orange tabby and white kitten in litter box

The Basics – Feline Inappropriate Elimination Master Course

Perhaps the most common feline behavior complaint, elimination outside of the litter box, can be a deal-breaker for many families. Discovering a couch soaked in pee or stepping barefoot in poop during the night can seriously strain any relationship. Compounded by the common misconception that such incidents really are vindictive, many cats are at risk of punishment, isolation, relinquishment, or even euthanasia. In many cases, just a few simple changes makes a world of difference. So with all of the great information that’s already out there that can really help, why take this course? Because as many of us already know, jumbled up among all that great information is some that is confusing, conflicting and even incorrect. Add to that the many cases that are more complex and nuanced for the general guidance of Google. We are pleased to introduce the Jones Animal Behavior Feline Elimination Master Course – an intensive, online, self-paced deep-dive into feline inappropriate elimination behavior and so much more.

Target Audience

  • Dog trainers and behavior consultants whose clients also have cats demonstrating problematic litter box behavior
  • Cat consultants looking to take on more complex and advanced cases
  • Those interested in pursuing work in cat behavior consulting
  • For any pet professional or pet lover who wants to learn more about cat behavior in general or litter box use in particular

Content at a Glance

  • Information that will provide the knowledge to tackle most litter box cases
  • Plenty of content is applicable beyond just elimination cases – such as stress, fear, inter-pet conflict, redirected aggression, and more
  • Learn about health considerations, boxes and location, litter and substrates, social structure, and territorial behavior

Course Instructor

Katenna Jones, ScM, ACAAB, CCBC, CDBC, Certified Fear Free Trainer

Katenna Jones HeadshotKatenna Jones accidentally discovered her career as a volunteer dog walker in the late nineties. A few years later she earned her master’s from Brown University where she studied animal behavior, learning and cognition. Today, Katenna is an Associate Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist, Certified Cat and Dog Behavior Consultant, and a Fear Free Trainer. Katenna previously worked for American Humane, the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, and as a cruelty investigator. Now she provides cat and dog behavior consultations through Jones Animal Behavior. Katenna’s main passion is teaching locally, internationally, and online. She regularly contributes to various media outlets, is a published author, and shares her RI home with her husband, cats, ducks, chickens and honey bees.

Recommended Resources

Recommended reading to supplement course content

  • Canine and Feline Behavior Therapy, Hart, Hart, and Bain (Blackwell Publishing)
  • Clinical Behavioral Medicine for Small Animals 2nd Ed, L. Overall (Mosby)
  • Feline Behavioral Health and Welfare, Rodan and Heath (Elsevier)
  • Feline Behavior: A Guide for Veterinarians, Beaver (Saunders)
  • Pet Behavior Protocols: What To Say, Do, & When to Refer, Hetts (AAHA Press)
  • BSAVA Manual of Canine and Feline Behavioural Medicine 2nd ed, Horwitz & Mills (Hanley & Belfus, Inc.)

Organizations to know, specific to cat behavior

Instructional Videos 

Welcome and Orientation

The Orientation video addresses some points students should keep in mind as they progress through this course. This video prepares students for successful completion of this Basics Course by reviewing how to access the course as well as the Facebook group, an overview of the course, housekeeping details, and general information.

Navigating The Course

The Navigation video will walk students through the course set up, reviewing where you can find course content, access videos, and more.

Thank You & Wrap Up

The wrap up video explains next steps for students after they have completed the course. Info that is covered includes accessing your certificate, requesting CEUs, and accessing the Facebook Group. 

Core Modules

The first step in addressing all feline inappropriate elimination cases is to address or rule out any medical culprits. This module will cover symptoms, causes, and tips for spotting common health concerns such as urinary tract health, pain, and more. Medical options for addressing litter box avoidance cases will also be reviewed, including nutraceuticals, behavioral pharmacology, pheromones, and more. Note: while it is important to understand this information, it is only appropriate for a veterinary professional to diagnose or treat health concerns. This module’s lecture is presented by Dr. Tracey Correreia, DVM.

This module examines the litter box itself. Content includes features of a litter box that are most and least appealing to a cat, location considerations, and tips for determining a cat’s preferences. This module also troubleshoots such factors as cats who “fling” their litter, cats who “dig” on the walls, relocation of litter boxes, cleaning urine and feces from various surfaces, and more.

This module focuses specifically on just the litter. Content includes choosing litter as well as what to avoid, litter depth, litter material, cleaning, and more. Logistics will also be examined, such as transitioning from a cat’s “preferred” substrate (such a cloth or linoleum) to actual litter, dealing with litter tracking outside of the box, dingleberries and more.

This module reviews the role of stress in feline inappropriate elimination. For far too many cats, a stressful world is their day to day norm and humans tend to notice only when things escalate to the point of problematic for humans. There are a wide variety of factors that can contribute to a cat’s stress, some of which will be examined in this module. Additional content includes indicators that a cat is stressed, management tips, and suggestions for stress reduction.

Marking related inappropriate elimination can be as straightforward as neutering… but what if that doesn’t work? What if it’s a spayed female!? This module reviews feline marking related social behavior so you can better understand a cat’s motivations. We will also get into scent marking, chemical communication, and of course how you might address the case. The content of this module is relevant not only to figuring out what is going on in a case but also for better understanding the cat’s perspective.

Private Facebook Group

Available to Complete and Basics students only 

  • One year of access; subsequent access available for subscription at $19.99/month or $225 per year
  • Discussion and content specific to litter box behavior and avoidance only
  • Days and times may vary, TBA in the Facebook group
  • Events held monthly, lasting ~1hr
    • Office Hours: one-on-one, by appointment, ~20mins/person, FCFS
    • Live Q&A: chatted questions will be answered via Facebook Live
    • Featured Topic: Discussion of member cases, special topics, guest speakers,1


Certification Education Units are available for:

  • CCPDT: 0 CEUs for trainers and 14 CEUs for behavior consultants
  • IAABC: 14 CEUs
  • KPA: 12 CEUs

Feline Inappropriate Elimination Basics Course Registration

1 year of access

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