Pounce! 2022

  • Overview

  • Schedule

  • CEUs & Pricing

  • About Your Instructor

Event Begins: November 19, 2022

Duration: 2 Days

“Pounce! 2022” is a two-day, virtual conference featuring 12 speakers presenting on their current research, theory, and application in cat behavior and training.

Professionals working with cats in shelters, rescues, veterinary practices, homes, training and consulting businesses, and beyond will encounter a wealth of resources on working effectively with the often-overlooked member of the household.

Each presentation is approximately 1 hour in length and will be followed with a live 30 minute Q&A session with the speaker.


Click the “About Your Instructor” tab for talk descriptions and instructor information.


Day 1 - November 19, 2022

(Eastern Time Zone)

9:00 AM – Human-Directed Aggression (Beth Adelman, MS)

11:00 AM – Socializing Cats of All Temperaments (Emily Carl, CCBC, FFCP, CPDT-KA, CSB-C)

1:00 PM – Using an Enrichment Framework to Help Cats Succeed in Homes (Emily Strong)

3:00 PM – BREAK

4:00 PM – Making the Most of Your Lane on Medical Road Trips (Dr. Denise Johnson, DVM, CCBC, Elite FFCP)

6:00 PM – Placing Cats with Behavior Challenges: Matchmaking and Counseling for Successful Adoptions (Dilara Göksel-Parry, CCBC)

8:00 PM – Play and Welfare in Human-Cat Dyads: Maximising Cat and Guardian Wellbeing (Julia Henning, BSc. Animal Behaviour (Hons))

Day 2 - November 20, 2022

(Eastern Time Zone)

9:00 AM – Target Training: A Cat Behavior Professional’s Multitool for Resolving Problem Behaviors (Kate Luse, MA, CCBC)

11:00 AM – When Friends Become Enemies: Re-directed and Non-Recognition Aggression Between Cats (Patience Fisher, ACCBC, CVA, DipFBST, BSBIO)

1:00 PM – Teaching Cats Confidence and Resilience Through Pattern Games (Beth Brown, CCBC, CCUI, CPDT-KSA)

3:00 PM – BREAK

4:00 PM – Advanced Litter Box Cases: Thinking Outside the Box to Get Kitties Back in the Box (Katenna Jones, ScM, ACAAB, CCBC, CDBC, FFCP)

6:00 PM – Making Love: Shaping Affectionate Behavior in Under-Socialized Shelter Cats (Melissa Taylor, CBCC-KA, CSB-C)

8:00 PM – They Do It with Tigers: Husbandry Training for Your Cat Companion (Dr. Cheryl Kolus, DVM, MS, KPA CTP)


  • 18.0 (IAABC, KPA), 16.5 (CCPDT)

Member Cost:

  • $165 *

Non- Member Cost:

  • $180


Human-Directed Aggression

Beth Adelman, MS

This session will focus primarily on the most common reason cats display aggression toward the people they live with: to solicit play and attention. Aggression to solicit play and attention can be characterized by cats stalking their humans, pouncing, grabbing body parts and/or biting. 

I will also discuss fear/defensive aggression. As a long-term problem, this is often the result of rough handling (including rough play) and/or lack of early socialization. (As a short-term problem, it’s often a sign of illness or injury.) Typically, this kind of aggression is more specifically directed at a single person or a situation than is aggression to solicit play and attention.

I will also touch briefly on the causes of redirected aggression directed at humans, and how to respond to it.


About Beth Adelman, MS:

Beth Adelman, MS, is a Cat Behavior Consultant in Brooklyn, New York. Beth is currrently on the executive committee of the feline division of the Pet Professional Guild, and was a founding member of the Cat Division of the IAABC. She is the former editor in chief of Cats magazine and DogWorld and former cat columnist for the New York Post. She currently is the resident behavior consultant at New York’s Meow Parlour. Beth has worked as a writer and a speaker for the Winn Feline Foundation, and received Winn’s Media Appreciation Award in 2011. She has also been a speaker for Cat Camp, Catsbury Park, the Cat Writers Association,  the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, Kutztown University, Pet Sitters International, the Garden State Cat Club and the Cat Fanciers Association, and a guest on a variety of radio shows. She has edited more than 100 books about companion animals, many of them award winners.



