by Denise Galasso Liedlich

Shannon Finch leads a Tellington TTouch for Cats Class at EvCC Corporate and Continuing Education Center

Pet owners may find it difficult to find time to spend with their pets. Most often if you are stressed out, so is your Fido or Spunky. Animals pick up and know exactly how you are feeling and if you tune in with your pet you’ll find that they sometimes have things going on that you are not even aware of.

My cat Poopie, (yeah I know…it was the only name she would come to!) has moved with me several times to different locations. She has been my companion for several years and once the only kitty in my life, she now has two siblings, a dad and a serious behavior problem. Poopie beats up the other cats. When she wants attention she will frequently bite my ankles, my neck and my arms. She is incredibly high strung and basically a furry version of myself. Except I try not to bite or scratch other people on a regular basis.

I felt hopeless about her situation until Everett Community College (EvCC) announced a new class called Fantastic Felines: Introduction to Tellington TTouch for Cats as part of the Corporate and Continuing Education Program.

Tellington TTouch is a series of very light touches and circular motions that you can administer to your pet. It affects the nervous system and if done correctly can have an amazing effect on the cat’s behavior and provide calming relief. The touch also works on humans, as well as cats, so the reward is double for just one class. TTouch can help all kinds of ailments including scratching, poor litter box habits, travel or vet anxieties and others as well.

At a 3-hour class on Saturday, June 5, TTouch certified practitioner Shannon Finch led the session in an introductory training on TTouch as well as listening to the student’s individual pet issues. Shannon is highly educated in both animal and human behavior. As well as running her business as a professional animal behavior and training consultant, she is simultaneously pursuing her master’s degree in humane studies. Shannon was very inspiring and has made it her life’s work to care for other beings. She can be found often at the Everett animal shelter providing TTouch to all types of animals from cats, dogs, horses and everything in between. With the touch to calm a scared, wild feral cat into a calm loving and desirable kitty, Shannon can help sooth an animal in a short amount of time. It’s an impeccable trait to have especially at the shelter because it can save an animals life by helping the animal to become more adoptable.

Most importantly Shannon explained to us that sometimes it is we humans that really need to change our behavior other than the cats. Although it was so obvious I just didn’t see it until she said it out loud. I need to give my kitty more love when the other cats are around or give her positive reinforcement before she attacks instead of punishment (removing her) thereafter. Shannon also taught me about the power of click training. It is very effective way to communicate with a kitty. Now my cats come to me as soon as I click.

Shannon was incredibly warm and kind to the class. She gave a wealth of information and she made sure that the class understood the materials. She allowed us to try the different touches on our kitten plushies as well as try it on each other and then on her so that she was sure that we grasped the technique properly. She also was generously open for us to email her and let her know how things were going.

So far so good. It’s been two weeks and I have used the TTouch everyday on the cats. Everyone seems a bit calmer. Although Poopie still has her moments she does appear to be warming up to her siblings. I believe with more time, I’m going to have a very happy cat. I am thankful that Everett Community College provides such a meaningful class. It is so important to be empowered with the ability to take control of your pet’s health and happiness. In turn it will make you happier. I suggest that if you have an animal that you love dearly you will take the time to learn Tellington TTouch.

Poopie before TTouch

Poopie after TTouch

This summer, the EvCC Corporate and Continuing Education Center will offer more classes for pet lovers. Grooming the Family Dog takes place on Saturday, July 24.

For more information about Everett Community College’s Corporate and Continuing Education Center, visit:

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