I was thinking the other day that I've lost a couple of potential clients after I've informed them of the cost for my services. I get it; $125 may seem like a lot of money right off the bat.
Here's the thing, though - my fee should be thought of like any normal vet visit fee. But, attached to vet visit fees come other fees; labs, urinalysis, follow-up visits, medications, etc. etc. etc.
When it comes to my fee, that's it. I don't charge anything more than that, and the follow-up conversations keep going until we're both happy with the results.
I'd also like to take the opportunity to compare my fees to other cat behavior consultants I've found. Unfortunately I'm the only one who does this in Chico, but in nearby Sacramento, the first consultation is $300 and each follow-up visit is $100.
Another consultant in Northern CA offers on-site visits for $410, an hourly rate on top of that, and clients can only email them for one month following the initial consultation. Like, what?
If we go North of us, in Portland, a "Full Service Behavior Consultation" (which is what I offer), is $375-450. A 60-minute visit is $140 without any follow-up. Mind. Blown.
I'm sharing this because coming up with my rate took a lot of thought and research. I wanted to come up with a rate I found appropriate for Chico, one that I thought would be found acceptable and not excessive, and one that would cover my expenses as well. $125 I felt was very fair considering what the services I offer and the amount of follow-up you will receive from me!
At the end of the day, all I want to do is help cats stay in their homes. That's it. It's not about making big bucks or becoming famous. If I can save even just a handful of cats from ending up outside (or worse), then I've lived a life I can be proud of.
So now the question is: How much is a life of love and harmony with your feline friend worth?
Believe it or not, cats do experience separation anxiety! Often people are looking for signs that would be typically be seen in dogs (howling at the door, destructive behaviors, etc.) but cats can show separation anxiety in many different ways.
Cats are known for their solitary nature, but cats can and do become attached to their people or their favorite person. How can you tell if your cat is experiencing separation anxiety?
Possessive, Clingy or Aggressive Behavior: They might retreat, or opposite of that, follow their favorite person around endlessly. They might meow frantically when their favorite person is displaying signs of intention to depart the home (gathering the purse or keys for example), Some cats may even attack their favorite person as if pleading with them, "Please don't go!"
Grooming excessively: Your cat may be grooming more than usual, or even worse, pulling their fur out.
Soiling around the house: There are several theories as to why a cat soils the home, one of them being a form of separation anxiety. Other theories include house soiling as a way to make it easier for you to find your way back to them, or even making it so that your scent is intermingled with theirs!
Vocalizing: A Study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association cited excessive vocalizing as one of the main symptoms of separation anxiety in cats. As long as other medical problems are ruled out (loss of hearing, for example), separation anxiety could be why your cat is vocalizing more than usual. Even if you're home!
Destructive Behaviors: Even if you think your cat has enough things to scratch, he or she may start scratching other items in the house in an attempt to release anxieties they feel in your absence.
If your cat is exhibiting any of the behaviors above, I can help! There are many different ways to address separation anxiety in cats. It is a solvable problem!