Cat trainers are growing in popularity as many cat owners are requesting this kind of service. A professional cat trainer helps tend to problems, such as litterbox avoidance, scratching or aggression. This is a growing profession that is gaining more and more traction in the mainstream pet community. No longer is behavioral training limited to dogs as cat trainers can help provide a better quality of life for cats and their owners.
Cats are very trainable and starting early in their lives can be paramount to success. Cat trainers have the ability to influence the feline mind. There may not be as much of a demand for cat trainers as there is for dog trainers, but the limited field has its advantages. It means that there are more opportunities for cat trainers with less competition in the profession. More cat owners are becoming very particular about their feline companions, thus increasing the need for cat trainers.
Cat lovers can enjoy an exciting career that provides a much-needed service to cat owners. This service can change their lives for the better and also enhances the overall field of animal care.
Cat Trainer Education
There is not an abundance of cat trainer programs available throughout the United States as specialized certifications in this discipline are rather limited. However, obtaining a certification as a cat trainer, or cat behaviorist, could open a lot of doors since it is not a crowded job market. Select certification programs are available and typically cover cat behavior modification, feline theories, how to manage cat behavior, safety practices and more.
A certification program at a post-secondary school typically lasts around six months to a year. There are online versions of these programs while many require a certain amount of practice hours to be completed. Feline health is also included in these curriculums as cat trainers learn how to identify the differences between cats who are sick and those who are just non-compliant.
There are also individual workshops and pet societies that offer certifications upon the completion of training seminars and programs. The more certifications a cat trainer accumulates, the more credibility and knowledge is attained. This could help immensely when attempting to obtain a position or when opening up an individual business.
It is important to note that cats are motivated differently from dogs, which makes it necessary to understand how their minds work. Cat trainers feed off a cat’s natural instincts. All of these nuances lead some individuals down an educational path that concludes with a degree in Animal Behavior. However, many individuals who earn advanced degrees in animal behavior often opt for a career in research.
Finding a cat trainer educational program can be a major key to success in this field as it provides a type of education that is not widely available. Furthermore, a cat trainer will not be in demand if he/she cannot show success. The best avenue to success is through learning as much as possible about this emerging profession. There are also no licensing procedures that are required to be a cat trainer in any of the 50 U.S. states.
Cat Trainer Job Duties
The job of a cat trainer involves working one-on-one to modify feline behavior. Cats can experience problems with aggressive behavior and professional interaction works to mollify that problem. Cat trainers also help felines with litterbox issues and problems with scratching. Cat behaviorists can also treat different phobias and help to manage the sexual behavior of felines.
Cat trainers even take preventative measures in terms of future problems. That means informing cat owners on the proper ways to handle their cats in an effort to modify behavioral patterns. Training also involves cat owners as this helps to facilitate learning and makes owners active participants in the process. Many times, it is important to involve all those in a household as it will ease the entire process.
Cat Trainer Pay and Job Prospects
Cat trainer salaries fall under a wide spectrum because it is such an individualized profession. Some cat trainers classify themselves as cat behaviorists can demand handsome hourly fees for in-home visits. A lot of those fees depend a good deal on location. Making house calls to affluent neighborhoods could demand more than $100 per hour for prominent cat trainers.
Meanwhile, cat training done out of a pet store could demand smaller fees. It all comes down to how much clients are willing to spend and a lot of that is determined by demographics. Marketing also plays an integral role. Individual cat trainers who can successfully market themselves stand to make a lot of money, mainly because they are a minority in the workforce. Some pet stores and obedience schools offer cat training, although they are rather limited. Online searches provide little insight into cat trainer salaries or job prospects and even classified job listings are very barren.
However, the private sector is one that is wide open. Cat trainers in business for themselves have the potential to earn a good deal of money. That is why it is important to enhance one’s training as much as possible. The cat trainer population could take off based on the sheer number of cat owners as it has exceeded 80 million in the United States. More cat owners are spending money on veterinary care and that trend bodes well for new cat trainers entering the field.
International Association of Animal Behavioral Consultants
The IAABC offers various certifications for animal behaviorists and also provides a wealth of resources for those in this industry.
American Cat Fanciers Association
This association is geared towards cat owners with a tremendous amount of resources for cat owners and those who work with cats.
The International Cat Association
This association is the world’s largest registry of pedigree cats and also provides detailed information cat owners can use to their advantage.
This society assists with the adoption of cats as it looks to contribute to the welfare of felines throughout the U.S.