My name is Jaime Clifton and I am a certified feline training and behavior specialist. I decided to specialize in cat behavior back in 2012, when I first began overseeing the cattery at Rancho Coastal Humane Society in Encinitas, CA. I quickly learned that cats were not as well-understood as dogs, and it became my mission to change that and to help cats become more adoptable while in a shelter setting.
I tend to view myself as a translator between cats and their guardians. Anytime there is concern from a guardian about their cat, there is always some sort of communication that is simply lost in translation. I'm big on bridging the communication gaps by teaching guardians about feline body language and by showing them how to use positive reinforcement based training methods. When there is a breakdown in communication, the human guardian tends to feel that something is wrong with their cat, or that a behavioral issue is present. I choose to see things more simply as a disharmony in the cat-human relationship. I look at both the human and the cats' needs and I come up with a middle ground that is agreeable to all.
My approach to behavior consulting is holistic in essence, and I consider both emotional and physical wellness. I look at each cat as an emotionally complex being with a unique set of experiences, preferences and needs. Good nutrition and exercise are both important components to a happy and balanced cat. I love finding creative solutions to bring balance back into the homes of my clients. Self-care for ourselves is also something that must be addressed and put into action.
Cats are individual beings, just as people are, and when given choice, love, and understanding, cats will trust and bond with us in the most rewarding of ways! By adapting words like "transform," "shift," and "create," we invite amazing and positive change within our cats and our relationships with them.