The first video describes the problems that the owners were facing. You can see that they were keen to carry on showing their purebred pedigree cat. The wife was particularly keen and the driving force. Incidentally, as mentioned, the cat is a Pixie-bob. This is quite a rare pedigree cat with a short tail. This cat breed has a slightly wild look – a bit like a bobcat – but there are no wild genes in this purebred cat.
You can see the outcome of Jackson Galaxy’s intervention in the video below. You will see that he tried to desensitise Snickers to the trappings of being a show cat and also to accept having her claws trimmed. Her claws had to be trimmed as part of the cat show rules. Stickers so disliked this that in the end her owners used what Jackson Galaxy called an “instrument of torture” to restrain her, which in retrospect made things a lot worse because Snickers associated having her claws being trimmed with a very unpleasant experience (which is clearly was). Jackson Galaxy’s objective was to make both the experience of being a show cat and having her claws trimmed relatively enjoyable by desensitising her, which was carried out by associating a pleasant experience with these unpleasant situations. Despite all this, unsurprisingly, Snickers was retired.
I think the story is quite instructive about cat behaviour and cat caretaking, generally. What can the average cat owner take from this story? The first obvious point is not to force a cat to do anything if he or she has made it clear that she does not wish to do it because you will always lose that battle and in any case it is wrong.
The next thing is to make sure that a cat’s environment is pleasant and as mentioned above the cat show halls could never be described as being a pleasant environments for a domestic cat. It has always amazed me how placid some show cats are which in turn has made me wonder why. Clearly some cats accept all the noise and the hubbub but I do believe that a number of show cats are sedated in some way to make the whole experience acceptable which includes by the way some long-distance travelling very often.
Lastly, I liked the way the attitude of Snickers to nail trimming was altered. It is in the video. I’d watch it and learn.
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