Aurora Cat Trainer and Feline Behaviorist
Effective cat training, like all behavior modification, is equal parts science, art, intuition, and experience. While changes in your cat’s behavior can sometimes seem random or irrational there is almost always something that has caused your cat’s behavior to change.
That’s where Lori Holmberg and her two decades of feline behavior modification experience can help.
Lori can deconstruct why your cat is acting the way they are and help you create a plan to modify your feline’s behavior.
Here are a few of the common behaviors our Aurora team works with:
- Litter box avoidance and aversion
- Conflicts between your cat and other pets
- Play aggression or biting while being pet
- Redirected aggression, often connected to some other household conflict
- Fear aggression or general fearful behavior
- Excessive or late night vocalizations
- Introduction of new cats or other pets to the household
Give us a call today or use the contact form to the right and let us know how we can help you and your feline family build better bonds.
Positive Reinforcement And Feline Behavior Modification
Positive reinforcement is a staple of behavior modification for every species, including cats. Cats are especially unlikely to respond to punishment and negative reinforcement. Instead, at Aurora Family Dog Training, LLC we focus on positive reinforcement behavior modification that focuses on encouraging your cat’s good behavior. This is often combined with clicker training (yes, you can clicker train cats!) to promote
Common Feline Behavior Problems
While every cat is unique with their own personality and quirks, there are common behavioral problems among them. Below, we’ve gone over some of the most common behavioral problems we hear about from Aurora residents.
Not Using The Litterbox
Some studies have suggested that more than 20% of cats brought to shelters have litterbox aversion issues. Even more tragic is that these cats become significantly less adoptable once they’ve been labeled with a house soling issue.
Our goal is to keep Aurora cats in their homes! Many litterbox problems can be solved with simple adjustments but like many cat training issues, it requires some detective work and the experience to know what to look for to figure out what started the change in behavior.
The first place to start is always with medical issues. You want to make sure your cat doesn’t have a urinary tract infection or other issues that would cause inappropriate urination. Additionally, cats that are intact (haven’t been spayed or neutered) are much more likely to have inappropriate urination behaviors.
Once that’s cleared up, the next place to look is at the actual litter box. Some things to consider:
- Have any materials near the litter box changed?
- Has the frequency of changing and cleaning increased or decreased?
- Is there more noise around litter box (we’ve seen this when kids are out of school!)
- Did the type of litter change?
If any of these things have changed, that’s the first adjustment to make. When contacting Lori by phone or via our contact form be sure to share any kind of recent litter box changes!
Is your cat attacking your pants or constantly playing a game of hide and seek that you don’t want to participate in? We’ve seen this all too often! While this type of behavior generally needs a full assessment to evaluate we’ve seen great success with play therapy!
Play therapy is essentially a form of redirection in which you channel your cat’s energy into acceptable outlets. Most often this takes the form of play sessions using toys that mimic flying birds or other common prey. At the end of the session, a nice treat or a small amount a wet food completes the simulated “hunt”. So rather than hunting for your loose pants, your cat starts looking forward to hunting flying toys!
Feline Overstimulation While Petting
Many cats, even the most docile, will show overstimulation behaviors at some point. Most often we hear Aurora residents say, “my cat will just randomly turn on me!” Most cats have a threshold of petting and past this threshold, they tend to show aggressive behaviors like biting or swatting.
Lori can help you understand why your cat is acting this way and help you learn more about your cat’s individual threshold for petting and attention.
Introducing a new cat to a home can be complicated enough but the whole operation gets even more complicated if there are already other cats, dogs or other pets in the home. Missteps at the introduction stage can have impacts that last weeks, months or even lifetimes.
While Lori can help you with a complete plan for a successful introduction, the first thing to consider is space. Cats are territorial creatures and their wild cousins generally have large areas of land that they exclusively control. While cats can learn to share space, they need to start with some lines!
That means we usually suggest introducing your new cat to an exclusive area of the house like a bathroom or other space that you can close off. This way, your resident cat has the run of the whole house and your new cat can settle into their space.
Destruction and Scratching Issues
Many cats have to endure the painful process of surgical declaw surgery due to scratching or other destructive behaviors. Our goal is to teach Aurora cat owners ways to modify this behavior without needing to resort to surgery.
A powerful tool when managing this type of behavior comes in the form of redirection. Your cat needs to scratch so trying to completely remove the behavior will likely not be successful instead, you need to help teach your cat where it is okay to scratch!
Lori and the Aurora Family Dog Training team can help!
Fear and Anxiety
Fear is often irrational! As a result, your cat can have a variety of triggers for fear that might not make sense. The most commons issues we see are:
- Appliance and household equipment (vacuums!)
- New people
- New pets
Fear in your cat can take on many forms but most often we see avoidance (hiding on the bed or other location) or aggression. Neither situation is good for you, your family or your cat. Lori can help break down why your cat is stressed by the situation and help you find a solution.
While most of the time your cat meowing is cute when it goes on forever or happens at around 3:00 am it isn’t so cute. In fact, it can be a big problem. The hard part is figuring out why your cat is acting this way!
While this type of feline behavior needs a more detailed consult the first thing is to make sure your cat is spayed or neuter. Not only will this prevent unwanted litters and cancer of your pet’s reproductive organs it will also decrease the chances that your cat will engage in unwanted vocalization.
If your cat is already spayed or neutered Lori can help you figure out why your cat is vocalizing late at night!
New Kitten Training
Maybe you’re a first-time cat owner trying to learn the ropes with a new kitten? Kittens sure are cute but that means they can sometimes get away with a lot more because of this! But what is a cute behavior as a kitten can become very annoying as an adult!
Lori can help you and your kitten navigate kittenhood and make sure your new furry family member grows up into a well adjusted and well-behaved cat!
We Train More Than Just Dogs!
While we are Aurora Family Dog Training, we do more than just train dogs! Our mission is to keep pets in the family home where they belong! Regardless of your cat’s behavior problem, Lori can help you get on the right track.
Call today for a consultation or submit the form