What are your hours? Are you available nights and weekends?
Currently, my hours are Monday from 9 am to 8 pm, Wednesday from 9 am to 5 pm, Friday from 9 am to 2 pm, and some Saturdays from 9 am to 1 pm EST. If you are not available during these hours, please let me know and I will be happy to refer you to another qualified consultant.
Why do you communicate and schedule via email only? Can’t we talk on the phone?
I understand the desire to talk on the phone prior to committing to working with me, but it is not something I offer as I am unable to comment on behavior or appropriate next steps without obtaining the full behavioral history of the cat first. I am able to communicate more efficiently via email. My schedule is generally all over the place, which makes it hard for me to do phone calls. Email also allows a written record of what was discussed.
I’m outside of your travel range. Will you make an exception for me?
Unfortunately, no. I am unable to budge on my 30-minute travel range simply due to time constraints. Limiting my travel time allows me to maintain a better work-life balance.
How can you resolve my cat’s behavior issues without meeting him in person? How do virtual consultations work?
Often, virtual consultations work even better than in person, believe it or not! I am rarely actually training your cat. Our consultations will address contributing factors, environmental management, and behavior modification strategies. Although I love to get pictures and videos of your cats (and they are often helpful), I rarely need to physically meet your cat in order to help you and resolve your case. When it comes to fear and aggression, we can actually keep your cat’s stress levels down if I’m not physically there.
What can I expect in the first session?
I will typically begin by asking you to summarize your situation and bring up any new information or behaviors you specifically would like to address. Although I do receive a detailed history form from you during booking, I also like to get a comprehensive story in chronological order from you.
I like to do a tour of your home, if in person, and to have a chance to meet all the animal and human family members, if possible. I understand due to scheduling and animal temperaments that this is not always possible! On the tour, I am especially interested in your litter boxes, feeding stations, and your cat’s favorite places.
I will always explain why I believe your cat is behaving this way. The why will drive the behavior modification approach. We will craft a plan for moving forward together. If applicable to your situation (and if your cat is agreeable to it) I will demonstrate any training or behavior modification strategies you will be using.
How many sessions will I need?
It’s rare that I can fully resolve your cat’s issues in just one session. There are many factors involved, such as severity of the behavior, how much time and energy you are able to commit, the health of the pet, safety and management, and more. Take a look at my packages for a general idea of what’s needed for my most common types of cases.
What if the training doesn’t work? Do you guarantee your services?
You do know that I work with cats, right? You may see some (probably dog) trainers that guarantee to fix all your problems within two weeks, or whatever. I don’t operate that way. This could take a long time. You could need to book more sessions. And we may never reach your ultimate goal. Not every cat will be able to get along. Not every fearful cat will start to sit in your lap. However, I do guarantee the following: after we are finished working together, you will have a better understanding of your cat’s behavior, and we will have reached a resolution. This may be rehoming, or in some extreme situations, behavioral euthanasia. I don’t mean to be pessimistic – the majority of my cases do have happy endings!
Why do you only use positive reinforcement? Isn’t that just bribing your cat with treats? Does it take longer than other methods?
There have been many research studies done on the fallouts of punishment. It can create more problems, it can harm your relationship with your cat, it can be inhumane, and it doesn’t teach your cat what you want from them. I often hear from clients that the squirt bottle used to work but doesn’t anymore, or that the cat still does the behavior when you’re not around. It’s easy to get into the “quick fix” mindset, but a quick fix won’t be effective long term. I am changing your cat’s behavior – teaching them what they SHOULD do, not what NOT to do.
Why should I choose Pawsitive Vibes over someone else?
Well, you don’t have too many options for cat training out there, granted. But I do realize that you’re making the choice to trust me over Sally on Facebook or even another behavior consultant or behaviorist. Cats are my life, and I am well aware that I am super lucky to be living the dream I had when I was a little girl of playing with them all day. But really, I got into cat behavior because there are SO FEW reputable places for cat owners to turn when they’re having problems. Cats have been treated like second-class citizens to dogs for too long. I want to make life better for both people and their cats in a world where very few resources exist to help them.