Helpful answers to the most commonly asked questions about the behavior consultation process.
A behavior consultation is a meeting with a feline professional (sometimes referred to as a cat behavior consultant, cat behaviorist, or even a cat whisperer!) to figure how how we can address and stop unwanted behaviors in your cat.
Consultations involve a thorough assessment of your cat's behavior, their environment, and their history to figure out what may be going on. We then come up with an individualized plan together that fits your lifestyle, budget, and any other factors we need to take into account. The plan may include changing the environment, training, or other even a referral to a veterinarian or veterinary behaviorist if needed.
These assessments help get an expert's opinion on what is the root cause of the problematic behavior. Addressing the underlying reason for the behavior helps prevent the behavior from occurring. In many cases, multiple unwanted behaviors have the same root cause so it may help prevent or address a few problems at once!
I can help with a lot, but some examples include:
This will depend on a few factors including what is happening with your cat and how much support you want during the process. My pricing for packages is all inclusive up front so you will know exactly how much you'll pay and there won't be any surprise fees later on! The only exception to this would be if you decided you want another session for the same problem in which case you would be responsible for that cost.
I love cats and I love talking about cats, but it takes a lot of studying, training, and experience to develop a deep understanding of cats. Please book a consultation if you have questions you'd like to discuss. I do provide cat education on my blog and also offer small group workshops on cat behavior so there are other options if you don't want to book a full consultation!
I currently service the Twin Cities metro area including Minneapolis, St. Paul, St. Louis Park, Golden Valley, Brooklyn Center, Fridley, Columbia Heights, New Brighton, Fridley, Crystal, Robbinsdale, St. Anthony, Lauderdale, Roseville, Falcon Heights, Arden Hills, Edina, Minnetonka, and surrounding suburbs.
Note that for in person appointments, there is a $25 travel fee to cover the extra time and expenses involved. If you purchase a package, this fee is only charged once for the entire package.
If you are outside this area, we may be able to arrange an in person appointment for a larger travel fee, though there is limited availability for these appointments. Please inquire about specifics as it depends on where you are located. Virtual appointments often work just as well if you are outside my service area!
Yes! In many cases, there won't be much difference between an in person and virtual appointment. You still get the same thorough assessment, support, and behavior plan as you would for an in person appointment! Most of what we will be doing can be done virtually. There are some situations that would require an in person appointment, but the majority of cases are able to be conducted virtually.
In some cases, I may advise a virtual consultation. Examples would include cases where a stranger showing up risk worsening behavior problems or where my presence may alter your cat's behavior in a way that could affect my assessment.
Training is teaching a cat to do specific behaviors more frequently. Training can be done to prevent unwanted behavior or for fun. Examples of this would be training your cat to go to their carrier, get off a counter, or sit on cue.
Behavior consultations address more than just the behaviors directly as they look at the root causes of the unwanted behaviors. They may include training, but also include things such as modifying the environment. Behavior consults can address unwanted behaviors currently happening or to prevent future unwanted behaviors.
If you have a cat experiencing an unwanted behavior, you want a behavior consultation.
No, I am not a veterinarian. I cannot discuss medical concerns, make medical recommendations, or make any medical diagnoses. I am happy to work with your veterinarian and implement any suggestions they may have. I am also happy to provide a summary of my observations for your veterinarian if they would like... Just ask!
If you are in need of a veterinarian, I strongly recommend looking for a Fear Free Certified veterinarian or Cat Friendly Practitioner for your cat. You can also look for clinics that are certified as a Cat Friendly Practice or are Fear Free Certified.
The consultation starts as soon as you sign up and pay for your session. I will have you complete some paperwork ahead of time to get basic information about you, your cat, your household, and more that will influence our plan.
We will meet (either virtually or in person) and discuss in more detail what is going on. This also gives us an opportunity to discuss your goals. I'll share my assessment of what the problem and we'll talk about what I recommend doing. If there are things that sound like they won't work for you, we'll talk about ways to modify the plan. At the end, we'll schedule any follow up sessions and I will send you an invoice for payment. Following our session, I will type up a summary for you with recommendations. I'll e-mail you the summary along with any other helpful resources. We'll meet again for any follow up sessions and make sure your cat is progressing. We'll make changes based on what is or isn't working.
If your veterinarian would like a summary of observations, I can also provide them with information or a letter with your permission. Please let me know if this is something you would like!
All sorts of domestic cats! Little cats, chonks, kittens, senior cats, long haired, short haired, pure breeds, mixed breeds... I love working with all kinds of cats!
I do not work with exotic/large cats such as tigers, pumas, cheetahs, or similar species (though I would love to one day!)
I accept cash, credit cards, bank transfer, and Venmo.
This depends greatly on your budget and what specifically is going on with your cat. I am happy to discuss with your individually what may be best, but broadly here are some suggestions:
Yes! Virtual appointments are an option for anyone in the United States, including areas outside the Twin Cities.
For areas outside of the Twin Cities, an in person appointment may be arranged in rare cases for a higher travel fee that takes into account both the extra transit costs and time. Fee will vary based on distance and time. Availability for these appointments are much more limited due to the extra time involved. While my travel fee usually applies for a whole package, in these cases it will be per (in person) appointment. A virtual consultation is likely the better option and just as effective!
Please see the previous question for an up to date list of my current service areas.
As cats are individual living creatures, I can't ethically guarantee results (Anyone who does provide a guarantee of results is likely not being honest with you!) I do have an extremely high success rate when behavior plans are implemented correctly.
Absolutely, and it is so much fun! Cats can be trained to do all sorts of things. It requires some patience and needs a different approach than one would use for a dog, but cats are very receptive to training.
If you are looking for suggestions of tools to use, I have a guide on cat training tools that I use myself when training my cat or clients' cats!
These situations can be very tricky to navigate and come with risks to feline, human, and any other species involved. Because of this, I need to be able to follow up and ensure that changes can be made if your situation has not resolved. Packages include built in follow up so you aren't navigating the process on your own. It's ultimately better for your cat and you!
If you already know what you want and don't want to set up a free introductory consultation, getting started with a consultation is easy! I handle scheduling directly so I can make sure you're getting connected with the right service. Here is an outline of how to process works:
Take a look at the service offerings above and select which one you are most interested in. If you aren't sure which is best, that's okay! I'm happy to help you pick out the right one. Either schedule a free introductory consultation,send me an e-mail at [email protected] , or call/text me at (763) 308-5069. We'll figure it out!
I will get back to you within 48 hours (usually much sooner!) to get any more details I may need, discuss which service level works for you, and answer any questions you may have. I'll then collect your deposit, get you information on scheduling, and start the process of turning your cat from sassy to classy!