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Contech Scat Mat
Electronic Pet Training Mat

Scat Mats are the ultimate solutions for the toughest location specific behavior challenges with your pets. After all other training techniques or tactics have failed, the Scat Mat works.

Existing customers give it a remarkably strong 8.2 satisfaction rating on the 10 point scale. Its an approval rating audible or ultrasonic training devices can't compete with.

Moreover, your purchase of a Scat Mat is backed up with an unconditional 30 day 100% Satisfaction Guarantee, and 2 year warranty.

Scat Mats are available from Biocontrol Network and your satisfaction is 100% guaranteed.

The Scat Mat works when all else fails. Over 150,000 are in use. What are you waiting for? Get yours today!

Background Information

Unacceptable behavior is one of the most common fatal diseases of domestic pets. Studies show approximately 25% of dogs and cats are euthenized or abandoned within their first year because they exhibit unacceptable behavior. An additional 15% are destroyed for other reasons.

A survey of 1500 clients at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital revealed 42% of dog owners and 47% of cat owners considered that their pets had a significant behavioral problem. Another study reported THE most common reason recorded by Humane Societies for "giving up a pet" was undesirable behavior. Conservative sources estimate 10 million cats and dogs are destroyed annually in North America.

Animal behavior science is a relatively exact discipline since animals appear not to reason out a behavior. Instead they function under rigid principles of inherited and learned reflexes. Thus, the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of behavioral problems can be well defined. Behavioral therapists generally agree about 60% of cases are correctable, 20% can be improved to an acceptable level, and 20% are failures.1

The Scat Mat is a location specific training device. Its purpose is to condition small animals to avoid areas which the user designates. By avoiding these selected locations, animals are prevented from perpetuating inappropriate behavior.

Humane Societies in Canada and the USA, the Canadian Council on Animal Care and the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association have advised Contech the Scat Mat is an acceptable product for use in situations where positive reinforcement doesn't work.2 They feel the Scat Mat is a humane and potentially lifesaving product.

The Scat Mat's effectiveness is limited to location specific problems with small animals. The following pages provide detailed information about the Scat Mat's capabilities and limitations, and answers to many typical concerns.

Product Description:

The Scat Mat is a flexible grey or green vinyl pad with an electronic Power Pack on one corner. The mat shapes range from long and skinny to large round circles. The regular (and original) model is 48"x20". A conductive wire grid is imbedded within the mat. Perforations on the upper surface allow contact to be made with the grid by an animal.

A switch on the side of the Power Pack allows the user to adjust the output (Low, Medium, High) as required.

Operation:

When properly connected, the Power Pack generates very short duration electrical pulses which are output to the conductive grid. An animal contacting any two adjacent lines on the grid will complete an electrical circuit and experience a sensation similar to static electrical discharge. This sensation is both surprising and unpleasant, but not harmful. Small animals will flee on contacting the mat and become conditioned to avoid the location in the future.

Applications:

The Scat Mat is intended to train pets to avoid furniture, cars, window sills and so forth, which will prevent further scratching, clawing, shredding and spraying at a specific site. The product has a myriad of alternate applications. One can deter animals from approaching an infinite variety of objects and areas by creatively and strategically wrapping or draping the mat in the animals path. i.e.: by wrapping the mat around a tree, cats, squirrels, or raccoons can be prevented from reaching a bird nest or feeder.

Usage:

Place the mat at the location, or in the path leading to the location where the animal exhibits the undesirable behavior. i.e.: on the hood of the car, under a plant, on the sofa, table, counter, soiled floor area, etc... Once positioned and properly connected, the Scat Mat requires no further attention. Once the animal has begun to avoid the area the mat may be removed. If the mat is to protect surface that is larger than the mat, it can be concealed beneath a sheet of newspaper, a thin cotton sheet, table cloth or similar thin fabric including light car covers.

Effectiveness:

The Scat Mat is effective for training cats and dogs of all sizes. Its' effectiveness is directly related to the magnitude of the surprise and unpleasantness felt.

