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e-collar for a cat?! WHAT?! *kind of a rant*

Calisse` BasadaCalisse` Basada DenverMember Posts: 339
edited 13 April, 2010 in Behavior & Training
So I work at a local Petco. I love working there, the staff at my Petco is always there to be the pets advocate. Well the other day I was directed to the e-collar display case because someone wanted one. I just thought, "Yay, another person I can turn away from e-collars, and maybe get them into a training class." so when I went over to help this gentleman I find out that he actually wants this e-collar for his cat, because she is peeing on the floor. WHAT?! I was shocked. I sat there and told him it was a bad idea and tried to help him figure out why the cat was acting out but it went in one ear and out the other, all he could say is "I've done my research and I know it works. So which one comes with a collar?" Eventually I told him that if he wanted an e-collar he would have to go to another store because I was not going to sell him one. Apparently the guy complained to the manager but the manager stood up for me and told the guy the same thing I did. Holy cow this makes me not like people. If you're thinking this way you just shouldn't have an animal period.
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Comments

  • Annalisa Conserti-JonesAnnalisa Conserti-Jones Member Posts: 5,234
    edited 6 April, 2010
    I'm confused: how exactly would an e-collar help with a peeing issue? Aren't those supposed to just be used to prevent a cat or dog from licking sutures or sores following an illness and/or surgery? Where do these people get the idea that they can be used for toilet training? :-k
  • Valerie DurhamValerie Durham Member Posts: 8,724
    edited 6 April, 2010
    Could you clarify why you are against e-collars period? As Gracie says, they can be useful in preventing cats from licking surgical wounds, skin lesions, etc.
  • Molly StrothkampMolly Strothkamp MesaMember Posts: 1,381
    edited 7 April, 2010
    I'm confused, too. When you say e-collar, are you talking about an elizabethan collar that is used to prevent animals from licking at surgery sites and other medical issues or are you referring to an e-collar as some type of electric collar? When I hear/read e-collar, I automatically think of elizabethan collars but I'm wondering if you are referring to something else. Could you clarify? Obviously, neither type of collar would help a kitty with litterbox issues as you've decribed. But as Gracie stated, e-collars (elizabethan collars) can be a very helpful thing to help keep kitties safe in their recovery during and after medical issues.
  • Cindy BlossCindy Bloss Member Posts: 13
    edited 6 April, 2010
    I get why you wouldn't want to sell the e-collar for peeing. I had to put one on my dog when he had surgery and wouldn't stop licking the area. I also had to put on Buster when he was a baby because he had gotten and infection in his front paw and won't stop biting at it.
  • janice lancasterjanice lancaster temple gaMember Posts: 2,505
    edited 6 April, 2010
    I think they are referring to electric collars; I have seen some reference to putting them on cats lately, and think it is ridiculous...I'm not at all crazy about using them on dogs, even though dogs don't panic the way cats do. (The only fair use of the one for dogs, in my opinion, is for field trial, herding, etc. dogs when they ignore the command to stop and return to the handler, and then the lowest setting is enough)
  • Valerie DurhamValerie Durham Member Posts: 8,724
    edited 7 April, 2010
    Zeborah, it seems that your Mommy works at a vet's office. You should know that for most of us, "e-collar" means "Elizabethan collar," although I see from the Internet that it also refers to training collars for dogs. I'm assuming that you mean the latter, but you should have made that clearer. An Elizabethan collar is not appreciated by most cats or dogs, and can prevent a cat from getting into a hooded litter box, but it is meant to protect the cat from infection, and although I feel sorry when I have to put one on my cats, I do not consider myself cruel. I got mine from the vet, but if someone (not the guy in the story) was told by his vet to buy one at a store, and was thrown out by you and the manager, and his cat managed to infect a surgical wound or rip out the stitches, that's cruelty on your part. If you are referring to an Elizabethan collar, what is your solution to keep an animal from worrying wounds and skin lesions? Wrap it up like a mummy?
