How much does a cat trainer make?
It really depends on where you live and train. There are currently no official statistics through sites like the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) that cover cat training. In truth, the BLS doesn’t address dog trainers accurately as they lump them together with other animal related professions into a category, they call Animal Care and Service Workers. The challenge with this is that many of the other professions in the Animal Care and Service Worker category, for example kennel workers, earn less than dog trainer and thus push the average dollar amounts earned for the entire category lower.
Cat trainers can generally earn about the same as dog trainers teaching private lessons. Most cat training is about behavior modification, meaning ways in which the cat trainer can help clients address feline behavior challenges. In some parts of the country like Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco, cat trainers can charge $50-$100 per session. In other parts of the country session prices are lower and more in the $22-$65 range.
How long does it take to become a cat trainer?
ABC’s cat trainer program takes between 8 to 12 months to complete. Generally, it should take you about 2-4 years after graduation to feel confident in most training situations although each person is different. The best path is to get the foundation through a school like ABC and then work on the experience.
There are people who believe that the way to learn something is simply to do it. You hear this in some other professions as well. You want to become a writer? Just write! The writing analogy is actually a good one here. Yes of course the only way you will ever become a writer is to write, but trying to write without a basic understanding of grammar as well as how to outline and tell a story will make it almost impossible for all but the most gifted of people to become writers. This is also true about animal training. Yes, you are going to have to actually train animals in order to become a trainer but to try this without an understanding of behavior modification principles and how to properly apply them in real world settings makes this journey far more difficult and time consuming. It if for this reason that we offer our cat trainer program.
Is being a cat trainer a real job?
Yes! The thing to know about cat training is that there are still a great many people who don’t understand what cat trainers actually do. Still others are under the erroneous belief that cats can’t be trained. This means that currently there are far fewer cat trainers than there are dog trainers. That’s an interesting fact considering that there are more cats in the country than dogs. With over 58 million cats in the United States and over 7.9 million cats in Canada, the opportunities for cat trainers are undeniable. The fact that there are fewer cat trainers also means it is sometimes easier for cat trainers to stand out.
For example; when first starting out many dog trainers look to create a social media footprint and network with pet professionals like veterinarians whom they hope will refer them business. This is a sound strategy but not always easy when many of the veterinarians you want to network with already have working relationships with multiple dog trainers. Will these same hospitals have anywhere near the same number of cat trainers networking with them? The same thing applies to social media footprints. While there are many components that comprise a successful social media strategy, content is a key part of any strategy. What are you going to say that people will be interested in hearing? There is no shortage of dog training content out there which makes it harder to stand out.
There is far less cat training content which might make standing out much easier. Please remember that no school can or should guarantee employment or earnings. We certainly don’t. However potential cat trainers should understand the potential of cat training and that being a cat trainer is a legitimate job.