Introducing Cats – Looking for Professional Help

March – 2018

We Need Jackson Galaxy

I may have mentioned before that my boyfriend and I are big fans of Jackson Galaxy and his show – My Cat From Hell. It has been an ongoing joke that we should contact him to get featured on his show. If you’ve never seen an episode, Jackson Galaxy is a self-proclaimed Cat Behaviorist who offers his services free of charge to cat families in need.

He makes two or three visits to their home to assess the severity of the problem – whether it is cat aggression, inappropriate marking, or a number of cat “issues”. He gives the humans homework and by the end of the show all the problems are solved and the cat family is at peace.

We’ve watched all the shows and applied what we’ve learned to our situation. But it hasn’t been enough. We keep wondering if we actually had a professional Cat Behaviorist come visit our home if they’d have anything additional to offer. Maybe we are missing something obvious. Since Jackson Galaxy is based out of Los Angeles and has never done a show in our home town on the opposite coast, we need to look elsewhere.

Do Cat Behaviorists Really Exist?

After searching the internet and YELP for a local Cat Behaviorist for over an hour, I came up empty handed. Was this a made-up profession that only existed on television? Even our Vet couldn’t give us a referral for a Cat Behaviorist.

We’d pretty much given up on finding a professional to help us with our cat problems when one of our friends mentioned that a coworker of his knows of a Cat Behaviorist in the area. We got her information and we were pleasantly surprised when we read up on her extensive credentials.

Unlike Jackson Galaxy, who is a “Cat Behaviorist by day and a Musician by night”, this lady is a Veterinarian, a board-certified veterinary behavior specialist, and a Professor at the University of Florida, College of Veterinary Medicine. And she also has a Master’s degree in Psychology. Dr. Terry M. Curtis is undeniably the real deal. If anyone was going to be able to help us it would be her.

We quickly reached out to Dr. Curtis and scheduled a house visit. Prior to the visit she had us fill out a very detailed (17 page!) feline behavior history form. I didn’t hold anything back. I answered every question with as much detail as possible.

Does your cat shake their paws after using the litter box? Do they respond when you call them by name? Where does your cat spend most of their time during the day?

I spent the entire weekend answering questions like this and filling out the form. Maybe she uses the form to gauge how committed cat owners are to finding a solution. If that was the case I was pretty certain she’d be able to tell that we are committed and borderline desperate.

The form was submitted. The date was set. Now we just have to wait.