Thursday 11 September 2008

Vicky Halls

Vicky Halls, the UK's foremost cat behaviour counsellor, came over to my house the other week. We had a very pleasant and enlightening afternoon together, and I wrote a piece about it for the Daily Telegraph, which ran today, and you can read HERE. I had been a bit worried, since beforehand Vicky had read Under The Paw, which is not exactly a "how to" manual of feline ownership, so it was a relief to find that she didn't think I was the feline-loving world's answer to Fagin. Vicky sort of reminds me of the mystical golf coach who moved my right hand half an inch on my club and had me hitting the best shots of my life within seconds: her technique is all about lots of observation (she can watch a cat's actions in great detail whilst looking almost 90 degrees in the opposite direction), and a few small but crucial adjustments. The Bear must have sensed he was about to be commercially exploited again, since he disappeared as soon as she arrived, but my other five cats all took turns attempting to get inside Vicky's magical (and self-confessedly grungy) bag of unknowable cat treasures. I can honestly say I've never seen them as mellow as they were for the week following her departure.

Vicky's new book, The Complete Cat, has just been published. Her others are Cat Counsellor, Cat Detective and the classic, bestselling Cat Confidential.


Unknown said...

Re: Vicky Hall's books.

I have had a lot of problems recently with my mostly male multi cat house (3 males, one female). I was strongly advised by my vet to rehome the latest newcomer into the house who the others did not like and showed it by bullying him and spraying everywhere.
I was very upset at the thought of finding a new home for Freddie as I love him very much. I then read Vicky Halls 'Cat Confidential' She wrote that in a multi cat house to alleviate stress was to block up the cat flap as this could be stressing out the cats even more by allowing any cat in the neighbourhood come in, eat their food etc. I did this as a last resort and this advice worked. My other two males calmed down and did not take out their stress so much on the newcomer. With things a bit calmer in the house I could see a way to keep Freddie.

Her book was full of other good advice.
So many thanks to Vicky Halls whose advice allowed me to keep Freddie!!

Anonymous said...

I have read Cat Confidential and Cat Counsellor and found them both fascinating. I have aspired to be like Vicky in my role as volunteer cat cuddler at our local RSPCA branch ( do this if you can - it's very rewarding!) when faced with a problem cat. However, things hardly ever go to plan and I think Vicky has a very special talent. I look forward to reading the Complete Cat.

Best wishes to all,


Anonymous said...

Do you know if Vicky has a blog somewhere? I've been trying to find a credible cat behaviour blog for ages, but they seem very hard to find! I've just bought The Cat Counsellor and am looking forward to getting tucked into it.

Unknown said...

Vicky keeps a small but regular blog at her site - I think you can also sign up for a newsletter there.

Sharlie said...

Vicky Halls came to us once too. Willow used to be severly skitty. She's great!