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Jen and Josh. Pic by BriAnne Wills.


My name is Jennifer Van de Kieft

Growing up in South Brooklyn, my family always had cats. I've been admiring their mysterious ways for many years. My Dad fed strays and took cat food cans to work with him in case he saw a cat outside - he traveled around NYC as part of his social work field job. Cats were an important part of our family.

After working for decades in the addiction field, I left to pursue my passion, cat behavior. Cat Advocate opened in 2018 after I achieved feline training and behavior certification. Since that time, I've helped hundreds of cat guardians with their cat's behavior issues. I particularly enjoy working on feeding issues and have taken several nutrition courses. House soiling is another speciality, though I'm trained in all kinds of behavior issues and have obtained multiple certifications and certificates over the years (see below).

I also have an undergraduate degree in Psychology and am a NY licensed attorney (working with cat guardians is so much better than practicing law!). In 2024, I became a yoga instructor after completing the 200 hour teacher training at Abhaya Yoga. ​I live with my wonderful husband, son and five enlightening cats in Brooklyn, New York: Luke, Lily, Josh, Maya & Oscar.

All of my cats were adopted from Brooklyn Animal Action animal rescue. I volunteer for them, providing feline behavior advice to rescuers, fosters and recent adopters.


Animal Behavior Institute Certified Professional
Certified Advanced Feline Training Professional
Certified Feline Training & Behavior Specialist
Pet Nutrition Coach Certification
Certified Pet Nutrition Coach
through the North American Veterinary Community
Fear Free Animal Trainer Elite Logo
Certified Fear Free Animal Trainer


PPG Member Badge_Proud Member
"PPG promotes the use of positive operant and respondent training methods, both personally and professionally, and holds that all training should be conducted in a manner that encourages pets to enjoy the process, which will, in turn, lead them to become more confident and well-adjusted pets."
IAABC Supporting Member
"The International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants believes that high-quality, science-based behavior modification for companion animals should be accessible to everyone."

Certificates & Courses

The Science of Feline Introductions
Natural Animal Nutrition Certificate
College of Integrative Veterinary Therapies
Feline Inappropriate Elimination Certificate
Illlis Animal Emotions Certificate
Badge Living and Learning with Animals Certificate

Media Interviews

Jen and Josh. Pic by BriAnne Wills.
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