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Hello,

I’m looking for some advice from people who have worked with a cat behaviorist. I have been in contact with a cat behaviorist about the possibility of making an appointment to address several issues with my cat, specifically her aggression towards the other household cat, inappropriate elimination, and anxiety. I tried to address these issues the best I could through research and different methods, but have not been successful. My most recent idea was to put a harness on my cat so I could pull her back gently when she goes to attack the other cat – I haven’t tried this yet though. The behaviorist said she can help with these issues. Does anyone here have experience working with a behaviorist to address these issues? I would love to hear about your experience and progress.

Also, the behaviorist offered the option to bring the two household cats to a veterinarian office or visit the cats at my home. I am not sure which option to go with because I see potential issues with both. If I bring the cats to the office, both cats will be scared and not entirely themselves. If the behaviorist comes to my home, my cat (who has the issues) is likely to hide and quite some time will be spent trying to coax/get her out of hiding.

Any advice or opinions about this would be greatly appreciated!
 

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I don't have any experience with this, but if it were me.....

I would go with the in-home visit, because you're right. The cats won't be themselves simply because they're at the vet. And yes, they might hide at home when the behaviorist comes over, but they should be able to get them to come out of hiding (if they're good!).

Good luck with everything, I hope it all works out.
 

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I agree that the in-home visit, the shy cat will want to stay hidden, and they both won't behave at the vet as they do at home.

I would make a video of your cats in action. Try and get them both showing, so that behaviourist can see what the reaction is of the cats to each other. Record several instances, not just one, so she gets an idea of what's going on. Good luck, and give us an update.
 

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I used to think that cat behaviorists were a useless scam, but now I think they can be tremendously successful and worth the money. Just make sure you don't stick with one that tells you "these things take time". You should start seeing results from day one. I don't mean a solution to all the problems, of course, but a clear, positive difference.

I was at a workshop by a cat behaviorist a couple weeks ago and she had tips that no one had thought of, that were simple and free to apply, yet yielded instant positive changes.

Congrats to you for being willing to give it a try and invest in it.

I'd say at home for sure, unless the behaviorist gives you reasons why the vet's office is better.

The video idea is great!
 

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Please do keep us updated!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you all for your replies. Your feedback has really helped convince me that the home visit is the best route. My next step is to consult with my vet to get feedback and progress information from people who have consulted with the behaviorist. I requested referrals from the behaviorist, but she said that since she is a vet she is unable to release information about my patients. I have heard great things about behaviorists, but this response makes me a bit uneasy. I would like some reassurance that the consultation will have positive results before I invest the time and money.
 

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I for one appreciate her respect for peoples privacy - it actually would reassure me (say for instance/example: jill/joe petowner called in a behaviorist because they had a cat who peed on everything and scratched the woodwork to bits, then after the behaviorist tons of progress was made and jill/joe decided to move across town, but wait they couldn't get an apartment because nobody would rent to them as they had their name released....I know it's far fetched but in a world where so much personal info is made public I really appreciate people/professionals respecting my privacy. I would ask other vets for info/references on her.
 

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I would ask her if she has any articles she's written, a website, a lecture she gave, something where I could appreciate her approach. The cat behaviorist here has tons of these (plus she's famous for having been one of the most influential people for the rights of street cats and having influenced our municipality to change its regulations about street cats). Failing that, I'd try to engage her in a bit of talk before committing, to see her approach and level of expertise.
 

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Have you seen the show My Cat From ****? It's about Jackson Galaxy, a cat behaviorist, who visits homes to help people with behavior issues. It always ends up being what the people are doing wrong -- not giving them places to climb, holding them like babies, not backing off when the cat is giving them the body language signals to, etc. If that's what they do, it might really be worth it. We humans need the behavior changes! I'm sure a lot of people are doing things to their cats that they don't even realize is wrong.

P.S. Very funny that the word "h-e-double-hockeysticks" is censored on Cat Forum, but is in the title of a TV show that's seen on Saturday mornings by 5-year olds. :)
 
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