Why? Seems like a good thing, no?
Well, no, because it is modelled on a DOG training course (puppy school) and it has NO awareness about CATS. THe very premise of bringing cats (kittens) together for a 'play date' or 'school class' ignores the fact that cats are home territory based, and form relationships (or not) with those who are a part of the home territory. Pull a cat away from the home territory and it is a big scary world with predators and Cat MUST protect self...run away and hide...fight for my life. Those types of instincts kick in.
This is the nature of a cat. It is why rescues slowly intergrate new intakes with the rest of the group - or keep them separate. And it is why there is an important protocol of slowly integrating a new cat into your own home. Sure, it takes less time with kittens, as their territory and fight/flight responses are not yet fully formed. But let's look at the other aspect here - PERSONALITY. A gregarious cat might be ok. Shy cats or bonded cats are more likely to be traumatised. Any rescue knows that MOST cats cannot bloom and show their true self in a shelter environment. For some cats, they seem aggressive (fight response), for others, shockingly shy (hide response), and for others, depressed to the point of sickness and death (they are dying for the closeness of home relationships and bloom into the loveliest - sometimes liveliest of cats - given that environment.) It is the rare lucky cat that has a natural gregariousness and trust of humans who will present an appealing, true, lovely self in a shelter environment. So, three questions:
1. do we think that TEACHING is best achieved in such an enviornment of discomfort? (Oh, yes, dog smell will be there too - it is The Lost Dog's Home).
2. do we think that harm could result from pulling a cat away from a safe home environment and putting it into 'class' with many other cats, and strange humans?
3. What do HUMANS need to TEACH CATS?
I think you might need to see the advertisement for this 'Kitten Kinder' to see the absurdity. I will comment in red:
Throughout the Kitten Kinder course, our expert behaviour trainer Expert in behaviour of what species? Expertise in training of which species? will help teach your kitten important skills and manners. Well, that's the icing on the cake - THEY will teach your kitten manners?? There is ZERO feline expertise displayed in this advertisement. Besides which, a puppy training class is not about the puppies - it's training the humans. Plus, they’ll share advice on how to look after your kitten’s health and well-being. Not sure how reliable this is going to be given the above
What you will learn
- Interactions with people and cats Hopefully that it is a really bad idea done like this. Unfortunately, you'll then need to learn how to mitigate any psychological damage
- Toilet training Good God! Kittens are born knowing how to use the toilet. Its one of the easiest features of a cat over a dog - dogs need training where and when so the human is happy. Cats; show them the litter box. Done. Of course, there might be litter box issues caused by stress or illness (and this class is going to be stressful).
- Harness and lead training In a stressful environment? In three sessions? Really? And for ALL cats regardless of their desire to walk outside? No cat understanding here. If you need more info on harness and lead training, see my specific posts on this. Both my cats are of the temperment to want this, and both are trained to it; it takes months to do this without stress to the animal, allowing them to set the pace.
- Identifying and managing behavioural problems, such as anxiety and biting Did I mention fight and flight or hide response and how this environment would stimulate that instinct? AKA ANXIETY AND BITING. Besides, this information is for the humans - no cats need to be present. But please find a human who really knows their stuff to do the teaching.
- Basic skills, including sit, come and high-five Dog centric. Come on.
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