a stroller ride. But she’s learned to accept a crate. And I’m teaching her to walk onto a baby scale so that I can weigh her. Oh the places training will take us!

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4 Responses to "Critter Photo #39"

you are a very patient trainer! Have a lovely day!

Training cats is my passion! Bootsie is a wonderful cat to work with.

What a brilliant way to get her used to the stroller. I’ve seen lots of kitties and some small dogs going on an adventure outside. At least you’re doing this the right way. A huge Awww for both you and Bootsie.

Hope you had a purrfect Awww Monday. ☺

Thanks! All my other cats have taken naturally to the stroller.

Because of her background, Bootsie needs a little more patience and encouragement. I love seeing her growth!

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This fall I will be on hiatus except to post family news. Stay tuned!

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