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‘Therapist’ Who’s Treated 13,000 Cats Coming To Bergenfield

Carole Wilbourn with Orion.
Carole Wilbourn with Orion. Photo Credit: Susan Ferguson

BERGENFIELD, N.J. — Carole Wilbourn, the world-renowned “Cat Therapist,” is coming to the Bergenfield Public Library to share her knowledge of what makes cats purr.

Wilbourn, the author of six books of cat psychology, cofounded The Cat Practice , the first feline-only hospital.

That was in 1973.

Ever since then, Wilbourn has worked with cats and their guardians.

She’s helped at least 13,000 dual - species households across the globe in person or by phone or video conference.

Frankly, Wilbourne has seen everything.

And she’ll tell you all about it at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 7 at the Bergenfield library, which just announced her presentation.

Some cats have behavioral issues all on their own while others respond more readily to what’s going on in their guardian’s life, Wilbourn said.

“It’s a mixture. It depends on how vulnerable a cat is,” she told Daily Voice.

“You could have a zen cat living with someone who’s very nervous and going through many transitions and the cat will be fine.”

On the other hand, a cat who’s always been content may start to mirror the angst or stress of his or her guardian.

How a cat responds depends on what he or she brings to a situation, Wilbourn said, and the “catmosphere” of the environment.

Over the years, she has created The Wilbourn Way, a reference to all the different techniques she’s established for people to remedy, deal and cope with a cat’s behavior.

Wilbourn has worked with emotions since she got her psychology degree at New York University.

“First, it was the emotions of people, but emotions are all alike,” she said. “The emotions you have in people you have in animals and you have in plants.”

A key to dealing with cats, like humans, is not to make generalities, according to Wilbourn.

Just like not all redheads are not alike, she said, not all cats are alike.

Some don’t like to go out, for instance. She or he may have a memory of a traumatic event on the street.

Wilbourn writes a “Cats on the Couch” blog in which she aggregates all kinds of news and breakthroughs concerning cats – everything from cat intelligence to cat yoga — and reports on lots of case studies.

Some people are helped just by reading the blog, she said.

To read “Cats on the Couch,” CLICK HERE .

For more information about The Cat Therapist at the Bergenfield library, write donald.hansen@bergenfield.bccls.org.

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