About Anneleen Bru
Anneleen Bru (1985) adopted her first cat, Madeleine, a Sacred Birman, when she was 17. Little did she know this would be the start of a spectacular adventure. When the time came to choose the topic of her thesis for the university programme Communication Sciences at Antwerp University, she chose the topic ‘communication among cats’ and, in this way, became conscious of the fact that a considerable number of cats end up in shelters due to hidden behavioural problems every year.
This is how Anneleen ended up in the UK, where she completed the three-year Master’s programme Companion Animal Behaviour Counselling at the University of Southampton, thus becoming the first non-veterinary, cat behavioural therapist, university graduate in Flanders.
Things shifted into another gear in 2008 with the launch of Felinova; consultations were quickly followed by lectures and training programmes about cat behaviour for enthusiasts and professionals alike. Often heard feedback is: ‘She is able to explain things in an interesting way, with passion, and lots of humour.’ People are on the edge of their seats when Anneleen starts talking, and she quickly learnt that this is the best way to reach cat owners about the well-being of their cat and to convince them to treat their cats differently.
Besides domestic cats, Anneleen also ended up in Kenya to assist with a study into social behaviour among giraffes. By giving a lecture about training giraffes at an international giraffe conference in San Francisco, she found herself entering the world of zoos. Here, she works together intensively with animal carers and their beautiful animals, which so far has included lions, mandrills, bongos, tapirs, hippos, giraffes, North American porcupines, jaguars, Amur leopards, red ruffed lemurs and spider monkeys. As a result of this adventure, she was part of the television programme ‘The Zoo behind the screens’ for two seasons.
Anneleen is regularly invited to appear as a cat expert on a wide range of television and radio programmes, and writes her cat column for Story (a Flemish TV Magazine), among others.
In addition to behavioural modification among animals, Anneleen’s other great passion is bringing people together and coaching them to further expand this new sector. Her famous cat conference ‘Poes Café’, which is held annually in November, was held for the fifth time in 2017 and had twice as many participants as in previous years. Cat lovers and professionals come from far and wide to hear national and international speakers talk about cat behaviour and well-being. In 2015, she launched the Felinova Cat Coach© Diploma. An intensive vocational programme for professionals working with cats and who want to master all facets of the cat to better assist their customers. We’re going into its third year, and at present, the programme already has 25 graduates. After all, ‘together we stand strong’ is Anneleen’s deepest conviction.
And now the ultimate dream – the first book – has become a reality. With this book, Anneleen hopes to reach more people to increase their understanding of cat behaviour and by doing so give cats a better life.