Allison's Book Bag

Cat Behavior Consultant, Pam Johnson-Bennett

Posted on: August 4, 2015

When I first adopted cats in the mid-1970s, I knew absolutely nothing and there wasn’t much information out there to help me…. I didn’t know it then but I was about to begin a journey that would change my life.”

–Pam Johnson-Bennett, Pam’s Story

PERSONAL BACKGROUND

PamJohnsonBennettAlthough there was very little information available on cat behavior, Bennett figured if she read any book, magazine, or published paper on psychology and behavior, she would be better off than she currently was. Not only did Bennett began to read and research, but she also started to volunteer at every veterinary clinic, shelter, and rescue facility within 40 miles of her apartment. Bennett also did something that she considered ended up being the greatest learning tool of all. “I observed and learned from the cats themselves.”

When Bennett began her career in cat behavior consulting in New York in 1982, there was no such thing as a cat behavior consultant. According to Bennett, “one could find a dog trainer on just about every corner but the idea of anyone taking the time to go house to house and help people figure out the minds of their cats was laughed at”. Bennett was constantly advised to change her profession to cat sitting or cat grooming. During lean times, she did quite a bit of that, but Bennett also slowly began establishing herself as an expert in counseling owners on how to change their cats’ behaviors.

After Bennett started to enjoy a steady business in New York, it seemed to her as if the southern states were still far from understanding cat behavior and training, and so she moved to Nashville. After numerous attempts at other traditional jobs, Bennett eventually became a veterinary technician. Despite some negative press, Bennett soon found that Nashville opened its arms to her. In addition to a busy consultation business, Bennett began getting requests for endorsements from companies.

BOOK BACKGROUND

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Fast forward to 2015. Pam Johnson-Bennett is now the best-selling author of seven books on cat behavior, host of the Animal Planet UK series Psycho Kitty, and one of the most sought-after cat behavior experts in the world. Considered a pioneer in the field of cat behavior consulting, she has influenced many practicing in the field today.

Along the way, she established many credentials. She founded the IAABC Cat Division where she served as its longtime chair for eight years. Bennett also served as the vice president of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultant, as well as on the American Humane Association’s Advisory Board on Animal Behavior and Training, and worked with the Winn Feline Foundation. Currently, she’s a member of the Advisory Board for Tree House Humane Society.

In addition to her work on Animal Planet’s television series, Psycho Kitty, Bennett travels extensively to lecture on cat behavior at veterinary and animal welfare conferences around the world. She also makes numerous appearances on national television and radio.

Bennett owns Cat Behavior Associates, a private veterinarian-referred behavior practice in Nashville, TN. A limited number of Skype consultations are available by appointment. Her office deals with all types of cat behavior and training issues.

Finally, Bennett was asked to be the behavior expert for Friskies. She has been touring and writing for them for many years. When they wanted an ultimate cat habitat designed, Bennett formed part of their original “Dream Team”.

All of this information came from the Cat Behavior Associates site. If you want to a fuller version, follow this link: Pam’s Story

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Summer Reviews

Books can take connect us with strangers, take us to unique places, and introduce us to new ideas. They can also offer hope in a chaotic world. And so I must share what I read!

Each week, I’ll introduce you to religious books, Advanced Reader Copies, animal books, or diversity books. Some I’ll review as singles and others as part of round-ups. Just ahead, there will be reviews of:

  • Joni: The unforgettable story of a young woman’s struggle against quadriplegia & depression by Joni Eareckson
  • The True Story of the World’s Most Beloved Animal Sanctuary by Samantha Glen
  • Brothers in hope : the story of the Lost Boys of Sudan–refugees by Mary Williams
  • The Inner Life of Cats by Thomas McNamee

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