Maine coon cat in litter box

Complete Course – 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 all types of 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. Here, details about sample cases are explained, as well as su, and sets the tone for feeling relaxed and comfortable in this course. This video prepares students for successful completion of this Master 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, request CEUs 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. Distinctions between the Master, Basics and Essentials students will be addressed.

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.

Additional Modules

6a. Virtual Consultations

Though feline inappropriate elimination is one of the most common behavior problems, for many owners finding quality assistance can be difficult. There may not be a consultant reasonably close by, perhaps the owner cannot afford sessions, possibly their schedule won’t allow for frequent check-ins, or maybe the cat is terrified of strangers. The consultant is limited by the number of hours in a day, weather conditions, and the need to make a living. Virtual consultations may be able to help while also being a great way to reach more homes, more cats, more often. This session will help prepare professionals to address all of this and more by reviewing the logistics of virtual consultations, several format options, some troubleshooting tips, and more.

6b. Tracking Data

Patterns in behavior steer all behavior modification plans, or at least they should. What is the pet trying to communicate? What different factors are playing a role in their behavior? Are your efforts making things better, or worse? Oftentimes, we can identify, analyze and keep track of all this information in our heads. Other times, there are just too many moving parts and we have to remember over a period of time in order to tease out what is going on. This session will give ideas for simple options for keeping track of things a little more formally, rather than just relying on memory. You will also work through one approach to a more complex case.

6c. Networking

Presented by Mychelle Garrigan, MSW, CDBC, this session will help outline benefits and strategies for networking in your community. Ideas for how to get started, what to say, who to reach out to, and more will be covered. Discover how to create, and maintain community and industry relationships that benefit not only pets but your business as well.

6d. To Use with Clients

A variety of forms are provided, most of which can be customized with your business name, logo, and contact information to share with your own clients.

7a. Feline Development

To better assist your clients and their cats, it is essential that you not only know about problematic elimination behaviors but also normal elimination behaviors. Do kittens really need to be “trained” by a human, or do they actually figure it all out on their own? This session will cover the physical and behavioral development of the elimination behavior of the domestic cat.

7b. Remedial Litter Training

When a cat eliminates outside of their litter box often enough and for long enough, that behavior may become their “new normal.” Add to that owners who punish their cats in relation to litter box avoidance and unknowingly train the cat to fear rather than use their box. Is it possible to “retrain” a cat to use the litter box again? This session will explore how cats learn as well as the impact of punishment and reinforcement while providing tips for helping cats learn to love their box again.

7c. Cleaning Urine

Anyone who deals with litter box avoidance cases needs to know how to remove cat urine! This webinar not only teaches them how, but is appropriate for sharing with clients as a step by step guide. A written handout version is also included.

Private Facebook Group

Available to Complete and Basics students only 

  • Lifetime access
  • 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,

CEUs

Certification Education Units are available for:

  • CCPDT: 2 CEUs for trainers and 19 CEUs for behavior consultants
  • IAABC: 21 CEUs
  • KPA: 21 CEUs
  • PSI: 10 CEUs

Testimonials

Feline Inappropriate Elimination Masters Course Registration

$395.00

Getting Started

Module 1: Health

Module 2: The Box

Module 3: Litter and Substrate

Module 4: Stress

Module 5: Territory

Module 6: Business

Module 7: Supplemental Information

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