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.
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.
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!
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