Cat Communication: An Interview with Paula Garber

Since the fall, I have taken on five cases involving cat aggression. For that reason, I subscribed to The Pet Professional Guild’s 2019 Summit on Aggression and Bite Prevention. “How to Speak Cat: Exploring Feline Communication and Social Behavior” was one of the presentations. Following is my interview with its presenter, Paula Garber. ALLISON: What got you interested in cat behavior? PAULA: In 2006, I started volunteering for my town’s Trap-Neuter-Return program for community cats and caring for several feral cat colonies. This work inevitably involved rescuing and fostering cats who were friendly, injured, or in intractable situations. In 2010, … Continue reading Cat Communication: An Interview with Paula Garber

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

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

Reduce Cat Aggression with a Healthy Cat Environment

When I’m consulted about cat aggression, I first turn to the Five Pillars of a Healthy Feline Environment, which were developed by the American Association of Feline Practitioners and International Society of Feline Medicine. The groups wrote in the 2013 issue of the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery that “a cat’s level of comfort with its environment is intrinsically linked to its physical health, emotional wellbeing and behavior.” For this reason, they contend that “addressing environmental needs is essential for the optimum wellbeing of the cat.” The five pillars are: provide a safe place provide multiple and key separated … Continue reading Reduce Cat Aggression with a Healthy Cat Environment

How To Introduce A New Cat

Need to introduce two cats? Follow this step-by-step guide. Except for the first step, for which you should allow 72 hours, there is no set time frame for each step. Watch the body language of each cat and wait until neither cat is reacting in a aggressive manner (hissing, growling, snarling) before moving onto the next step. The instant aggression does occur, revert to the previous successful step. The most important thing is to proceed with caution and take your time. Cats can take up to a year to accept each other. CREATE A SAFE ROOM Create a private space … Continue reading How To Introduce A New Cat

Enriching the Lives of Dogs and Cats

I’m in the process of becoming certified by the International Association of Behavior Consultants (IAABC) and taking a course called Animal Behavior Consulting: Principles & Practice. The setup of the course consists 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. Each week I’ll share highlights here from my studies. Jumping back to the eighth week of my Principles and Practices course, animal welfare science was the focus. The module consisted of a definition of animal welfare science and then an exploration of enrichment … Continue reading Enriching the Lives of Dogs and Cats

Using Classical Conditioning in Train Pets

As part of pursuing certification through the International Association of Behavior Consultants, I am taking a course called Animal Behavior Consulting: Principles & Practice. The setup of the course consists 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. I plan to share highlights here each week from my studies. Sometimes to bring about change, an animal behavior consultant needs to focus on changing an animal’s emotional response to a situation rather than to an environmental condition.  In the eleventh week of my Principles … Continue reading Using Classical Conditioning in Train Pets