Animal Behavior Studies
Mieshelle’s University Studies

Schedule with Cat Behaviorist and New York Times Acclaimed Feline Behavior Science Author, Mieshelle Nagelschneider.

Important Animal Behavior Studies and Authoring
the First Scholarly Cited Cat Science Book for Cat Owners

My cat behavior science book is the first scholarly cited cat behavior science book for cat owners (Random House Publishing). It’s also required curriculum for many certified cat “counselors” you see today and even used for university entrance exams. A few of my studies are an important part of the book.

My wildcat census study in Costa Rica proved that our domestic cat is similar to their wildcat counterparts in so many ways, but studying other species is just as important to understanding a particular one that you may be interested in.  As Dawkins once pointed out – the difference between species is by degree, not kind.  An animal behavior professional who attends university (either online or in-person) to study in the field of animal behavior will study many species as opposed to just one because learning about animal psychology includes comparative study between species, and the fundamentals of genetics and how animals learn. Also, certain species are easier to study than others. This is one reason why their are so many bird research studies when studying animal behavior – birds return to the nest whereas cats are more elusive and have a very large territory making them one of the most difficult species to study.

There are many courses on bird behavior and dog behavior – but on many levels cats learn very much the same way as other species do.  Also, as with other species, factors like external (e.g. environment) and internal (e.g. genetics) drive their behavior in both similar and different ways.

Understanding a cat’s evolutionary environment is a big part of understanding domestic cat behavior (as well as other species), how they think, and what they need in captivity to be happy without prolonged stress in their lives.  You will see many similarities among different species in this regard.

Image of Mieshelle Nagelschneider | Cat Behaviorist

2007: Guest attendee at Harvard University Law School reunion awaiting to enter my animal behavior class. How’s that for timing? Dogs: Savants or Slackers? No, Harvard does not have a cat behavior course. Luckily, learning about animal psychology is a comparative study. Was I the only cat behaviorist in the class? I’ll let you answer that one.

My experience at both Harvard University and at Harvard University Extension School animal cognition course, “The Cognitive Dog: Savants or Slackers?”,  you could attend in Harvard Yard in-person or through their extension school (one of their 12 schools at Harvard).  This course was a popular success as one of their most registered extension Psych courses (82 students registered only second to 84 students registered to Intro to Psych). To receive a citation in animal cognition back in 2007 three courses were required (2 bird and 1 dog course).  Irene Pepperberg (Alex and Me) and Bruce Blumberg were the amazing instructors for those courses. Shortly after Harvard, I wrote the first scholarly-cited cat behavior science book for cat owners that is now published in 4 languages (Random House Publishing).

University of Edinburgh – Royal School of Veterinary Studies:  Study of Animal Behavior and Animal Welfare – Cat Behavior

Syllabus: Course details here
I think this course is crucial for anyone in the field of animal behavior. It’s been a huge part of conveying animal welfare while I’m working in Shanghai, China as the cat nutrition scientific research expert for the largest cat food manufacturer and company in the world. Cats have only been in homes in China for 10 years and anyone caring for cats (companies and households alike) have benefited by animal welfare knowledge and how to care for their cats. This course covers many animal psychology points: External Factors that Drive Animal Behavior and Abnormal Behavior and Early Life Environment Enriched Habitats: Sensory, cognitive, social, physical, occupational, feeding.  Internal Factors and Animal Behavior (Tigers, Bear, Lizards, Primates).  Study of genetics, animal cognition, emotional status, health status, and physiological status.

Image of Mieshelle Nagelschneider in the woods | Cat Behaviorist

Monteverde Costa Rica Cloud Forest Reserve 2014 Cat Census Study, Cat Tracking Study, and Cat Behavior Study with Mieshelle Nagelschneider and Dr. Jordan Carlton Schaul for team “Cat Whisperer” and the next book.

Oxford University 2019 – Dept. for Continuing Education
Animal Behavior and Psychology.