Effectiveness varies from animal to animal, and ranges from days to many months before reinforcement is required. Best results occur when Scat Mat are used in conjunction with positive training techniques which reward good behavior away from the problem location(s).

In addition to the animals paw pad toughness, size and weight, there are several other variables that contribute to the product's ultimate performance. They include the animals' intelligence, memory, temperament, and motivation to perform the unwanted activities.

For example, if the animal is strongly motivated to be in a given spot, such as might be the case if food is the attractant, the effectiveness is diminished. In this case the animal may return much sooner to the original behavior pattern.

The long term effectiveness also depends on the animal associating the unpleasant sensation with the location rather than the mat. This is critical. If the animal is very smart and figures out the Scat Mat is the problem, then the device will only be effective when in place. In this case the mat may not even have to be plugged in. The mere presence of the mat may be sufficient to deter the animal from future misbehavior. In this situation, Dummy Mats may be used to cover additional areas.

Removal of Mat:

There are two schools of thought on when you should remove the mat.

The first, and our preferred choice, is right after the animal has begun to avoid area (after one or two exposures). This ideal situation assumes the pet will remember something unpleasant occurred at the usage location and after a couple of experiences he/she will steer clear of the area.

The second option is to leave the mat in place for a month or longer to habituate the pet to going around the problem area protected by the Scat Mat. The theory in this case suggests the pet will associate the mat as being the problem, and through long term exposure the pet will gradually develop a new traffic pattern that avoids the problem location. The mat can then be removed. If the training was effective the pet should avoid the location. If it wasn't, the mat or a Dummy Mat will have to be left at the spot indefinitely.

The stronger the animals motivation is to spend time at the problem spot, (food, comfort, etc.) the more likely it is that you should employ the second option of long term usage. It is also possible to employ the first option, first - and if it fails then try the second.

Strategies:

There are many schools of thought on the best way to correct an animal's unwanted behavior. Learning theory suggests an instantaneous correction is much more effective that one that is delayed. Scat Mat was developed to provide this type of instant negative reinforcement at the exact time and place of the offense. This is considered preferable and more effective than delayed corrections. Therefore, with the Scat Mat in place, it is the environment which conditions the animal, rather than the owner. This ensures the pet will not repeat the behavior when the owner is out of sight.

There are a growing number of sizes and patterns available. Select the size of Scat Mat that most efficiently covers the area the animal has to stand when it misbehaves. If in doubt call our customer service number.

The pattern of conductive leads is designed to maximize the likelihood of shocking the animal through the body, rather than across a paw. A shock across the paw is quickly forgotten, whereas this more noticeable sensation will be remembered. To achieve this objective, the leads are spaced approximately 1 and a 1/2 inches apart. This ensures most paws will not span across two adjacent lines. The drawback is that some smaller animals may cross the mat several times before making the correct contact. This is not all bad. After all, we want to fool the animal into thinking it is the location rather than the mat that is the source of the unpleasantness

Strategies for Best Results:

  1. Use the right size mat(s) for the job.
  2. Put the mat down with the animal out of sight.
  3. Use the highest setting appropriate for your pets size.
  4. Introduce the mat with new furniture, if old was destroyed.
  5. Conceal under car covers, sheets, tablecloths etc. when possible.

Reinforcement:

It rarely takes an animal more than one or two exposures to the mat to get the idea. However, as with most training, periodic reinforcement is required. When the animal resumes the unwanted activities the mat should be laid out again to reinforce the original training.

Location Specific:

The Scat Mat will not stop an animal from scratching, shedding, spraying or making a mess. It can only prevent the animal from returning to the location where the activity has taken place thereby breaking the cycle and preventing further damage. Each problem location must be addressed individually.

