Frequently Asked Questions

Helpful answers to the most commonly asked questions about the behavior consultation process.

  • What is a behavior consultation?

    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!

  • What kinds of cat problems can your help with?

    I can help with a lot, but some examples include:

    • Biting
    • Aggression toward humans or other animals
    • Fighting cats
    • Introducing a new cat
    • Cat reintroductions
    • Cat and dog problems
    • Cat training
    • Litter box problems such as your cat not using the litter box
    • Preparing for a new cat when you adopt a cat
    • Excessive meowing
    • Over grooming
    • Scratching furniture
    • Chewing on plants, objects, etc.
    • Cats waking your up at night
    • Cats seeming depressed or unhappy

    Even if your concern isn't listed there, I likely can help. Feel free to reach out with any questions!

  • What types of cats do you work with?

    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!)

  • What are your prices? How much does a behavior consultation or cat training cost?

    Please see Class Act Cats' behavior consultation page and our cat training page for more information on prices. 

  • How long does it take to see results?/How long will this take?

    The honest and accurate answer is it depends. Your cat (or cats) decide how quickly we go! 

    Some problems will resolve quickly. Some problems will take longer. How long the behavior plan takes is dependent on your cat, severity of the problem, how long it has been going on for, how much work and time you are willing to put in, and what exactly is going on. Some less complicated problems can resolve in a week or two. More complicated problems can take months to resolve. In rare extreme cases, they can take over a year.

  • What payment methods do you accept?

    I accept credit cards, bank transfer, Venmo, or cash. 

    Note if paying cash: Payment is due upon booking and I cannot come out to your home without having received payment. If you would like to pay with cash, you will either need to catch me at an in person event or pay for your initial session with a different method and follow ups in cash during an in person session.

  • Can I just ask you a few quick questions about my cat without booking a consultation?

    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. For a few quick questions, a Zoomies session is a great option!

    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!

  • Which service is right for me?

    This depends greatly on what your goals are and what you're looking to address.

    Generally, if you are looking for help with a specific behavior problem you want a behavior consultation .

    If you have fighting cats, you may need a reintroduction. My largest and most comprehensive program available is my reintroduction program specifically designed for these situations.

    If your cat or cats are mostly pretty classy but you want to teach them fun tricks or prevent behavior problems, cat training is a great option. I do have a few behavior consultation packages for prevention of behavior problems available, however, so be sure to check out those as well!

    Still not sure? Feel free to contact me and I'm happy to guide you as to what works best!

  • If I purchase a package or need to reschedule my initial session, how long do I have to use my session?

    In most cases, 6 months. Exceptions to this include if you book an 8 follow up session package (in which case you get 9 months to use them) or if you purchase a 10 session follow up package (which can be used within 12 months).

  • How do I know if I need professional help with my cat?

    This is a complicated question and there's a lot to consider. I have a blog post specifically about deciding when to hire a behavior consultant and encourage you to read it as it outlines some things to take into account when deciding if you would benefit from calling in a pro like myself.

  • Can people outside your service area book a consultation?

    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. A virtual consultation is likely the better option and just as effective!

  • Do you guarantee results?

    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.

  • Can cats really be trained?

    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!

  • Are you a veterinarian? What if I have a question about a medical problem?

    No, I am not a veterinarian. I cannot discuss medical concerns, make medical recommendations, prescribe medications, or make any medical diagnoses. Questions regarding behavior changes immediately following a procedure or due to a medication are best directed toward your veterinarian. 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.

  • How can I get in contact with you if I have other questions?

    You have your choice of whichever method works for you!

    • E-mail [email protected] 
    • Call or text (763)308-5069 (though I recommend setting up a time to chat rather than just calling!)
    • Use our contact form 
    • Message me on one of my social media platforms
    • Schedule a 15 minute inquiry call to make sure we're both available at the same time
  • What happens during a behavior consultation?

    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. I may also ask you to get some videos or do some other homework prior to meeting.

    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 discuss best next steps and how many additional sessions this may need. You can either book sessions as you go or purchase a package of follow ups at a discounted rate.

    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!

  • How quickly should I get started?

    I recommend getting started when you are ready to get going to modify your cat's behavior. Regardless of what behavior concern we are trying to address, you will have to do at least some work or changes to address it (otherwise it wouldn't be happening!)

