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"Official" companion cat

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I am sorry to hog all the space here but being new and a new cat owner I have not had a place to ask questions ...except of the college kids who work at the pet store and what do they know??!

I live in Southern California and it's true, we are a little "different" around here. You know how, maybe in your state you have a permit you get from a doctor that lets you park in "handicapped Parking" areas Well here is you have any medical\\psychological reason to have a companion animal you can have your doctor declare your (usually dog) a "sevice animal". You gst a permit and then they are allowed to go anywhere with you ...stores, even restaurants I think. Example: One guy had anxiety attacks and had his 20 pound dog appointed a service animal who would calm him down ... when he petted the dog.

I am thinking about having my cat made a "service animal" who could keep ME from having anxiety attacks. I play tennis with a couple of doctors. I bet I could get one to sign the papers. My question is; Can you teach an adult cat, 2 years old to accept a harness\\leash so I could take her out in public? She is very. very friendly and loves everyone (except other cats!) I'd love to take her shopping with me, etc. My father in law is an attorney. He says if I could have make her a "service animal", by law, stores and restaurants would be required to let her in or they could be sued under the "Americans with disabilities act".

I am serious.. Can you train a cat to go out in public with you?
post #2 of 6
I'm an attorney that specializes in employment law and I don't think you could win the ADA case unless you could show a true disability -- but who knows, you're in California.

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

I really would like to take my cat with me on occasion. This is my first cat and I adore her. In the past I had dogs and it is nice to be able to take them with you at least once in a while. I also feel a little badly leaving her alone when I'll be out for the entire day.. She is not the kind of cat that likes to be alone. She won't eat unles she has company for example. I need to harness train her so she does not get spooked, run away and get lost if I take her to the park or whatever. She is outgoing though, not afraid of dogs, loves little children .. good cat to take out, don't you think?

True story. This local fellow, the one who had his small dog classed as a "service or companion animal" ... he took it to the library where a cat lives. The library calls the cat LC ... for Library Cat. For some reason LC went after the dog, scratched him up a bit. Now the dog owner is taking legal action against the library and town that it is in for "discrimination" ,,, and ADA too of course. This is true. The local papers are following this case closely.

Where in SoCal are you moving?
post #4 of 6
I do not know what you mean about Southern Cals being "different." Different, because Californians are more laid back? I don't know. If your issue is to take your kitty out into social functions, then perhaps you need to re-examine your thinking. Unless she herself is really laid back, she will be totally stressed out being out of the enviornment that she is used to. Taking her for a walk in a harness is one thing, but trying to get her to adapt to crowds, loud noise, traffic, smog, congestion and inserting her into every given situation you deal with might just put her system on overload. Then you may have on your hands a neurotic cat, or one who possibly has to be drugged for the rest of her life.

Why not take this another way and contact Therapy Pets and see if they can evaluate her and see if she will pass the test to go into nursing homes and become therapy for others? That way, you will have her with you for some parts of the day, and both of you will be doing good for the residents of the hospitals and convalescent homes. During her screening, they will test all aspects of her personality to see if she is really a good candidate for this program. Teaching a cat to walk on a harness is not a big deal, it just takes some time and patience is all. Your local 4-H chapter should be able to get you in touch with Therapy Pets. If you live in Orange County, the chapter's name is the Midway City Gophers.
post #5 of 6
My Dani is an indoor cat who spends long hours alone. I got her from a shelter when she was about a year old. My initial concern with getting a cat is that I work and go to night school so when I leave in the morning for 4 days a week, it's 16 hours before I see her again. I do feel guilty about leaving her but we share quality time when I get home and she has me on the weekends when she spends most of the day sleeping. Dani's adjusted well to my being out. I have a roommate that Dani mostly ignores and now my roommate has a puppy so Dani and the puppy interact during the day. When I'm home, if I don't move about, they chase each other then both fall sleep.

I said all that to say that I think your cat can adjust to your absence, even an all day one. The first time I went away for a weekend, Dani was miffed and ignored me but within 20 minutes of returning home she was back demanding my attention. Dani's very skittish, she'd not do well in crowds.

Good luck with your baby.

mom to Dani Night Stalker
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hi JoJo,

I appreciate your comments but either my cat is a lot different, I am or most likely both. Molly DEMANDS atention I do draw the line eventually .. She has gotten me up the past two nights. I awake to "meow meow" .. loud too. She is laying on her back on the carpet at the foot of the bed .. all stretched out, you know how they do that. She is demnding to be petted and scratched. I have spoiled her too much. Starting this morning, the second time she got me up which was around 1:30AM, I swear I'm going to ignore her at night.

I love to have her around most of the time. I do computer work at home a few hours a day. There is a high window right above the computer. She sits on the shelf looking for bird "victims" while I use the computer. She comes down every 15 minutes or so to be affectionate. She is very careful not to knock anything over or step on anything important and I must admit I feel like I have human or almost human company when she stays with me like that. I love it!

Day before yesterday she caught another hummingbird and brought it into the house. I let it go and it flew away so I rescued it in time. Yesterday she brought a huge lizard into the house. My wife tried to rescue the lizard and even with gardening gloves on she got bitten ..hard. This is the first year my kids have both been away at college. I thought it would be quiet and peaceful at home with no loud rock music playing at night, no fighting about cleaning rooms, etc. Molly is just as demanding as two teenage daughters.

Oh, One more trick... When we take a bath .. she gets into the bathtub in her bathroom and plays. I know she thinks she is taking a bath. My wife decorated our guest bathroom for the cat, Her cat box is in there. My wife decorated the bathroom in cat motiff ... cat pictures, cat statues. She is crazy about the cat too!
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