Power Source:

9 volt alkaline battery (not included)

Safety:

The energy dispensed by the Scat Mat is extremely small. It is common practice to test or demonstrate the device by placing the heel of one's hand across the mat. The output of the unit at the lowest level has been described by Dr. Harry Rowsell, Executive Director, Canadian Council on Animal Care, as follows:

"My experience in the demonstration of the Scat Mat was one of a tingling of the finger tips and the skin on the more sensitive parts of my hand and forearm. I considered it an experience which one would want to end by removing the hand, however, there was no lasting effect or sensation of tingling after removal." 3

The output is increased by 50% for the Medium level, and doubled for High.

Medtronic Canada, a manufacturer of pacemakers, reviewed the output characteristics of the product [prior to the addition of the two higher settings] and concluded that under normal usage, the Scat Mat presents no problem to any person wearing one of their devices, even if he should accidentally contact an energized mat.4

If a small child should come into contact with the mat, he or she will recoil away from it, just as an unsuspecting adult would do. Older children will consider the Scat Mat an unusual new plaything.

Upon demonstration of safety and effectiveness, in compliance with Canadian law, the Scat Mat was issued Registration Number 20897 by Agriculture Canada under the Pest Control Products Act. Scat Mat manufacturing facilities are also registered with the Environmental Protection Agency in the US(EPA Est. No.59392-CN-001 & 160170).

Research:

Comprehensive research in strict adherence to the Government of Canada's Pest Control Product Act, has been conducted by a pest control expert from Simon Fraser University in British Columbia. It established the Scat Mat to be almost 100% effective in deterring cats to avoid specific locations. The research in field study situations involved over 40 cats and addressed both effectiveness and safety.5

Preliminary testing with raccoons concluded these animals were less deterred by their encounter with the device and were more persistent than cats in their efforts to remove food from an energized mat. However, in a situation which required raccoons to maintain contact with the mat in order gain access to attractive food, the animals abandoned their attempts.

An independent test with 25 dogs in a controlled situation has demonstrated it to be highly effective. All of the dogs involved (ranging from a 12 pound Norwich terrier to a 91 pound Giant schnauzer) reacted to the Scat Mat. None would recross the mat for a treat when given an opportunity.

Durability:

The Scat Mat is water resistant, withstands considerable abuse and it can be walked upon. If it rains, the mat simply gets wet. There is no change in the output properties or effectiveness. However, if a thorough soaking should occur and the Power Pack ceases to operate, it should resume working normally after it dries. If the mat has a chance of getting soaked frequently we highly recommend removing the Power Pack and situating it in a dry location. Optional snap on Connector Cords are available in various lengths to connect the Power Pack to the Mat. The vinyl is cold crack treated to minus 18 degrees Celsius(0F).

Case Histories:

  1. A couple living in Vancouver, B.C., Canada had three cats who developed a habit of climbing onto the dining room table at night occasionally knocking things off the table. The cats were trained over three nights to avoid the table by the owner who placed a Scat Mat on the table. By the end of the second evening all three cats had contacted the mat. The mat was then removed. A month later the couple moved. During that month, none of the cats had returned to the table. Even after moving to a new apartment, the cats continued to avoid the dining room table.

  2. A Victoria B.C. homeowner had rented his basement suite to a couple with three cats. For the seven years the couple had occupied the suite, their cats had always scooted through the door connecting the respective living quarters whenever it was opened. A Scat Mat was placed on the homeowner's side of the connecting doorway. Within hours all three cats had tried to sneak through the open connecting door and had stepped on the energized Scat Mat. All three animals immediately beat a hasty retreat back into their side of the house. These animals were immediately trained not to cross that boundary. Six months later, the cats would not cross the threshold, even when coaxed. After two years, only one of the cats' would occasionally attempt to enter the other side if the door was left open long enough. However, approaches would be very cautious and could be stopped with a verbal reprimand.

Foot Notes:

  1. Source: Canadian Veterinary Journal
  2. Copies of these endorsements are available upon request.
  3. Copies of Dr. Rowsell's letter are available upon request.
  4. Copies of this letter from Medtronic are available upon request.
  5. Copies of the summary of the field tests are available upon request.



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