The Science of Cat Training and Behavior: Current Work and Future Directions

The Learning Bond Series

The Science of Cat Training and Behavior: Current Work and Future Directions

Kristyn Vitale, PhD and Dr. Saho Takagi

April 24, 2022
3:00 pm - 6:30 pm EDT


Registration ends April 23, 2022
IAABC Members: $55 (discount code)
Non-Members: $65





Are cats untrainable?

Are dogs smarter than cats?

Leading-edge researchers and educators Kristyn Vitale and Saho Takagi will host a half-day live event on current work and future directions of cat training and behavior.

They’ll discuss how to best apply learning principles to these brilliant, sensitive animals, how to prepare for success in training sessions, how the environment, other pets in the home, and human behavior all affect a cat’s learning, and how best to deal with unwanted or problematic behaviors when they arise.

The afternoon will end with a moderated discussion with our presenters and attendees.



3:00 pm

How Cats Learn: Training to improve cat welfare 
Kristyn Vitale, PhD

Cats are known to be intelligent and curious animals. Yet, counter to this, many believe cats to be untrainable. In this presentation we will explore the relevant science related to how cats learn from their environment, from other cats, and from the humans in their lives. We will discuss how to apply learning principles for cat training, how to set up training sessions for success, and how human behavior can unintentionally shape the behavior of cats. We will also examine how to deal with behaviors that may be seen as inappropriate or problematic. We will conclude with an examination of how to apply this knowledge to increase the welfare of cats living in our homes.

4:00 pm Break
4:15 pm

Social Cognition in Cats: Review of recent studies and my current works
Dr. Saho Takagi

Cats, along with dogs, are the most widely kept companion animals in the world. However, some have been skeptical about their ability to read human social signals, partly because their ancestral species was solitary. In recent years, an increasing number of cats' social cognition studies have shown that cats are able to read human signals better than previously thought. In this talk, I will introduce the social cognitive abilities of cats that have been revealed in recent years and my current research on the extent to which cats understand human language.

5:15 pm Break
5:30 pm Moderated Discussion with Speakers and Attendees
Krisytn Vitale, PhD & Dr. Saho Takagi


About the Presenters

Kristyn Vitale, PhD

Kristyn Vitale, PhD, is a researcher and educator in animal behavior, animal welfare, and human-animal interaction. Her main area of work focuses on cat social cognition, cat behavior, and the human-cat relationship. Vitale received her PhD in Animal Science from Oregon State University. As a member of the OSU Human-Animal Interaction Lab, she researched cat behavior, taught kitten training and socialization classes, and offered socialization opportunities for adult cats. She also received a Master’s of Environmental Science from Miami University. Her Master’s thesis focused on the social behavior of free-roaming colony cats. Kristyn has served as a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, a Visiting Research Fellow at Kyoto University in Japan, and a Maddie’s Postdoctoral Scholar. Her research and expertise in cat behavior have been internationally featured in media outlets such as Science Magazine, National Geographic, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Scientific American, and The Times of London. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Animal Health and Behavior at Unity College.


Dr. Saho Takagi

Dr. Saho Takagi completed her PhD at Kyoto University and currently holds the JSPS Research Fellowship for Young Scientists at Azabu University. She has published numerous research articles on cat cognition and personality and her research has been featured extensively across popular news outlets including CNN, the BBC, People, Discover, Time, and Scientific American.




Course Details
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  • Code:
  • Price:
    US $ 65.00
    by AuthorizeNet