Have you ever heard the expression “like herding cats” in reference to a futile or exceedingly difficult task? Cats are a symbol of myth and largely misunderstood by their owners in the modern day; but Pam Johnson-Bennett is the woman who knows – and I mean really knows – about cats. She is currently the most respected and in-demand “cat behavior expert in the world” and is officially called a Certified Cat Behavior Consultant (Cat Behavior Associates, 2013).
I was shocked to stumble across a show called Psycho Kitty on National Geographic Wild last night. It seemed out of place, since I don’t generally think of cats as wild animals. Pam is the star of this show, and assists distressed pet owners with identifying the problems and potential solutions for their feline-related troubles. After a few minutes of watching the show, I had to admit that I was impressed at her recommendations and more informed on what makes for a happy, healthy, well-adjusted cat.
In the episode last night, Pam provided tips and tricks for the owners of Ricky the cat. Ricky was living on a houseboat, a very small and confined space in which he had no private nook for safety and kitty comfort. His primary owner had recently found a partner and Ricky took an intense dislike to the new family member. I was not shocked at Ricky’s violence, knowing my own Siamese cat to be quite possessive of certain people. But the constant clawing and scratches were clearly an issue. Consequently, Pam provided tips on everything from giving Ricky his own space, to having the new family member provide food, to changing tones of voice used to address the distressed cat.
If you ever happen to have behavioral problems with your feline, Pam, her eight books, and her show Psycho Kitty are good resources to look into. Even if you’re just interested in the psychology of cats, this show will impress. Now my only question is – how do I become a ‘cat behavior consultant’?