Can Cats Rival Dogs in Social Intelligence?

Can cats rival dogs in social intelligence? Recent research suggests that they can. In this article, I’ll briefly summarize the work of Kristyn Vitale, a postdoc at Oregon State University who studies cat socialization. I’ll also share four experiments that Vitale says pet owners can try at home with their cats. I tried them with my cats, and I’ll share their results in this article as well In November 2018 I interviewed Vitale, who grew up wanting to work with cats. Not seeing many opportunities in the field, she initially pursued zoology as a career, then switched to feline research … Continue reading Can Cats Rival Dogs in Social Intelligence?

2020 Online Behavior Day

On February 8, I participated in the first online cat behavior conference hosted by the Community Cats Podcast. The conference featured two certified cat behavior consultants, Tabitha Kucera and Rachel Geller. These ladies spoke on several topics, three of which I’ll highlight here. A registered veterinary technician and a certified cat behavior training consultant, Tabitha Kucera is also certified in feline-friendly handling by both Fear Free and the Low Stress Handling University. I have interviewed her three times: Chip the Agility Cat, Kitten Kindergarten, Why Clicker Train Cats?. In her presentations for CCP Behavior Day, she talked about the importance … Continue reading 2020 Online Behavior Day

2020 Online Community Cats Conference

On the weekend of January 24-26, I participated in an online conference hosted by the Community Cats Podcast on the topic of community cats (unowned cats that live outdoors). Now in its second year, the conference featured thirteen speakers from animal welfare organizations across North America. Following are highlights from the one presentation I disliked, and from a few of those I enjoyed. “So much has evolved in animal welfare in just the past decade. Now that we know better, we can do better,” said Dr. Sara Pizano, in her presentation titled “How We Live with and Love Cats.” Pizano … Continue reading 2020 Online Community Cats Conference

My First Paying Clients And Other Milestones

I ended 2020 by writing that the milestones for my cat consulting business were continuing to accumulate. Before that list becomes too lengthy, I want to share milestones from the past few months, the biggest being my first paying clients. Read on to hear all my exciting news! Develop New Working Relationships Back in my days as a book review blogger, I felt honored when authors, publicists, and/or publishers contacted me about a review. It showed that my name and my work were getting recognized. By the same token, I felt honored when Elizabeth Burr of Preferred Pet Partners emailed … Continue reading My First Paying Clients And Other Milestones

Interview with Feline Behavior Specialist, Dr. Sarah Ellis

While studying for a Post Graduate Diploma in Companion Animal Behavior Counselling, Sarah Ellis, discovered that she loved learning about cats. At the same time, she realized that there were so many questions about this “wonderful species” and that she … Continue reading Interview with Feline Behavior Specialist, Dr. Sarah Ellis

The Beatrice Humane Society, A No-Kill Model for Rural Nebraska

In 2018, the Beatrice Humane Society operated with an amazing 94.1% live release rate. The shelter took in 856 dogs and cats from Gage County; 810 of them were placed in new homes through the help of local and regional … Continue reading The Beatrice Humane Society, A No-Kill Model for Rural Nebraska

When Life Throws a Curve Ball … Start a Podcast!

The circumstances of life can sometimes inspire an unexpected choice. After Stacy LeBaron moved to Vermont, she wanted to continue to be involved with community cat programs, but “living in rural Vermont made it hard to get involved with another … Continue reading When Life Throws a Curve Ball … Start a Podcast!

Interview with Veterinarian Dr. Jody Jones

Dr. Jody Jones had a big interest in medicine but couldn’t imagine herself touching people for an exam. “I thought back as a kid what I enjoyed and being around animals always made me happy,” said Dr. Jones, who is originally from Sargent, Nebraska. She attended UNL, earning her bachelor’s degree in animal science, then graduated from Kansas State where she received her doctorate in veterinary medicine. Dr. Jones began her career as a veterinarian in 2002 at a mixed animal practice in Iowa before moving back to Nebraska in 2005, where she has developed a special interest in animal … Continue reading Interview with Veterinarian Dr. Jody Jones

Milestones in Becoming a Cat Behavior Consultant, Part Three

Recap: On May 17, I officially launched Allison Helps Cats. Both prior to and since my launch, there have been many milestones that have happened as part of my dream to become a cat behavior consultant. Some of those included taking courses, volunteering services, promoting my business, applying for a scholarship, seeking legal help, and talking with others in the field. In part three of a three-part series, I’ll share the rest of those milestones, to wrap up 2019 and look forward to 2020. Expand my Networking Circles In the fall, my attempts at networking continued to bear fruit. A … Continue reading Milestones in Becoming a Cat Behavior Consultant, Part Three

Compassion Fatigue

I’m in the process of becoming certified by the International Association of Behavior Consultants (IAABC) and recently completed their course entitled Animal Behavior Consulting: Principles & Practice. The setup of the course consisted of teaching videos by animal experts, instructional handouts, a weekly online mentoring session with the teacher and all students, weekly quizzes, and a major assignment. Throughout the fall, I’ve been sharing highlights here from my studies. In the twelfth and final week of my Principles and Practices course, Jessica Dolce spoke on the topic of compassion fatigue. She defined it, explained why it’s so common in the … Continue reading Compassion Fatigue