Syllabus: Course details here

Dogs and birds are easier to study than many other less popular taxa, is the short answer I’ve received by biologists, zoologists and veterinarians (including my partner who is a veterinarian) when asked why so many behavior courses on birds and dogs. Regardless, when it comes to animal behavior, learning about genetics (an internal factor) is important as it affects all the animal species and their behavior. A large focus in my Harvard classes were the famous Russian fox study to help us understand the genetics of behavior in not just the Belyaev Foxes, but other animals, too.  Other internal factors that also drive animal behavior are cognition, health status, physiological status, and emotional status.  Again, when studying animal behavior you will find many similarities as well as differences between species when it comes to internal and external factors and how it affects their behavior.  I gained important knowledge on how dogs learn through operant conditioning (B.F. Skinner) in my course and this strengthened by knowledge on how animals learn in general (humans too).  Even though I had studied this in college in my early 20’s, now with my cat behavior profession,  I have found that cats can actually learn more quickly and more reliably than dogs in some cases if they are truly food motivated.

Frequently Asked Questions

All cat behavior solutions must take into consideration feline instincts and their evolutionary biology. The clinic has exclusive rights to Mieshelle Nagelschneider’s proprietary Cat Whisperer™ consulting, easy-to-implement C.A.T. Plan™ positive behavior modification, the most effective, comprehensive, and up-to-date system for curing any cat behavior problem.

Because every cat and environment is different, the plan allows for customized behavior techniques and environmental changes when needed – because cat behavior is not one-size-fits-all. Mieshelle has spent 20 years developing a method so effective that when clients follow it, their success rate is well over 90% (even higher for the most common issues).

Her science-based cat behavior book, The Cat Whisperer, has been featured in the New York Times and a best-seller on Amazon and published in 4 languages (Random House Publishing with co-writer Cameron Powell).

For cat behaviorists seeking certification, her book is a required curriculum by a number of cat behaviorist certifying organizations.

Love is born of mystery, and our cats are mysterious and loved in equal measure. But sometimes the greatest blessing of all is a bit of light thrown into a dark place. Mieshelle Nagelschneider holds that light. Allow her to share it with you.”– Gwen Cooper Author, Homer’s Odyssey: A Fearless Feline Tale, of Life With a Blind Wonder Cat (Random House), New York, NY

Veterinarian: “Over the course of many years, Mieshelle has developed and refined her unique ability to think like a cat. On numerous occasions I have witnessed the life-changing benefits Mieshelle’s techniques can bring to cats and their sometimes very frustrated owners.” – Veterinarian, Dr. James R. Shultz DVM, Portland, Oregon

Cat Behavior Veterinarian Referral from Dr. Lisa Berger DVM: “Despite all the disruptions, there have been no incidents of urination on the bed or the couch, and neither have been covered by plastic all week!” – Juanita H. Portland, Oregon

You have the African wildcat, your domestic cat’s ancestor, to thank for many of your cat’s “unwanted” cat behaviors. Learn more about this during your consultation to better understand and help your cat and solve its behavior issues. We often misunderstand cat behaviors. Once cat owners understand their cat instincts and biology, they can better understand why the behavior strategies work so well and can better apply them.

Mieshelle The Cat Whisperer™ has been the spokesperson and cat behavior expert for Comfort Zone, Arm & Hammer Cat Litter, and Cat Expert for Whiska’s International Media Tour Australia. Her cat behavior expertise is seen in the New York Times, The Today Show, NBC Dateline, MTV, Animal Planet, National Geographic, Discovery Channel, The Hallmark Channel, Modern Cat Magazine, Parade, Reader’s Digest, Cat Fancy Magazine, The New York Post, The Boston Globe, USA Today, This Wild Life, The Divine Cat, Real Simple Magazine,, Petside, Freekibblekat, The Toronto Star, Canada Globe and Mail, Animal Rescue Site, The Daily Cat, Feline Wellness Magazine, Advisory Council, This Wild Life, The Cat Channel, Pets Magazine, The Circle, New Republic, The Sunrise Show,, Herald Sun, Toronto Star, and countless others. See our Media Room below for the latest.

Feline behavior therapy is very different from canine behavior therapy and the approach to changing a cat’s behavior is even more unique. Cats do not display obedience problems like dogs. The help you need is not focused on physical or verbal behavior modification strategies, like dog training with a dog trainer present. All cat behaviorists conduct consultations by phone or video via Skype. Our behavior plans are specific to cats and still allow for the natural feline instincts, but when and where you want them displayed. We will cover the behavior plan during the phone or video consultation and offer follow-up over the course of several weeks for all of our consultation programs.

Call The Clinic Today at 503-267-8888

What People Are Saying