Socializing Cats of All Temperaments


A detailed guide in socializing cats of all temperaments to handling, sounds, sights, and experiences. Special emphasis is placed on guiding fractious kittens to become handleable, social adult cats.


About Emily Carl, CPDT-KA, CCBC, FFCP, CSB-C:

Emily Carl (CPDT-KA, CCBC, FFCP, CSB-C) is the owner of Great and Small Animal Behavior and Training. After years working in shelters and teaching group dog training classes, she now offers private dog training and cat behavior consultations while offering cat nail trim fundraisers and foster/volunteer training for local shelters. She has also had the pleasure of writing articles for the IAABC Journal, and hopes to one day write books on cat behavior and dog training.



Using an Enrichment Framework to Help Cats Succeed in Homes

Emily Strong

Enrichment is often thought of as keeping animals entertained or busy, but in actuality it should function as a systematic, evidence based, and data driven way to increase welfare. Enrichment improves an animal’s physical, behavioral, and emotional health so that they are free to perform a robust diversity of species-typical behaviors in healthy, safe, and appropriate ways. When we approach behavior change through an enrichment framework, we take the whole animal and their entire environment into account. The majority of maladaptive behaviors we see in cats have root causes in unmet needs and compromised welfare, so in this presentation we’ll discuss what it looks like to address common behavior issues in cats through an enrichment framework.


About Emily Strong:

Emily Strong is co-owner and behavior consultant at Pet Harmony, LLC and co-author of the book Canine Enrichment For The Real World. She and her business partner, Allie Bender, run several programs through Pet Harmony, including their Mentorship Program for prospective behavior consultants, a membership site for professionals called Pro Campus, and a membership site for clients called Community Campus. Emily has been involved in various animal welfare fields since 1990, working and volunteering in animal shelters, rescue groups, sanctuaries, veterinary hospitals, stables, wildlife rehabs, an aviary, and finally as a behavior consultant, which she has been doing since 2008. Her passion is working with multiple species, but her favorite species to work with is humans, which is why her primary focus is running the mentorship program! In addition to co-running Pet Harmony and its various programs, she is also a national speaker, a freelance writer, and has an international client base.



Making the Most of Your Lane on Medical Road Trips

Dr. Denise Johnson, DVM, CCBC, Elite FFCP

Navigating professional boundaries becomes all the more difficult when cases involve or are centered around medical conditions. Adding a veterinarian to the behavior care team does not mean that you have to take an exit! Learn how to leverage your behavior knowledge and stay relevant in veterinary territory. Topics will include navigating medical restrictions, accommodating abnormal toileting needs, and an introduction to functional behaviors for cooperative care.


About Dr. Denise Johnson, DVM, CCBC, Elite FFCP:

Dr. Denise Johnson is a general practitioner of veterinary medicine and IAABC Certified Cat Behavior Consultant. Special interests include behavioral health and low-stress handling. Additional qualifications include Elite Fear Free, Low-Stress Handling Silver, and Cat Friendly Veterinarian Certifications.


In addition to being a certified member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, she serves on their ethics committee and as a peer-reviewer for the IAABC Foundation Journal. Dr. Johnson is also a member of the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior’s Speakers Bureau. She spends her free time working on Committed to Claws, an education project that provides pet owners and pet professionals with resources to reduce the incidence of onychectomy.



Placing Cats with Behavior Challenges: Matchmaking and Counseling for Successful Adoptions

Dilara Göksel-Parry, CCBC

What household factors are most important when placing cats with a history of fearful behavior, and/or incidents of biting or scratching people? What about for cats who have a history of elimination outside of the litter box, or other behavior challenges? Dilara will focus on matchmaking (including a special section on cat-cat matchmaking) and adoption counseling for shelter cats with some common challenges-fearful behaviors, play-biting, overstimulation, litter box issues, and cat reactivity. The presentation will cover guidelines for setting adopters up for success, including follow-up protocols. Since communication skills are arguably the most important element of successful, effective adoption counseling, “people skills” and ways to set up adoption conversations to ensure they are open and nonjudgemental will also be a focus of the presentation.


