ask-the-cat-behaviorist-laura-cassiday

We are delighted to bring back our Ask the Cat Behaviorist column! Please welcome Laura Cassiday, a certified cat behavior consultant (CCBC) and owner of Pawsitive Vibes Cat Behavior and Training.

Laura is certified through the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. She is also a Fear Free certified animal trainer. Prior to working as a cat behavior consultant, she worked as a professional copywriter and editor, holding a Master’s degree in Professional Writing from Towson University. In 2017, she decided to leave that career behind and pursue her childhood dream of working with animals.

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After several years of volunteering and fostering with cat rescues, it was time to make cats a career. Laura began working at Maryland SPCA, shifting her time between the intake department and the kennel. She quickly realized that cats in shelters were treated as second-class citizens to dogs, receiving less enrichment and attention. There was also a more limited understanding of cat behavior and body language among shelter staff.

Before long, Laura became the shelter’s cat behavior coordinator. During her time at the shelter, she launched a cat enrichment program, a protocol for working with fearful and shy cats, and a working cat program to improve the lives of shelter cats and create more positive outcomes. She served as Team Leader for Jackson Galaxy’s Cat Pawsitive Pro program in 2020 and earned her CCBC designation in 2021.

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Although she had gained plenty of experience counseling pet parents and deferring cats from being surrendered to the shelter, Laura wanted to do more. She launched Pawsitive Vibes Cat Behavior and Training in 2021, eventually leaving the shelter behind to pursue working with cats with behavior problems in private homes full time. The ultimate goal of the business was to keep cats in their homes with their families and avoid cats entering shelters in the first place.

To date, Laura has worked with hundreds of cats, successfully resolving behavior concerns such as aggression, destructive behavior, and litter box issues, and helping their caregivers to understand their feline friends better than they did before. Laura recently published her first book, The Complete Guide to Adopting a Cat*, and delivered expert testimony with the House and the Senate for the Maryland Anti-Declaw Bill, which becomes law in fall 2022. She serves on the Feline Committee of the Pet Professional Guild and is a professional member of the Cat Writers’ Association.

Today, Laura works with cat guardians remotely from all over the world, as well as in-person in her local area of Baltimore, Maryland. For more information, visit Pawsitive Vibes Cat Behavior and Training.

Do you have a question for Laura?
Leave it in a comment, and she’ll answer it next month!

*The Conscious Cat is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. This means that if you decide to purchase through any of our links, we get a small commission. We only spread the word about products and services we’ve either used or would use ourselves.  

9 Comments on Ask the Cat Behaviorist with Laura Cassiday

  1. Hi Laura, I have 7 year old brothers. Max bullies his brother Gus. It’s not constant but happens several times a day. They groom each other and get along most of the time but Max will bite Gus around the neck and is mean. Max seems to be very jealous. When we pet Gus, Max will get in between and want to be pet. Gus always leaves when this happens. How can I get Max not to be a bully? Both cats get pet and loved on a lot!

  2. Hi, Laura!

    My 2 cats have been struggling with their behavior in my household. They have been jumping onto counters, eating food from people’s bowls, getting into the trash can and just overall invading everyone’s, I guess food privacy. Their crazy about food and their always looking for more. I don’t know if it’s because we don’t feed them enough, or if we haven’t put enough discipline on them or maybe when we got them we forgot to train them firstly. Maybe it even has to do with the fact that we found them as strays in are backyard, but they where very young so… I was hoping you could educate us on how to stop their behavior of being so obsessed with trying to find food and having bad habits of jumping on the counter, tables, etc. This all happens during the night and we don’t know what to do to stop them. (Of course IF this is a behavioral problem, because this could very well be an “us” thing.) The people in my living situation are becoming outraged because of their behaviors and have even be considering and acting aggression towards them( which really won’t help anything but make them aggressive towards US) and unfortunately giving them out. As of now, we’ve been closely monitoring our cats inside our garage and sometimes outside just to give them some fresh air and happy feels, but when it gets closer to winter and fall, their has to be a solution before everyone, including me, goes mad.(Well that’s a little extreme but you know what I mean) So if you can help us it would be extremely appreciated, even if you don’t have a direct answer for us right now in our situation.

    Thank you so much for your help, not only towards possibly me and everyone else here, but also the hundreds and thousands of other cat owners you’ve lent a helping hand to. Your extremely appreciated.

    Gratefully and Sincerely
    -Kristin ✨

  3. Hi Laura! Thank you for helping the kitties!

    My cat Rocky likes to play with a small toy mouse. When he plays with it, he will constantly meow in such a way that sounds as though he is in distress, but he appears to be enjoying himself. I had another cat, Buggy, who did the same thing with a little crocheted ball. Both cats usually had the toy in their mouths when this meowing occurred. I don’t think this meowing was caused by any painful dental issues as they kept the toy in their mouths and did not release it. Any ideas why this occurs?

    Thank you for your help!

  4. I have a amazing Siamese but she licks the house walls all the time.
    She has scratching cardboard that she uses, eats raw food, uses the litter box with no problems.
    How can I help her stop licking the walls? I am sure the non lead paint is not good for her. No pattern I can detect.
    Thanks

  5. My friends new cat does not like her Mastiff dog that is living in her home . The dog tries to be friends but cat swats and hisses. The cat is a rescue kitty and very sweet and cuddly with adults and children . How long does it normally take for adjustment period? Thank you .

  6. To Laura: Cat Behaviorist: One friendly fixed feral likes to grab onto the back of my legs as I’m walking during feeding. He wants to be pet but after 2 pets he tries to scratch me. When he was being TNR a while back, his adoption failed cuz he freaked out and started swatting everybody. Can you please tell me why is he going after the back of my legs? He lives outside with several other ferals. thank you for any help.

  7. My cat scratches & scratches and her flea & tick collar doesn’t seem to help much What’s wrong? FYI: she’s an indoor cat strictly never goes outside

  8. We have 20 cats that can go in and out at free will plus 8 litter boxes. (All spayed and neutered) we have an alpha male that still pees on everything no matter what. He has been to the vet so there is no infection. How can we help him stop? Please?

  9. Hi Laura! I don’t have any questions right now, but I wanted to welcome you and say I look forward to seeing what solutions you have for others.

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