  • Valerie DurhamValerie Durham Member Posts: 8,724
    edited 7 April, 2010
    If the cat died from an infection because you refused to sell the man an e-collar, you, your manager, and Petco could possibly be sued. What if the cat had to be put to sleep because of your inexplicable aversion to e-collars? I'm stumped. For those of us who use e-collars after surgery, etc., what is your alternative? I'm curious.
  • Valerie DurhamValerie Durham Member Posts: 8,724
    edited 7 April, 2010
    Pet's advocate? Turning someone away from something that is meant to protect a cat from infection? If working at Petco is so stressful for you, maybe you should find a less stressful place to work. And your manager sounds ignorant.
  • Sophie VeilleuxSophie Veilleux Member Posts: 182
    edited 6 April, 2010
    Zeborah is probably not against using those collars for injuries, but this man wanted it to train the cat not to pee somewhere.. I wouldn't have sold him one either! Don't think she needs to be worried about getting sued..
  • Valerie DurhamValerie Durham Member Posts: 8,724
    edited 7 April, 2010
    It seems that Zeborah wants to turn everyone away from e-collars. Obviously the man in question was out to lunch. Wearing an e-collar is stressful for most kitties, and could just worsen this particular man's situation. But I've never bought a product at a pet store and had a salesperson question me about how or why I wanted to use it, and then refusing to sell it to me. For example, those laser toys that are so popular nowadays could be dangerous if you shine the beam into the cat's eyes. But when I bought one, no one asked me if I were intending to blind my cat with it. Recently, Elise had some stitches on her stomach, and the vet gave me an e-collar so that she wouldn't rip out the stitches. Was my vet uninformed, cruel, or old-fashioned? What would Zeborah do in this case? Risk infection? Euthanize the cat? And I'd be interested to know about "training classes" to teach cats to use the litter box appropriately. Never heard of them. And what about OTC flea meds and dewormers? We all know that the meds you get at the vet's are far more effective. Does Zeborah refuse to sell them, too? In the case of worms, for example, a stool sample is necessary to ascertain if a cat has worms or other parasites, and how much medication is necessary. A vet will also tell you if you need to treat the other cats in the household. Personally, I don't advocate OTC meds for cats. But if I were working in a pet store, I wouldn't rant at a customer who wanted to buy some. Or what about toys? A lot of them, for example toy mice, have strings or cords attached (for example, mouse tails) that are potentially dangerous if swallowed by a cat. Would Zeborah and her manager refuse to sell them as well? Even an innocent-looking kennel could be used to keep a cat locked up for life. Almost anything in a pet store could be utilized for abusing animals. But most pet owners (not this guy, natch) are nice people who are doing the best they can by their animals. Most people do not buy toys, kennels, etc. for the purpose of causing their animals harm. Same with e-collars. They are meant to PROTECT the animal. Remind me never to shop at Petco.
  • Valerie DurhamValerie Durham Member Posts: 8,724
    edited 7 April, 2010
    I've checked the website for the Petco nearest my home. They carry three kinds of e-collars, which are soft and comfy looking compared to the plastic ones you get from the vet. Why are they cruel, if a cat needs one? Also, I see that Petco carries premium cat food brands, but also brands like Science Diet and Fancy Feast, which many cat experts consider to be garbage. Does Zeborah also refuse to sell low-quality cat food?
  • Valerie DurhamValerie Durham Member Posts: 8,724
    edited 7 April, 2010
    Actually, I'd like to buy one of those soft e-collars, but I'd afraid of some hysterical clerk telling me that they are "cruel." I'm thinking of calling Petco HQ, and asking about their position on allowing employees and managers to refuse to sell their products.
  • Valerie DurhamValerie Durham Member Posts: 8,724
    edited 7 April, 2010
    Also, how would a "training class" teach a sick cat not to lick its wounds? And what would Zeborah do, for example, if a cat had a surgical wound that was in danger of becoming infected? Not use an e-collar? Is Zeborah's vet also against e-collars?
