TTouch is a gentle, innovative and holistic method of working with animals. It’s used to correct bad habits, relieve physical ailments and improve the overall well-being of your cat.
It doesn’t matter if your cat uses the furniture as a scratching post, is afraid of the vet, is timid or aggressive, hates to be bathed or groomed, is terrified of thunder and loud noises, refuses to be a lap cat, sprays in the house or won’t give you the time of day, the TTouch for cats can help put an end to this unwanted behaviour. And the best part is that TTouch does this by using a combination of gentle touches that help to calm not only the cat but you as well!
TTouch helps relieve pain and stiffness of arthritis in older animals. In addition, it has a calming effect that eases much of the stress associated with old age, injuries and surgery. At first you may find it hard to believe TTouch can be effective in getting rid of unwanted behaviour. But you’re in for a surprise. Believe it or not, cat behaviour can be changed!
When would one use TTouch?
- An older animal that is in pain [i.e. arthritis, hip dysplasia, etc.]
- Help injuries and surgery to heal more quickly
- To deepen the bond between you and your pet
- To improve you pet’s confidence, balance, agility or performance
- If your animal is fearful of thunderstorms and loud noises
- If your animal is getting near the end of it's life and you'd like to do something to alleviate the pain and help in the passing.
- For Improving behavior or temperament
- Cats who don’t get along at home
- Cats who are fearful of company
- Cats who are standoffish
- Cats who are fighting etc.
- Cats who have trouble going to the Vet
- Cats who are spraying or scratching in unwanted places
Holding on to your Cat
Sometimes the hardest part is holding on long enough to be able to do touches on your cat! First I’d like to say that the phrase we often use: “Less is More” is nearly always true with cats. A small amount of touch work can be beneficial. Let’s start with cats that won’t hold still or don’t like to be confined, even feral cats. We use what we call a wand (actually a dressage horse whip) and it’s usually important to use two.
Most cats have a sense of play or at least Prey! We find that a cat will play with one wand while you can start stroking with the other. If they turn to attack the second one, stroke with the first! Animals that are concerned will be happier if you keep your distance at first. By using wands, you can start to make contact with a cat without getting into its space. With feral cats and even birds, we might even stroke the floor near them or the air above them!
As the cats gets used to the wand, you can start to slide your hand closer and eventually stoke with the hand. If you don’t have a wand, be creative! We’ve used PVC piping to peacock feathers! Ultimately, you want to get something touching them that is a bit more solid. We even wrap a bandage around the ball end of the wand and do rolls with that end as well as circles.
Cats normally feel more secure with four feet on the ground. For this reason we often work cats on tables with a non-slippery mat or towel underneath. Containment needs to be gentle, but firm. This means not holding tight, but be ready to contain the cat with your body. If you put one hand on the cat’s chest, you start to give the information that you want the cat to stay with you. You might have to keep changing hands often at the beginning as cats have a tendency to move!
But most cats will settle eventually with gentle and non-invasive touches. If you have a cat that wants to back out, you might need a helper on the side. Your own body can block some movement, but not all. You also might like to try sitting on the floor with your legs spread in front of you. This way the cat is contained by your body and your legs while your hands keep it from going forward.
If you are concerned about getting scratched or bitten, there are three other possibilities besides the wands. One is letting the cat stay in the crate and using the wands through the holes to start the process. The second is to only take the top off the crate and cover it with a towel. Then start to touch the cat through the towel. They sometimes feel safer this way. And the last method is to wrap the cat in a towel rather like a Superman cape, but keeping the open side on the cats back and holding firmly at the neck. This helps keep claws away from you. It’s important again to let the cat have its feet on the ground and not be tangled in the towel.
Whatever method you use, if you have concerns about the cat, be sure to wear protective clothing! Cat bites can really hurt! Heavy garden gloves and long sleeved sweatshirts are recommended.
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