Sound mats

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HeatherMacCloud
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Sound mats

Post by HeatherMacCloud » Thu Oct 28, 2010 9:52 pm

I saw Victoria using a mat that makes a loud sound to keep a dog out of a trash can that would go digging into it when the owner was away. Since then I've been looking for a similar mat but I can't find it anywhere. The only ones I can find are shock mats which I do not want to use. I have a similar situation where my cat keeps trying to run out the door as soon as someone comes in it. She never tries when someone is leaving, only when they come in so there's no one to grab her and pull her away from the door. I'm wanting to put the mat where she sits to race out the door, so she'll hear the noise and get away from the door.

Does anyone know where I can find one of these mats? Or the name of them so I can find them?

emmabeth
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Re: Sound mats

Post by emmabeth » Thu Oct 28, 2010 9:57 pm

Honestly - firstly Victoria would be extremely unlikely to advise a sound aversive like that these days.

Secondly - they work on pressure, the cat would just jump it after the first few repetitions. Thats if it didnt cause a fear of doorways or mats or sound - you wont know which could occur until it does, by which point its a bit too late.

Best thing to do - shut the cat in another room when you go out.
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HeatherMacCloud
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Re: Sound mats

Post by HeatherMacCloud » Thu Oct 28, 2010 10:16 pm

I've seen her use this mat at least in two eps of It's Me or The Dog both in cases where there's no one around to distract or keep the dog away from the problem object. That was why I thought to use it. I've also spoken to a cat behaviorist in my town, who agrees with me that a mat like that would be a good solution to this problem.

If I had a room to lock her in, I would, but she's far too smart for her own safety and quite frankly there isn't a door in my house she can't open in under 20 minutes. Fine if I'm running to the gas station up the street for a soda, not so good if I need to go shopping. I've tried crating her, but she's what I like to call a 'bad car kitty' you put her in a crate, no matter how large and she starts to scream, and scream, and scream. So much I've had the cops called on me for a noise complaint. I live near a busy highway, so to me, scaring her away from the door is a far better solution than risking her getting out and getting killed on the road.

emmabeth
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Re: Sound mats

Post by emmabeth » Thu Oct 28, 2010 10:53 pm

Though I havent seen the most recent episodes of IMOTD, you can read Victorias training philosophy in the training advice section and it does pretty clearly state that we do not support the use of aversives and fear in training.

I can't help you with where to get such a mat from, I don't know and I don't agree that it is a good idea. I think long term your cat is going to figure out she can just jump the mat, which wont solve your problem and means your cat is still at risk.

Thinking from a behavioural point of view, if your cat is that desperate to get outside then you need to be doing more to satisfy her needs to run around, play, climb, hunt etc. Addressing these things may reduce her interest in getting outside.
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HeatherMacCloud
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Re: Sound mats

Post by HeatherMacCloud » Thu Oct 28, 2010 11:37 pm

I haven't seen this newest season either. I do love Victoria's training methods and have used them with my dog own and other dogs with awesome results. However, this mat is something I've seen her specifically use at least twice, I've also seen her use a child alarm on a fridge to keep a dog out, as well as several other places. So, yeah, I know she does only use it as a last resort, like where the problem behavior only occurs when no human is around to stop it, but it is a tactic I've seen her employ several times over several seasons of IMOTD. Honestly, that's neither here nor there, though. I wouldn't have asked about such an item if I hadn't seen it used by her before.

About the cat, she's a young cat who was an inside/outside cat. Now I live in a different house where the outside part isn't possible for her. She has plenty of toys and generally never gives the door a second thought. It's only when she knows people are out there that she wants out and she's smart enough to realise that it's hard to catch her when we're going in the door. Usually we walk in with a foot first, giving her a kitty level barrier, it's hard to do that with a bag of groceries, though. On days when no one's going anywhere, she'll hardly look at the door, the moment someone leaves though, she thinks it's time to go outside and play.

The mat wasn't going to be a perminant thing. The same as shaking a can of beans when a cat jumps on the counter, eventually they stay off the counter without you shaking the beans. I've tried every other solution I can think of. The house I'm living in is older and there's just not that many doors. Only four rooms in the whole place have doors on them, two of those being bathrooms. So far we've caught her every time she tries to get out, but I know it's only a matter of time before she gets passed us.

OHenry
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Re: Sound mats

Post by OHenry » Thu Oct 28, 2010 11:58 pm

You can find them by googling pet sound mat. I understand where you are coming from but I actually don't think it will be as effective for a cat. (I am new to dogs but not to cats!) Two options that you might try would be:

1) Get her away from the door with something she wants--reach your arm in the door and lob a catnip mouse, treat bomb, etc across the room.

2) Get her away from the door with a not-too-scary noise just when you are coming in, not something there all the time like a sound mat where you might wind up with the cat having unexpected negative associations.

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Mattie
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Re: Sound mats

Post by Mattie » Fri Oct 29, 2010 2:50 am

Turn the door handles the other way round, if you need to push them down to open them, change them so you have to push them up instead, this may solve the problem of her opening the doors.
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Noobs
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Re: Sound mats

Post by Noobs » Fri Oct 29, 2010 1:27 pm

Heather her UK series aired years ago. She's on her 3rd season in the US and hasn't used any such tools here. She's used a microphone where she could see the dog and then say commands (mostly "leave it" and, famously, "away" with Stains the cupcake dog) into the mic, so the dog was hearing a command without a person present. But no sound mats. She's addressed this specific type of thing where she used to use methods and tools in the UK series that she wouldn't use now in this post:

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=3477

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