best cat behaviorist human stroking a cat to improve cat behavior and anxiety

Top 10 Cat Behaviorists

Our felines are quirky characters who often display odd or frustrating cat behaviors which can include spraying or continuously scratching furniture. All of these behaviors are motivated by something, such as cat anxiety or stress. However, it can be difficult for us, as owners, to determine the cause. 

If you’re at your wit’s end, it might be time to consider hiring a cat behaviorist to help create a more harmonious household for you and your feline companion.

 

What is a cat behaviorist?

cat behaviorist woman hugging a cat

A cat behaviorist specializes in cat behavior. Top cat behaviorists are frequently members of reputable professional organizations like the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC). This should reassure you that they know what they’re talking about!

Cats communicate using subtle body language cues that are frequently overlooked by owners. Cat behaviorists can decode these types of communication and assist us in better understanding our cats. Only then can we begin to address the issues that are causing them to act out.

Cat behaviorists offer consultation services so you can discuss your cat’s behavior problems. They will also spend time observing your cat and suggest changes to improve your cat’s well-being.

Cat behaviorists cover a whole host of cat behavior problems including:

  • Urine marking
  • Unprovoked aggression 
  • Scratching
  • Compulsive behaviors 
  • Excessive vocalizations
  • Multi-cat household tension

A good cat behaviorist should be able to accurately assess a cat’s history, temperament, and home environment to find the root cause of the behavior problem. Once this has been determined, they will set out a plan with you to address the challenging cat behaviors. 

A qualified cat behaviorist can do wonders for your cat’s anxiety. However, with so many to choose from, how do you know which one to go with? To help you out, we have rounded up the 10 top cat behaviorists of 2022.

Ingrid Johnson

Location: Marietta, Georgia

Ingrid Johnson is a renowned cat behaviorist who is certified by the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC). In fact, she is the former Co-Chair of their cat division and the current Co-Director of the anti-declaw movement, the Paw Project. She also designs her own line of cat food puzzles, cat posts, and cat trees. 

Ingrid Johnson began her career in feline veterinary medicine. However, she soon realized her passion when she became manager of their cat clinic adoptions. Since then, her cat behavior blogs have been featured on the IAABC website, as well as Catster magazine and CNN.com. 

In addition, she runs cat behavior classes for animal shelter employees and is a regular lecturer for numerous veterinary conferences, including the American Association of Feline Practitioners conferences. 

You can contact Ingrid Johnson through her official website, Fundamentally Feline, for educational resources, behavior consultations, and litter box breaking services.

Pam Johnson-Bennett

Location: Nashville, Tennessee 

Pam Johnson-Bennett’s journey as a cat behaviorist began in the 1970s after she experienced behavioral challenges with her own feline companion. Today, she is revered for her expertise in the field. 

To date, she has published eight cat behavior help books including Think Like a Cat: How to Raise a Well-Adjusted Cat, which is widely considered to be the ultimate ‘cat bible’ for owners. 

Pam is also famed for her Psycho Kitty TV series and served as the Vice President of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants for eight years. During her career, Pam Johnson-Bennet has received several awards for her work in cat behavior, including the prestigious Winn Feline Foundation Award (now known as the EveryCat Health Foundation).

You can contact Pam and her team for a cat behavior consultation through her website, Cat Behavior Associates, LLC

Jackson Galaxy

Location: Los Angeles, California

Jackson Galaxy is a household name when it comes to cat behavior, thanks to his successful ‘My Cat From Hell’ TV series. He has also released several books to help stressed-out cat owners including Catification: Designing a Happy and Stylish Home for Your Cat (and You!) and Cat Daddy: What the World’s Most Incorrigible Cat Taught Me About Life, Love, and Coming Clean. In addition, Jackson runs an annual Cat Camp to connect feline owners with other top experts and helpful workshops. 

Jackson Galaxy started his career as a volunteer for animal shelters in Boulder, Colorado. Since then, his love of cats has seen him become one of the most widely recognized cat behaviorists in the world. 

However, despite his fame, Jackson still loves to get up close and personal with individual cats. You can book an initial cat behavior consultation with him through his website

Jane Ehrlich

Location: Arizona

Jane Ehrlich has over 36 years of experience working with cats, so she is qualified to deal with a wide range of cat behavior problems including cat anxiety and litter tray avoidance. She also worked for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) for 18 years. 

Throughout her career, Jane has had articles featured in Cat Expert UK and the Daily Paws. She has also written various informative articles for the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants.

