It was about half past 7 this morning when both the cats decided that we needed to wake up to feed them. Will.I.Am (below left) snuggled up next to me purring away as he got his cuddles, when Simbie (below right) decided to swipe at her younger brother from behind almost as if it was out of jealously. Talk about a wake up call! I managed to jump vertically from lying on my back. It all happened so fast. It was almost as if Muhammed Ali took a jab at me. I almost jumped out of my skin.
Sim and Will are the best cats anyone could wish for. They both have unique characters. Will is like a playful kitten, always up to mischief and entertaining us. Either that or snuggling on our laps or making himself at home on the beanbag. Will is our guard cat, he keeps a watchful eye on four-legged trespassers, but literally just a watchful eye, as he is the biggest softie going! Sim is an older girl who tends to be more reserved, but meows until she gets what she wants. She tends to get a little spiteful with her younger brother and spends most the day bossing him around or interrupting his fun. We don't mind the cat alarm clock, but what we aren't so keen on is the swipe that follows when Will comes in for cuddles.
So, where is this going you may think. If you have been following our blog you may start to notice that we believe you can train anything, especially jealous cats! So if you are an animal lover, a people lover like us or just a humble family person then our strategy for dealing with a jealous cat could be the same strategy you could use with someone close to you, animal or human.
Have you ever heard of 'classical conditioning'?
During the 1890's a Russian physiologist, Ivan Pavlov, was observing salivation in dogs in response to being fed, when he noticed that his dogs would begin to salivate whenever he entered the room, even when he wasn't bringing them food. In his experiment Pavlov used a bell and whenever he gave food to his dogs he rang the bell. After a number of repeats of this procedure he rang the bell on its own. Of course, by this point the dogs had been conditioned to expect food when hearing the bell. The dogs began to salivate even without food whenever the bell rang. The dogs learned an association between the bell and food, hence a new behaviour had been learned.
This experiment has given birth to methods used by super nannies and animal trainers. Simple. So, back to teaching Sim to be nicer to Will, every time she gets close to him and doesn't take a swipe she will be rewarded with yummy treats and lots of fuss. Of course we need to consider that food rewards should only be temporary as we don't want an unhealthy kitty.
We will commit to this and share our results. Behaviour plays a massive role in our well-being. Positive behaviour has an effect on the mind and body as it dictates a way of life.
Here's to successful behaviours,