Rose Ordile is an animal trainer for the film and television industry. She's currently the official trainer for Morris the Cat.
iVillage: What was the most challenging part of acclimating Morris to life in the spotlight?
Rose Ordile: Morris is not declawed, so I have to give him weekly manicures and pedicures. He didn't particularly care for this at first! It had to do with a human handling him and then spreading his paws to clip his nails. That was a big trust issue. We worked him into it by clipping one nail at a time. And then when I would clip one, I would give him a treat. Once again, having that done equaled food. He loves tartar-control treats. So not only was I clipping his nails, but the tartar-control treats were also cleaning his teeth to help remove some of the plaque and tartar. It's not the cure-all -- they still need to go in for dentals -- but it does help, and I feel like I'm doing a double whammy. Now he loves being bathed, groomed and having his manicures and pedicures.
Also, to help keep his nails short, I supply him with a lot of cat furniture and cat toys to claw onto, because that is a natural behavior that all cats need to do. Scratching strengthens and tones the muscles in their paws, and it's also how they clean the sheath of their nails. It's a natural behavior that cats need to do, but it's not a behavior that people like in their house. So keeping a cat's nails trimmed down and supplying the cat with cat furniture and toys to claw onto will help the cat leave your furniture alone.