About Dilara Göksel-Parry, CCBC:

Dilara Göksel Parry was raised in Istanbul, Turkey and holds degrees in Psychology (Neuroscience emphasis) and Comparative Literature from Oberlin College. She has worked in the animal welfare field for the majority of her professional life, including 12 years as the Cat Behavior Coordinator at the San Francisco SPCA. In 2008 she co-founded Feline Minds with Dr. Mikel Maria Delgado, where they focus on private consultations to help cat guardians live harmoniously with their cats, and consult with animal welfare organizations with an emphasis on improving cat sheltering practices. In addition to staying busy with Feline Minds, Dilara works part-time at Cat Town Oakland, an innovative, cage-free rescue for cats deemed unadoptable in traditional shelter settings.
Dilara is a Certified Cat Behavior Consultant. She enjoys writing educational material to “translate” cats for humans, and has been interviewed by MSNBC, Animal Sheltering, thedodo.com, PetMD and Chewy, as well as written for the Bay Woof Foundation and Maddie’s Fund. She shares her life in Richmond, CA with her family of humans, cats, dogs, and chickens.



Play and Welfare in Human-Cat Dyads: Maximising Cat and Guardian Wellbeing

Julia Henning, BSc. Animal Behaviour (Hons)

At the heart of animal welfare, for companion animals, is the relationship they share with the person or people responsible for their health and wellbeing. The quality of these relationships impacts both companion animal and human directly. A healthy relationship is therefore paramount to protecting and improving both animal welfare and human wellbeing. But how do we begin to build these complex, interspecies bonds? And what are the factors that differentiate a good relationship from a poor one? One factor that has received recent research is the amount and type of play behaviour exhibited in human-cat dyads. In this talk, Julia takes us through her current research into play, its role in building and maintaining human-cat bonds and keeping both our cats and ourselves happy.


About Julia Henning, BSc. Animal Behaviour (Hons):

Julia Henning is a PhD candidate at the University of Adelaide.
Julia has a special interest in feline behaviour, animal affective states and human-cat dyads.
Her current PhD project focuses on play as an indicator and promotor of positive affective state and welfare in domestic cats.



Target Training: A Cat Behavior Professional’s Multitool for Resolving Problem Behaviors

Kate Luse, MA, CCBC

Target training is a type of clicker training in which the animal is offered a target stick, and when the animal touches it, the trainer clicks to mark the behavior and then gives a reward for reinforcement. Target training can be a useful tool for resolving problem behaviors in cats. In this presentation, I will focus on its use in three contexts: establishing trust with cats displaying fear aggression; teaching prosocial behavior as a step to integrating a new cat into a home with existing cats; and as enrichment, especially for bored or high-energy cats. Because most clients have little to no experience training their cats (in fact, many embrace the misbelief that cats are incapable of being trained), teaching them how to target train their cats is key to its successful use. With this in mind, I will also discuss strategies for educating clients in the effective use of target training.


About Kate Luse, MA, CCBC:

Kate Luse, M.A., CCBC, is a certified cat behavior consultant with a special interest in working with un- and under-socialized cats. In her more than 25 years fostering cats, she has worked with many shelters and rescues. She focuses on the most at-risk cats and kittens, those who come to shelters and rescues with behavioral or health issues that make it a challenge to get them adopted. Kate also has a Master’s degree in English Literature from The Pennsylvania State University and spent 20 years teaching academic writing to undergraduates. She combines her skills as an educator with her knowledge of cat behavior to  help her clients understand the environmental, biological, and evolutionary influences on their cats’ behaviors and how to use environmental modification and positive reinforcement to meet their cats’ needs and resolve problematic behaviors. 