  • Arlye DruryArlye Drury DartmouthMember Posts: 826
    edited 6 April, 2010
    It sounds like the man wanted an electric training collar to me. And I agree, that would be a horrible way to treat a cat (or any animal - for that matter). I'm supposing the man had his cat checked for the usual reasons a cat will go outside of the litterbox - and I still can't wrap my brain around how using an electric shock would teach the cat not to pee in unwanted places. As for the elizabethan collars (or cones) - they do have their place in protecting surgical sites from injury from licking or biting. Purrcy had one on for a short time after his surgery (while at the hospital) but came home without one even though he had around 20 staples on his belly and a feeding tube in his neck. He did fine without it and his incision healed nicely. I wouldn't have hesitated to use one if he had showed undue interest in his incision.
  • Valerie DurhamValerie Durham Member Posts: 8,724
    edited 7 April, 2010
    Well, if that's the case, Zeborah should have said "electronic collar." But Zeborah used the term "e-collar," so I assume she meant the cone-shaped thing. True, cats hate them. Elise managed to shake hers off 10 minutes after I put it on, and fortunately, had no problems with the stitched area. Some people's idea of animal husbandry just boggles my mind...Perhaps Zeborah is against any form of medical treatment for animals?
  • janice lancasterjanice lancaster temple gaMember Posts: 2,505
    edited 6 April, 2010
    WhenI saw "e-collar", I immediately thought "electric", and I'd bet that's what was referred to-- the coneheads are not kept in a display case at Petco, but the electric collars are... and they are referred to as e-collars. Just google "e-collar training" and you will see. And the man specifically said it was to train his cat not to pee on the floor, not that his cat had had an injury. I'd be willing to bet he was looking at the electric ones.
  • Valerie DurhamValerie Durham Member Posts: 8,724
    edited 7 April, 2010
    But Petco has Elizabethan collars on its website...Actually, I'd like to buy one, but am now afraid of the salespeople there...
  • Karen LeeKaren Lee The kingdom of Mer-lotMember Posts: 89,020
    edited 6 April, 2010
    I think the \"e-collar\" refered to here is an electric collar :-O The male customer said he needed one because his cat was inappropriately peeing on the floor. A cone-shaped collar, the type used to prevent excessive licking of surgical areas and such, would have zero effect on how or where a cat pees. There are many causes for inappropriate peeing: medical, behavioral, stress, dirty litter box, etc. It may take a little \"detective work\" to find out the cause but most problems can be resolved. Shocking as a \"training method\" is not the way to go :n:
  • Valerie DurhamValerie Durham Member Posts: 8,724
    edited 7 April, 2010
    Well, WE'RE glad that we have a nice Mommy who takes us to the vet when we have to go. We hate those e-collars like the plague, but we know that sometimes they're necessary, and fortunately our vet doesn't think they're "cruel."
  • Calisse` BasadaCalisse` Basada DenverMember Posts: 339
    edited 7 April, 2010
    ~Purrcy~- thank you, yes that is what I ment. In the dog world for trainers electronic collars mean e-collar usually. I’ve never heard an Elizabeth collar being called an e-collar, so I’m sorry for the confusion. Yes, I do believe in taking my cats to the vet, and I do use Elizabeth collars when needed.
  • Valerie DurhamValerie Durham Member Posts: 8,724
    edited 7 April, 2010
    You hurt MY feelings. You made my Mommy feel guilty about using an e-collar when I had stitches. I didn't mean to be hurtful. I was just being defensive. I agree--whatever you post on the Forums, there is always someone there who wants to tell you that you're wrong.
  • Calisse` BasadaCalisse` Basada DenverMember Posts: 339
    edited 7 April, 2010
    I think e-collar just got lost in the transition between dogster and catster. I'll try to choose my words better next time.
