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Lana Fraley Rich, Catsultant®

People often tell me they have never heard of a cat behaviorist. However, most people are familiar with dog trainers, behaviorists and even dog whisperers.

In 1984, when I couldn't find a grooming or boarding facility in Dallas for my first long-haired cat, Big Red, I was frustrated. There were lots of grooming salons, training and boarding facilities for my dog. I found plenty of dog supplies, food and toys in pet stores, but there wasn't much of a selection for cats. This disparity resonated deeply within me and fueled my lifelong passion for justice and equality. I decided to put my dental hygiene career on hold to explore why there weren't similar services and products available for my cat. I chose to become an advocate for cats and do something to level the playing field.

After a year of research with veterinarians, specialty architects and noted feline experts, such as Anitra Frazier, author of The Natural Cat, I opened Cat Connection® in Plano, Texas in 1985. The business doubled in size twice in less than five years, was relocated to Dallas and became the largest cat-only facility in the Southwest. During my tenure, the business garnered national attention in such publications as The Dallas Morning News, Texas Monthly, Cat Fancy Magazine and the New York Times.

In 1992, a customer asked me to come to her home to help her determine why her cat was misbehaving. She felt she had tried everything and was "at the end of her rope." After helping her better understand the innate needs of her "little tiger" and successfully resolving the behavior problem, I could see they both had a much better quality of life. It was then that I knew I had found my true calling.

My 20+ years of professional experience in the dental/medical field, feline care and behavior improvement services for cat owners, veterinarians and animal shelters, have enabled me to improve the lives of cats and those who care for them. I have worked with more than 2000 cat owners to resolve their cat behavior issues, with a success rate of over 80%.