Is There a Cat Whisperer for Feline Behavior Problems?

The popularity of the Dog Whisperer on television has left cat lovers searching for a Cat Whisperer. Though cat training hasn't reached network television, it does exist, prompting cat trainers to claim the status of "cat whisperer."

Popular Cat Whisperers

Just as Cesar Millan, the well-known "Dog Whisperer," lives with a pack of dogs, many trainers claim to be "cat whisperers" by maintaining packs of feral cats, training them to co-exist with one another and rehabilitating cats with behavior problems. They tame and train problem cats while teaching owners to have a healthier relationship with their cats.

While most well-known cat whisperers are found only locally, there are some well-known cat trainers.

  • Claire Bessant, leading veterinary journalist and cat expert in Great Britain, published a book about cat behavior called, "The Cat Whisperer: The Secret of How to Talk to Your Cat."
  • In the United States, there are several well-known cat behaviorists, such as Mieshelle Nagelschneider, who also calls herself a cat whisperer. She is currently working on a book that will be published in at least three countries, and a television show on a major network.
  • Though she doesn't call herself a cat whisperer, Pam Bennett-Johnson is a certified animal behavior consultant who has published several books and has been featured on television shows and in publication.  
  • Another nationally known cat behaviorist is Marilyn Krieger, who refers to herself as the Cat Coach, and has been featured in national publications and television shows.

While none of them have reached the popularity of the Dog Whisperer, they all have decades of experience training cats and respond to serious behavior problems through phone and Internet consultations nationally.

Choosing a Cat Whisperer

While doctors, lawyers and other professionals have required education levels and standardized tests, animal trainers do not have to adhere to any governing body or minimal education. Thus, cat trainers could have a wide range of education and expertise.

There are several programs through which a cat trainer could be certified, but many of those certifications mean very little because the standards required to get them are so minimal.

Because of this, it's difficult to find a trainer who uses scientifically-based methods and has experience with animal behavior, even though all trainers claim to have this. When searching for a trainer for your problem cat, you must do your research.

Most cat trainers will have a website or brochure, so peruse it for education and experience. Trainers will always brag about their expertise, so if this information seems limited on the website, keep looking. If the trainer is certified, research the certification program and find out what the requirements are.

Look for trainers with a university degree in animal behavior or a similar discipline, and ask about continuing education. Since training methods change, trainers must keep up to date.

Ask about experience with your particular problem. If you have a serious problem, you will require someone with a higher expertise with your issue.

Though there is no one "cat whisperer" bringing cat training to the forefront of mainstream media, there are several popular cat behaviorists who are enlightening cat owners on their cat's behavior. Finding one that is perfect for you will require a little research.