Cat owners can get in touch with Jane Ehrlich through her website, Cattitude Feline Behavior. She also offers behavior classes, presentations, and boarding services for cats. 

Marilyn Krieger

Location: Redwood City, California

Marilyn Krieger is an internationally recognized cat behaviorist certified with the IAABC. She is also an award-winning author. Her best-selling book, Naughty No More: Change Unwanted Behaviors Through Positive Reinforcement, has won numerous awards including the Tidy Cats Feline Behavior award and the Cat Writers Association Communication Contest’s Muse Medallion. 

Affectionately known as the Cat Coach, Marilyn offers a number of services for cat owners including in-person behavior classes and online seminars. She is an expert on hybrid breeds such as Savannahs and Bengals. However, she is experienced with all cat breeds.

You can book a consultation with Marylin Krieger through her website; the Cat Coach.  

Mieshelle Nagelschneider

Location: Seattle, Washington

Mieshelle Nagelschneider studied at Oxford University, the Royal School of Veterinary Studies, and Harvard University, which have given her extensive knowledge in animal behavior.

Since then, Mieshelle has become an acclaimed feline behavior writer for the New York Times. She has also written several of her own books including The Cat Whisperer, which became the very first science-based cat behavior book for owners. In addition, she is a regular writer and editor for several National Geographic documentaries.

You can book a cat behavior consultation with Mieshelle and/or her team through her Cat Behavior Clinic

Anita Kelsey

Location: London, United Kingdom

Anita Kelsey is a cat behaviorist certified by the Canine and Feline Behavior Association. During her career, she has written for several magazines including The Vet Times and has released two of her own books including Let’s Talk About Cats. Today, Anita is also classed as an expert groomer specializing in low-stress handling techniques. 

Anita Kelsey started her cat behavior journey by studying feline psychology and cat behavior with world-renowned cat biologist Roger Talbot. After completing a three-year work-based course in her own cat behavior practice, she achieved a First Class Honors Degree from Middlesex University.

Despite being based in the UK, Anita is able to provide helpful consultations to clients all over the world. However, she does require a veterinary referral.  

Dr. Mikel Maria Delgado

Location: San Francisco, California

Dr. Mikel Maria Delgado is a certified cat behaviorist with the IAABC and the Animal Behavior Society. She is also a member of the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior.

After Dr. Mikel received her Ph.D. in Psychology, specializing in animal behavior, she researched domestic cat behaviors at the School of Veterinary Medicine. Many of her studies were published in prominent media outlets such as National Geographic and the New York Times. She is also a regular speaker at various events including Jackson Galaxy’s Cat Camp. 

You can book an in-home cat behavior consultation with Dr. Mike Maria Delgado through her website, Feline Minds.  

Rita Reimers and Linda Hall

Location: Charlotte, North Carolina

Rita Reimers and Linda Hall are certified cat behaviorists who are registered with numerous acclaimed organizations including the IAABC, the Animal Behavior Society, and the Cat Writers Association. They are also the proud owners of 19 rescued cats!

Rita and Linda have over 17 years of experience running a cat sitting company. They’re also dedicated to reducing the number of cats languishing in shelters by helping cat owners through their cat’s behavioral issues. Furthermore, Rita writes a regular column for Catster magazine and they both volunteer in cat rescues and shelters. 

You can book a cat behavior consultation with Rita Reimers and Linda Hall through the Cat Behavior Alliance website.  

Lisa Stemcosky

Location: Washington, DC

Lisa Stemcosky is the owner of PawLitically Correct, which provides feline training services through in-home consultations in Washington DC, or virtual consultations across America.  She is also the Chair of the IAABC Cat Division and the Feline Behavior Manager at the Humane Rescue Alliance

In addition, Lisa works with the Jackson Galaxy Project, Pawsitive Pro, to improve the lives of shelter cats through behavior modification techniques.

You can book a consult with Lisa Stemcosky directly through her PawLitically Correct website. 

 

The benefits of working with a cat behaviorist

Cat behaviorists can work wonders to improve the mental and physical well-being of your beloved feline companion. Many behavioral issues stem from fear, cat anxiety, and stress, which can get worse over time if the underlying cause is not addressed.

By working with a cat behaviorist you can learn the signs of cat anxiety, including cat travel anxiety and separation anxiety and come up with a plan to rectify the situation. This will help your cat to feel more at ease in their environment and therefore, reduce challenging behaviors dramatically.