  • SterlingAndTheSTeamSterlingAndTheSTeam Mount OliveMember Posts: 41,262 ✭✭✭
    edited 6 April, 2010
    All I had to do for clarification was search \"e collar\" and all that came up was \"electronic collar\", so I knew what Zeborah was talking about. If I was unknowingly buying something that would harm my cats I would certainly appreciate the salesperson telling me, even though it would be one sale less for the company. Zeborah, you can be MY salesperson anytime! ;) =; |:|
  • Calisse` BasadaCalisse` Basada DenverMember Posts: 339
    edited 6 April, 2010
    Hehe, thank you Athena =; |:|
  • Annalisa Conserti-JonesAnnalisa Conserti-Jones Member Posts: 5,234
    edited 6 April, 2010
    Okay, see that makes more sense. See, I googled "e-collar for cats" and the top results were, unsurprisingly, about elizabethan collars. So Zeborah, you can see how I was mostly confused. I was wondering why something that would keep cats from knowing how to reach their claws around them could possibly help with a peeing issue. I never meant to imply anything other than this man might be... uh... confused. Now that you've clarified the problem, I agree with you that this man was being not just cruel, but also stubborn about it. I have to fear that unfortunately all that he learned from you was not to disclose why he needed the collar the next time he went to a pet store. :(( Oh, and electric collars may be helpful in teaching hunting dogs to focus, but even there they are not necessary. We have a relative that has had hunting labs living with him over the past few decades. He adopts them from a breeder he trusts as puppies and has them obedience trained around the same time the puppies are ready to leave their doggy mom (generally no earlier than 12 weeks) by a specialist trainer who specializes in hunting behavior. Never had to use an e-collar for training, I believe. All you have to do is know how to discern puppies with a good working dog temperament vs. those who have a family pet temperament. If you happen to own the latter, you just have to accept that to a certain extent, they'll train you, and not the other way around. :)) ... And cats? We all subscribe to the "train the owner" philosophy. Around here, we've got both mom and dad pretty well trained by now. We consider our greatest triumph to have trained dad. He grew up with dogs, so at first he was unreceptive to our training, thinking if he ignored our demands we would give up like doggies do. :))! :))! :))!
  • edited 7 April, 2010
    Cats cannot be trained.... but we can be coerced. ;) Beyond that, if a cat is peeing all over the house, my immediate concern would be that it has a medical problem (UTI). If the cat is peeing in one spot consistently, I would suspect that the area in question is overly saturated with pee-smell and needs to be cleaned more thoroughly with proper cleaning &/or enzymatic agents (or, in some cases, ripped out and replaced). On the other hand, a man who is cruel enough to conceive of using a shock collar on a cat is probably rather unkind in his relationship with the cat in the first place. It wouldn\'t surprise me at all if the cat is acting out of fear. In which case, the man is just going to exasperate the problem, and the poor cat may end up in a very bad situation down the road.
  • Valerie DurhamValerie Durham Member Posts: 8,724
    edited 7 April, 2010
    Isn't it rather confusing to have "e-collar" mean two entirely different things? :-k
  • edited 7 April, 2010
    I usually call them "shock collars". E-collars sounds way too nice and does not convey what they are used for. The use of the term e-collars bothers other people in dog training. BUT the term is used all the time and though it is confusing, OP did not deserve any scorn. OP did an amazing job as a sales person, it takes courage and inner strength to do what she did. She could have just sold that man whatever he wanted, and gone home with her paycheck. But she wants to make a difference and makes the effort to do so, with passion and conviction. She is an inspiration to me! =;
  • Cindy BlossCindy Bloss Member Posts: 13
    edited 7 April, 2010
    hahaha I thought you meant cone kind of collar not the shock kind.. Now it makes sense.
  • Linda AbramsLinda Abrams Joanna, SC 29351Member Posts: 555 ✭✭
    edited 7 April, 2010
    OP My mom says you can be her salesperson anytime!=;
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