    In some cases, the longer the problem goes on, the more difficult it may be to address. You generally will want to get start as soon as you are ready so the problem doesn't become more challenging to address.

  • Do you work with dogs?

    The name of my business says what species I work with.

    All cheekiness aside, I do work with dogs in situations involving both cats and dogs! If there are situations where the dog requires help beyond what I can help with, I may recommend a dog behavior consultant or dog trainer get involved.

    On a very limited basis, I may be able to help with minor dog behavior problems (not involving aggression) or basic training while we're working with your cat. If you are interested, please directly inquire with me before booking.

  • Can I gift a session to someone or donate a session to a local rescue?

    Absolutely! I can also do a gift certificate if you want to do a partial session. Please send me an e-mail to discuss details. I can even come up with a cheesy Canva generated graphic for you to send to the lucky recipient if you'd like.

  • Will I be able to fix my cat's unwanted behavior in just one session?

    This really depends on what we are working with and how much time, effort, and resources you have available to address the behavior problem. In most cases, I recommend at least 2 follow up sessions. Some problems may require more or some cats who have particularly complex situations may need some more help.

  • Do you offer payment plans?

    Through my payment processor, I am able to offer payment plans for those who request one. Unfortunately, I get charged a higher fee for this service so I have a small extra 3.25% charge to compensate for this. This charge accounts for the extra amount I get charged by my card processor.

    Payment is spread out over 6 weeks if you use this service. If you are interested in a payment plan, please let me know!

    I am unable to accept Venmo or cash for payment plans.

  • If I'm not sure, can I book a consultation and then cancel it?

    If you aren't sure if you need a behavior consultation, I am happy to answer any questions before you get get going! You can also schedule a time to chat about what's happening.

    Booking a consultation blocks off a lot of time from my schedule that others can't get in. I also begin preparing for your consultation right away! (Unless you book in the middle of the night in which case I am likely asleep) In many cases, I might contact you to begin offering some initial management steps before our meeting. Our consultation starts before we even meet!

    Because of that, I ask that you consider carefully before booking your appointment and book when you are ready rather than booking and canceling. Please also see my cancelation, refund, and rescheduling policy.

  • How many follow up sessions do you recommend?

    This depends on how much help you want or how complicated your situation is. Most people can expect two or three follow up sessions to comfortably resolve the issue. However, some cases may require more and some cases may only need one!

    In general, the more severe the problem or the more cats you have, the more sessions you may need. If you have intercat conflict, these situations usually require the most sessions to resolve.

    Follow up sessions are an hour each and booked hourly. I also offer packages of follow up sessions at a special discounted rated if you book a few at once!

  • What if I decide I don't want to use all my sessions?

    This isn't a common occurence (if anything, most people end up wanting more sessions), but if you decide you don't want to use the rest of your sessions, you can choose to donate the time. I will offer it to a local resuce organization to help a cat in need of behavior help.

  • What is your service area for in person appointments?

    I currently service the Twin Cities metro area and most first and second tier suburbs including Minneapolis, St. Paul, St. Louis Park, Golden Valley, New Hope, Brooklyn Center, Maple Grove, Plymouth, Fridley, Columbia Heights, New Brighton, Fridley, Crystal, Robbinsdale, St. Anthony, Lauderdale, Roseville, Falcon Heights, Arden Hills, Edina, Minnetonka, Woodbury, White Bear Lake, Shoreview, Maplewood, and more. If your suburb isn't listed, it may still be within my service area so please ask if you aren't sure!

    Note that for in person appointments, there is a $30 travel fee to cover the extra time and expenses involved. 

    You are welcome and encouraged to do a combo of virtual and in person sessions if you go this route.

    If you are outside this area, we might 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!

  • Are virtual appointments just as good as in person appointments?

    Yes! Actually, in many cases, they are better than in person appointment. There usually 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.

  • What is the difference between a behavior consultation and training?

    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.

  • Do you offer board and train services?

    No, board and train generally won't work with cats. I only work with you and your cat while you are there.

  • Can you prescribe medications for behavioral issues?

    No, a licensed veterinarian must determine if a medication is safe and appropriate. I can work with your veterinarian to help them make the determination if a medication can be used by providing my observations, but ultimately they are the ones who must determine whether a medication will be utilized. I can help with teaching you how to get your cat to take a medication or behaviors surrounding medications, but cannot recommend changes in dose, specific medications, or answer questions about the medication specifically.