Frequently Asked Cat Consulting Questions
Q: Why should I want to get expert cat consulting advice by phone or video, in the comfort and convenience of my home, without having to drive somewhere or spend hours cleaning up the house in anticipation of a visitor?
A: Cat behavior experts are rare, but they are, at last, here. We are the first “cat behaviorists” in the United States and the first cat-only behavior service having helped thousands of cat owners for over two decades in over 30 countries.
However, what is important is if the behaviorist (as our behaviorist and veterinarian has) is providing science-backed strategies and has formal training in observing feline behavior data (both written and visual). Understanding how behavior is actually measured and how scientific studies are conducted and reported is crucial before taking the steps involved in designing and carrying out a behavior plan to change a cat’s behavior.
It’s also absolutely necessary to address behavior issues in the cat’s own environment because their learning and memory and innate gene-encoded behavior is so tied to their resources and living space. The behavior plan you will be following in your home and most importantly, in the cat’s own environment, are progressive and develop over time and it does not require multiple in-home visits. The majority of our clients provide photos and videos of the cat’s environment in addition to the 12 page feline behavior history form. We can perform in-home consultations also if you choose and if it’s determined by the clinic that an in-home visit is necessary for the particular behavior issue(s).
Cat behavior is very different than dog behavior and there will be no direct training you will be doing with your cats as you would be with a dog. A behaviorist with formal study in animal behavior knows this very important fact and that changing a cat’s behavior must be done differently. As long as you can follow instructions, you can have 100% success in solving your cat’s behavior issue by speaking with the clinic by phone or video as thousands of our clients have since 1999 and in over 30 countries.
Why cadging free tips off the internet or from regular medical vets who are not experts in cat behavior (we have many vet clients) doesn’t address cat behavior? Cat behavior is complex and understanding this complexity does not happen through the internet and more than likely not with a vet that has had no behavior curriculum in vet school or specialized behavior training or formal study in animal behavior.
Q: Can you really solve my cat’s problem over the phone or video?
A: Yes, we can, and we do, all the time (for over 20 years). Why? One reason: it’s cat owners who have the greatest power to modify their cats’ environment and work with their cat on a daily basis to effectively correct and change their cat’s behavior long term. Many cat behavior issues begin due to an adaptation issue with the cat’s gene-encoded behavior in its environment (vs. an “obedience” problem). Also, we don’t need to see your cat to discover what you could be doing differently (i.e. incorrect strategies you may be implementing). That’s especially true at the Cat Behavior Clinic, which has developed an evaluation system and a step-by-step C.A.T. Plan™ process for solving any cat behavior issue based on the latest scientific research in cat behavior. As part of the behavior evaluation process, it’s required that you complete the 12 page behavior history form and send in any requested video or photos prior to your first consultation.
Even in cases where your cat has an issue that was not entirely caused by the environment humans created for it, we don’t need to be able to see your cat’s behavior, so long as you are able to report it (again, you will complete the thorough questionnaire prior to your consult). In fact, even if we were to visit your house, your cat probably wouldn’t engage in its undesirable behaviors while we were there (i.e. urinate on your sofa). So even if we stood in your living room, clipboard in hand, we’d still need to ask you dozens of questions designed to get at the cause of your cat’s undesirable behavior (and sometimes, of yours). These are exactly the questions we ask via the 12 page behavior history questionnaire and over the phone. Also, many of our clients do not currently have a behavior issue, but still search out behavior advice from Mieshelle or our veterinarian to prevent issues from occurring.
We also work with you after your consult to answer any questions or make any necessary changes to the behavior program. This follow-up can sometimes prove to be just as crucial as the initial consult itself. The majority of the 350 solved case study reviews and consulting testimonials you see on the Clinic website followed phone consultations or video consultations.
Our instructions are also delivered by phone (and by email where appropriate). They’re easy to follow, and we encourage you to take your behavior plan notes during the consultation.
Our veterinarian performs consultations in-person only for specific feline cases in the states they are licensed where this type of consultation is required or provide vet-to-vet remote consultations anywhere.
Read more about cat behavior consulting by phone.
Q: How does the process work?
A: See How It Works.
Q: How much does it cost?
A: See Pricing. Amity among household humans, and reduced expenses from destructive cat behavior makes our affordable consult fees even more affordable.
Q: Who is the behaviorist, and what training do they have?
The senior Cat Behaviorist and founder of the clinic is Mieshelle Nagelschneider. She studied animal behavior through Oxford University, the University of Edinburgh – The Royal School of Veterinary Studies, and read more about her behavior study and experience at Harvard University. You can read more about her world-leading expertise on our Cat Whisperer™ page. She is also an acclaimed New York Times feline behavior science author recently authoring a scholarly cited cat behavior book, “The Cat Whisperer” (Random House Publishing with co-writer Cameron Powell) published in 4 languages with new methods not found in other cat behavior books. She is also a long time cat behavior expert and researcher for many National Geographic published works and television documentaries on the 37 species of wildcats (including your domestic house cat). You can watch her most recently as the cat expert on Nat Geo Wild’s Animal’s Doing Things with Howie Mandel.
Q: Do you have references?
A: We have many references, from clients, shelters, adoption teams, vets across the United States and vets who are clients since 1999. You can read our 350 Rave Reviews.
Q: I have a different question.
A: Free to call us at 1-503-267-8888.