Pet Behavior Help

PAWS offers free assistance and information about behavior issues for cats and dogs adopted from our shelter and Cat City adoption center.  PAWS also assists those seeking to re-home their pets due to behavior issues.

The importance of your involvement

Your patience and involvement are the most important elements to recognizing, attempting to understand, and modifying any behaviors you may be experiencing with your cat or dog.

Unwanted negative behaviors don’t develop overnight, and therefore cannot be resolved overnight. Many unwanted behaviors can be successfully eliminated, but you must be committed to a six-to-eight-week training period to get the desired results.

If you are genuinely willing to work with your animal to overcome unwanted behaviors, then PAWS can aid your efforts.

Understanding the basics

It’s been our experience that many of the inquiries are about common behavior concerns. Our Resource Library contains information on a wide variety of cat and dog behavioral topics so we encourage you to explore the library before contacting PAWS. The ASPCA offers a Virtual Pet Behaviorist that provides step-by-step advice to solve many behavior issues, and the HSUS Cat Answer Tool can help resolve most cat behavior issues by explaining why your cat may be acting that way and giving you the tools to correct the behavior.

When PAWS cannot help

Some problems we can’t resolve over the phone because it isn’t safe or appropriate to diagnose certain behavioral problems without in-person observation of the animal’s postures and reactions to certain stimuli.

  • Medical issues. Some behavior problems can be a result of or made worse by medical conditions. If you think your pet has a medical need, contact your veterinarian. PAWS cannot give advice on any medical issue your animal may be experiencing.
  • Aggression. There are many reasons an animal may behave aggressively, including fear, dominance, food or object possessiveness, territorial behavior or protective behavior. Since aggression is a complex behavior with many factors involved, the PAWS staff cannot address any aggression your animal is exhibiting. Please consult a behavior specialist or pet trainer to resolve any aggression-related issue.

Giving up your pet

PAWS believes in lifelong commitments to companion animals, but you may determine that even after working with your pet, you need to find him a new home. Information on how to find a new home for your animal, or to find out if PAWS can take your animal, is available on the Can't keep your pet? section of our website.

Please note: PAWS is located in Lynnwood, Washington, and due to the volume of inquiries, we are not able to provide phone or e-mail assistance to people outside of Western Washington who need to re-home their cat or dog.