When Friends Become Enemies: Re-directed and Non-Recognition Aggression Between Cats

Patience Fisher, ACCBC, CVA, DipFBST, BSBIO

There are unique challenges with both re-directed and non-recognition aggression cases. To start with, you are re-introducing two resident cats! Neither one is likely to be happy being shut in a safe room. And what if they both had been sleeping with their person each night? How’s anyone to get any sleep if one is shut away and meowing? 

And then there’s the client, who was completely caught off guard by the attack. At least with a new cat, most people see right away that there is hostility. And many know to start out with these cats separated. But with both re-directed or non-recognition aggression cases, the poor client has no idea that violence is about to erupt. They may be terrified to re-introduce their cats. Or they may be in denial. They may think that two best friends of many years can just get over it. And they might have had many failed re-introductions before reaching out for help. How do you deal with that?

I will discuss both the cat and the client aspects of these types of cases. I will also present a few case studies. Some of these cases will be easy fixes, and some will be challenging. Factors influencing the outcomes of each case will be addressed. 

I will also discuss what I see as needed research on non-recognition cases. To begin with, I’d like to determine if fear and visible changes in the cat that went to the vet are correlated to being attacked. I’m hoping to develop a survey for cat professionals and owners to respond to, to collect data on this topic.


About Patience Fisher, ACCBC, CVA, DipFBST, BSBIO:

Patience Fisher owns Patience for Cats LLC, a cat behavior business based in Pittsburgh, PA that has been in operation since 2015. She is an associate-certified cat behavior consultant through the IAABC. She holds a Bachelor’s in Biology, a Diploma of Feline Behavior Science Technology, and is a certified veterinary assistant. Before opening her business, Patience fostered cats for animal shelters. This is when she began her interest in cat introductions, applying her science background to observable cat –cat interactions. This is her specialty.

Patience has written many articles for the IAABC Journal. She also has a self-study course available through IAABC, entitled The Science of Feline Introductions.



Teaching Cats Confidence and Resilience Through Pattern Games


Cats thrive on predictability, but what happens when they exist in an unpredictable environment? Learn how pattern games can help restore the predictability they need and resolve behavior issues in the process.


About Beth Brown, CCBC, CCUI, CPDT-KSA:

Beth Brown (she/her) is a Certified Cat Behavior Consultant through the IAABC, a Certified Professional Dog Trainer- Knowledge and Skills Assessed through the CCPDT, and she is a Fear Free Certified Professional. She works professionally as a behavior consultant in Houston for people who are experiencing issues with their dogs and/or cats, but she also has fun in her free time training other species like horses, chickens, goats, and pigs! She got her start in behavior consulting at a local shelter and has been hooked on being a behavior nerd ever since. These days, she uses the skills she learned there to help people form better relationships with their animal companions for the betterment of everyone’s welfare. This includes private lessons, but also includes volunteering at an open intake shelter running playgroups and teaching volunteers about body language and handling skills. 

While Beth is in love with behavior as a whole, she takes particular interest in Leslie McDevitt’s pattern games, made famous in her “Control Unleashed” series of books. After the first time she saw Leslie speak, Beth slid into her DM’s and signed up for the Certified Control Unleashed Instructor program, earning the title of CCUI in 2021. Pattern games form the basis of most of her behavior work, because they are so adaptable, easy to teach, and beneficial for both human and non human learners alike! 



Advanced Litter Box Cases: Thinking Outside the Box to Get Kitties Back in the Box

Katenna Jones, ScM, ACAAB, CCBC, CDBC, FFCP

Many of us know the drill when it comes to most litter cases – fix the box, substrate and location. Stress reduction and enrichment. But what about the cases that go beyond the usual approaches? This session will review some of Katenna’s more advanced cases where things had to get a bit more….creative to successfully resolve some serious Feline Litter Box avoidance cases.


