Thursday, October 31, 2019

Feline Engineering Joins the SVPP Team

“Cat behavior can change!” asserts Jessica Char, cat behavior expert
and founder of Feline Engineering.

Jessica Char, Feline Engineering Founder and
Cat Behavior Expert 
That’s music to my ears.

As the owner of three feline frenemies — two of whom can barely co-exist — it’s amazing and hopeful to know that these three might be able to achieve d├ętente.

Jessica is working with SVPP to expand its cat- and kitten-related programs and support. She is providing educational material and handouts, redesigning and enhancing educational resources the SVPP website — both cat and dog topics. She has launched a cat-focused educational series at Pup Plaza, talking about cat happiness and answering community questions. The first session held last month, “Cat Lovers Chat,” was a resounding success for cat owners wanting to improve pet quality of life.

Feline Engineering's Jessica Char teaches
Sandy how to high-five as part of her
behavior-based training.
“People think that if cats are a certain way, that’s it and they’re stuck. Dog owners know they can work on their dog’s behavior through training, but most cat owners don’t,” Jessica says. “There is help, and people have options to address the challenges they are facing."

Jessica comes to SVPP with great experience and perspective. She first became interested in cat behavior after serving as a volunteer and then employee of the Humane Society Silicon Valley. She started with a focus on dogs and then, because of staffing challenges, expanded to kittens and cats. Discovery inspired her.

“Knowing a little about what a cat needs – play, height…a cat that’s ready
to attack you through the cage, with a few modifications, is completely
social. People have choices and options and can embrace cats the same
way they embrace dogs.”

Cat Lovers Chat was the first of a feline-based educational
series held at Pup Plaza recently.
After leaving the Humane Society, Jessica started her business, Feline Engineering. She provides education and private consultations, and applies a pragmatic approach: “real-life solutions that people can embrace.” These solutions can include environmental assessment, enrichment recommendations, guidance on how to work through conflict, and more.

In addition to private practice, Jessica wanted to be part of a rescue non-
profit that actively engaged with and supported its community. Enter SVPP and a community that is invited to embrace these new resources.

What's next for SVPP and Feline Engineering?

“In the longer term, we want to look at the possibility of helping adult cats in the community,” Jessica says. “Kittens are adopted very quickly, but adult cats don’t have that luxury. They are often in limbo with long foster or shelter stays. The goal is to get them into a different model — and into their forever homes faster.”

Questions for Jessica? You can email her — jessica@felineengineering.com — or visit the Feline Engineering website.

Our blog author, Karen Zamel, is a long-time volunteer for SVPP and now a member of the communications team.