J.R Henderson
J.R Henderson

The Conditional Cat: Cat Herding 101

Enhance your relationship with your cat, increase the ‘trust account’ and shape new behaviors to replace "unwanted"!

course starts
1 July 2023



Previous editions

April 2023

January 2023

And 6 more

Next editions

October 2023

More TBA

Cats have long mystified and mesmerized humanity, inspiring poets and artists alike, while invading  Internet memes and finding a place in the hearts and homes amongst all countries. Cats have often been considered aloof and unpredictable, walking their own path and daring to, “look at a king.“ But like all other organisms, felines are also subject to the laws of behavior science and as such, yes, even cats can be, ‘trained,‘ or ‘conditioned,’ in much the same way that they train and condition us to get up out of bed before our alarms blare by kneading our bellies, licking our noses and maybe even nibbling our fingers. This is why the Cat Herding 101 course was created!   Conditioning is always happening and cats like every other organism are not immune to it. There is no secret code word to begin exploring the magically fascinating world of cat training, aka, ‘cat herding.’ All it takes is one’s interest, plus a desire and effort to explore and learn…in a phrase, with the curiosity of a cat!  

But why would we wish to train a cat? Because cat training is an amazing for:

  • enhance your relationship with your cat and increase the ‘trust account’, allowing the learner increased choice and control to access functional reinforcement
  • it allows an outlet for enrichment including mental and physical stimulation for both the trainer and learner alike
  • helps you to minimize or more adequately construct and shape new behaviors to replace ‘unwanted’, or aversive behavioral patterns
  • increase your overall mechanical and conceptual skill regarding applied behavioral technologies through working with your cat


J.R. Henderson & his clowder (Condie, Durga & Poe) invite you on an incredible voyage of behavioral discovery!

Explore many aspects of behavioral techniques that can be applied to all aspects of cat herding 101 to set both you and your cat up for success. As Dr. Susan Friedman reminds us, “behavior is a study of one,” and keeping this in mind with a species evolutionary-based approach, J. R. & his clowder will guide you on a journey of behavioral discovery regarding cat herding. You will explore all aspects regarding cat herding, from building upon foundational principles and behaviors to creating behavioral momentum and bringing an element of ‘loopiness,’ to your training sessions. You will also explore more intermediate training principles and behaviors such as basic cooperative care and maybe even a pattern game or two thrown into the mix. J.R. & his clowder will cover a tad of everything to get any and everyone inspired and set up for success regarding cat herding 101.  

Cat Herding 101 will cover:

  • foundational principles, including equipment needed to begin cat herding, the antecedents of training setup and arrangement, preference testing, reviewing the concepts of pairing the marker/bridge (respondent conditioning), constructing behavior via capturing, luring and shaping, along with principles of errorless and graded training approaches
  • you will be able to demonstrate foundational behaviors including, ‘targeting’ and ‘stationing’ which many of our other behaviors and arrangements will be predicated upon
  • building behavioral momentum through the concepts of ‘training in loops,’ reinforcer delivery, a review on stimulus control and an overview on prompts, cues and prompt fading
  • you will be able to demonstrate intermediate level behavioral responses including: ‘sit,’ ‘down,’ ‘high five,’ and jump ‘up’
  • the basics of cooperative care will be covered including beginning tactile work and various objects being contacted to the body including stethoscopes, capped needles or similar substitutes and other objects of veterinary care, along with reviewing carrier training and also an overview of keeping medium and long-haired cats’ coats brushed which can at times be a challenge of endurance and wriggling for both cats and guardians alike
  • discussing and demonstrating the use of pattern games with cats
  • a detailed discussion and exploration of continued building of behavioral momentum over duration, distance and distraction.

  Lesson 1: Foundational principles Lesson 2: Foundational behaviors Lesson 3: Building behavioral momentum Lesson 4: Intermediate feline behaviors Lesson 5: Basic cooperative care concepts Lesson 6: Pattern games and further inspirations in behavioral construction  

  J.R. & his clowder look forward to continuing the cat chat and celebrating life in the meow with you in Cat Herding 101!


  • course lasts 6 weeks
  • lectures
  • access to other Premium member's threads
  • video tutorials
  • certificate of attendance
  • 24 hours, 7 days per week access to course materials
  • access to Tromplo: students group on Facebook
  • access to materials after the course is finished
  • 4 points to spend on future purchases




  • course lasts 6 weeks
  • lectures
  • access to other Premium member's threads
  • video tutorials
  • certificate of attendance
  • 24 hours, 7 days per week access to course materials
  • access to Tromplo: students group on Facebook
  • access to materials after the course is finished
  • 15 points to spend on future purchases
  • 12 minutes videos per week
  • tutor's feedback
  • homework
  • unlimited contact with tutor


Spots left: 4 ADD TO CART

Reviews for this course

Melita Balch
2023-03-15 21:26:37

This course is a WOW!!!! in so many ways! It includes an immense amount of fantastic learning about training that leaves one - and the cat(s) - happy and inspired.  The instructor is phenomenal, so knowledgeable and incredibly supportive, responding in detail to every question. And he helps even when the question is one wrt a separate cat topic - for me, it concerned my young kitten's attack-the-moving-feet thing, ha, but yay with his guidance I stopped needing extra thick socks. And, the course being on the superb set-up of Tromplo means it proceeds at whatever pace your life allows - forever access! Because there is SO MUCH information and guided practice sessions included that I think one would need to be able to do it full-time to complete it "on time." Highly highly recommend!!! Fill your and your feline(s) days full of joy and fun! 😻🥀💞

2022-12-09 14:38:28

What a fantastic course! I've been training my cats for over a year before joining, and yet I learned so much more than I could have imagined. Before the course, I was stuck not knowing what to train next and how to move forward on certain behaviours that weren't working out. I have learned how to plan, troubleshoot, modify and progress our training sessions for any behaviour, and there are so many amazing things on my to-do list now. J.R. provides concrete action plans for teaching specific behaviours, but also a surprising amount of background information and universal tools and concepts that will continue to inform and improve your training well after the course has ended.

I also want to highlight the time and effort J.R. puts into feedback and video analysis. He is a patient and extremely encouraging teacher who has a wealth of knowledge and experience and very much lives the positive reinforcement approach with his human learners as well as the animal ones. I absolutely recommend learning from him!

Emma Gregory
2022-11-09 02:17:17

This is an amazing course which I highly recommend. There is a lot of information and the videos are great to show exactly what you are aiming for. 
The training is fun but also practical. J.R is also very involved and gives great feedback. 

Enroll today! You won’t regret it!

Maree Neave
2022-02-21 01:37:33

Working with a different species can be somewhat daunting but this course has given me the confidence, insight and direction I needed moving forward with training my cat.

J.R. Included so much content in the course, breaking behaviour down into bite sized achievable pieces. Inspiring training videos and amazing feedback in the Facebook group make this course truly awesome.

I look forward to more courses and learning with J.R. Henderson in the future.

Alice Hengst
Alice Hengst
2022-02-16 00:52:19

Wow, this class went by way too fast!  J.R.Henderson has packed so much information and training ideas into this course that it is going to keep me busy for a few more months!!

Even though I haven't worked on some of the lessons yet, I totally enjoyed watching the training videos. I really learned a lot from watching J.R.'s technique and especially the pace and rhythm of the training. The chin target behavior with his cat is amazing!

It was a delight being part of this great group of humans and their cats. In this 6 weeks I did more cat training than I have ever done in all my years of living with cats. It was really fun to try the new behaviors. I'll definitely be continuing to work with all my cats and hope to share more videos of them in the future!