About Katenna Jones, ScM, ACAAB, CCBC, CDBC, FFCP:

Through Jones Animal Behavior, Katenna Jones provides virtual behavior
consultations as well as educational events such as her Feline Elimination Master Course, LYF Feline Behavior Mentorship, and peer coaching sessions. She is a popular, international speaker, contributes to a wide variety of publications, and is author of Fetching the Perfect Dog Trainer: Getting the Best for You and Your Dog. Katenna began her career as a volunteer dog walker in 1999 and went on to earn her Master’s Degree from Brown University where she studied animal behavior, learning and cognition. Eventually, she became a cruelty investigator, worked for American Humane Association and also for the Association of Professional Dog Trainers. Katenna is an Associate Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist, Certified Cat and Dog Behavior Consultant, a Certified Fear Free Trainer, and an IAABC Mentor and Instructor.



Making Love: Shaping Affectionate Behavior in Under-Socialized Shelter Cats

Melissa Taylor, CBCC-KA, CSB-C

Animal shelters strive to move animals from intake to placement as efficiently as possible, to reduce overcrowding, illness, and overtaxed resources.
In recent years, numerous studies have focused on the question: How do behavior patterns in shelter cats influence time to adoption? It has been revealed that cats who are less interactive with visitors are at risk of longer stay and euthanasia. One such study indicated that shelter cats who showed fearful behaviors towards visitors took more than 3 times longer to get adopted than cats who were interactive. The consensus in the literature is that shelters could and should use training to encourage friendly behaviors in cats who would otherwise not interact with potential adopters.
This presentation provides a step-by-step introduction to a simple training protocol that increases the likelihood that cats will approach and solicit affection from shelter visitors. The goal is to increase potential adopter interest in cats with a history of fearfulness and facilitate these cats’ transition into homes.


About Melissa Taylor, CBCC-KA, CSB-C:

Melissa Taylor, CBCC-KA, CSB-C is the Behavior and Training Manager at Friends For Life Animal Shelter in Houston, Texas. Melissa has logged more than twenty years in shelter animal behavior, starting with an internship at the ASPCA’s Animal Behavior Center in New York City. She developed a lasting love for cooperative care from training livestock and wildlife as the Coordinator of the Behavior and Training Department at the Houston SPCA, and applies the same principles to the dogs, cats, exotics, and humans she works with now at Friends For Life. Over the course of her career, she has focused on the development of shelter humane education programs, particularly those for volunteers, with the intention of mentoring new companion animal trainers and behavior consultants with practices steeped in evidence and based on building trust, security, and partnership. Melissa has started several shelter behavior volunteer programs and consults with other humane organizations on starting such initiatives of their own.



They Do It with Tigers: Husbandry Training for Your Cat Companion

Cheryl Kolus, DVM, MS, KPA CTP

If you’re lucky, you’ve never needed to give your cat oral medications, injections, ear cleanings, and the like. But, unfortunately, your luck is bound to run out eventually, so why not be prepared and make it easy on both your cat and yourself when the time comes? Not to mention that teaching your cat to willingly participate in care procedures at home may help ease the stress of similar procedures at the veterinary clinic. This presentation will talk about general guidelines for teaching cooperative care and walk you through shaping plans for various handling and medical procedures that you might encounter with your feline friend.


About Cheryl Kolus, DVM, MS, KPA CTP:

Cheryl Kolus is a veterinarian with a special interest in behavior and is a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner. She also holds Fear Free Elite and Low Stress Handling – Silver certifications. Although she currently works in the pharmaceutical industry, she keeps current on animal behavior topics and enjoys helping others learn about their pets. She previously worked as the Behavior Center Manager for the Fort Collins Cat Rescue and Spay/Neuter Clinic (now Animal Friends Alliance) in Colorado, where she not only directly helped shelter cats with behavioral challenges, but also pet owners in the community by providing in-home consultations and pet behavior seminars. While at the rescue, she was involved in research on clicker training cats and is passionate about sharing this knowledge with others. Cheryl was previously on the Executive Board of the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior, and she remains an active member of that group as well as the IAABC.