The PawPeds PawAcademy held its first internet course in autumn 2007. We started with courses in Swedish, but now we also give courses in English, Dutch/Flemish, German, French, Italian and Polish.
Our basic course is in three steps about cat care and cat breeding. General course step 1, or G1 for short, is mainly about cat ownership. It is basically for beginners, but also for more experienced breeders who later want to take the higher courses.
Step 2 of the general course, G2, is mainly about having a litter but also includes basic genetics and breeding plans.
Step 3, G3, is more in depth about selective breeding, genetics, physiology, cat food, behaviour, etc. This is for breeders who have had a few litters already and have taken step 1 and 2 of the general course.
Apart from the general courses we also plan to set up breed specific courses eventually, as well as some other types of courses. But first we will focus on the three steps of the general course.
Presently we have the following courses:
The PawAcademy Team
Several people from different countries are doing voluntary work with the PawAcademy and the courses. Some of our course leaders have been breeders for many years, while others have only bred a few litters but have a lot of theoretical knowledge or pedagogic skills instead. Some are cat judges. Some have studied cat related subjects at university level. When planning a course we try to get course leaders who together cover all the aspects of the course.
Those who have been a course leader for at least three courses of a certain type, and have covered most parts of that course, get an owl banner similar to the banners that the participants get when they pass the same course. If a course leader wants to take a course at a higher level, they qualify to take that course if they have either the student banner or the owl banner for the lower courses required.
Meet our course leaders
Here we present our course leaders from the present and the past.
Latest update: 2017-04-27
Working with the courses right now:
Ulrika Olsson - Headmaster (e-mail)
Ulrika is the headmaster of the PawAcademy. She has been involved from the start of the project, as it was all her idea. She has written or edited a lot of the course texts, and she is co-ordinating the PawAcademy. She is also leading courses, mostly higher level courses. Her specialties are population genetics, how to breed to avoid genetic diseases, and health programmes. She has studied these subjects a little bit at the university, and then she has been working quite a lot with health programmes, for instance starting the health programmes against HCM and HD that we are working with here in PawPeds. She also has studied pedagogics at the university. Ulrika has been breeding Maine Coons and sometimes Turkish Vans with the cattery name Ylletrollets since the early 1990s. She is an international FIFe judge for category II. She is also giving seminars on various subjects for cat clubs in Sweden and other countries.
Dagny Dickens - Co-ordinator (e-mail)
Dagny is very involved with the courses of the PawAcademy. She has written texts for them, and she has translated and edited a lot! She is also an eager teacher, especially for the genetics section. Dagny has shared her life with Siamese cats for more than half a century. She started breeding Siameses in 1974. Her cattery name is Novarita. She has worked with cat registrations for many years, first for SVERAK and then for some of the Northern WCF-clubs. She was also in the breed commission of SVERAK for 20 years. Since 1995 she is an allbreed judge. She is one of the two persons who created the EMS system for breed and colour codes. She lives in Vällingby in western Stockholm, Sweden. Dagny's specialities are cat colours and colour genetics.
Jenny Silk (e-mail)
Jenny is living in Göteborg, Sweden, and she is breeding Birmans with the cattery name S*Morrowdim.
Lou always has always had animals in life - including cats. She moved in 2004 to Rome, Italy and has the first pedigree cat ever in her life as a family member - a Norwegian forest cat. After some shows and many self studies on internet, she finally found the PawPeds online course. After she completed the first course, she now has confirmed to start breeding Norwegian Forest Cats. Lou's main interested are: cat's nutrition, health, behavior and now genetics.
Marion Zimmermann (e-mail)
Marion has had cats since she was a teenager. Her first pedigree cat she bought 2003, and since 2006 she breeds Siberian Cats, Cattery Jerofej, located in Germany. Marion loves to read and to collect books about cats, at this moment she has about 120, factual books, books of breeds and as well novels. She is a state registered paediatric nurse and has done advanced education in hygienics and in other medical sections. Marion is particulary interested in cat genetics and behaviour. She has translated the G3 course from English into German and is part of the PawAcademy Management and Administration. Marion is teaching in our German and English courses.
Misha Peersmans (e-mail)
Misha has also been involved in the PawAcademy from the start, since she happens to be a close friend of the headmaster (who is also known as the slave driver). She has written some course texts, and she has been very involved with the teaching in the courses in other languages than Swedish, as she is very good at languages. She is living in Belgium, with her dogs and cats. Misha is breeding Maine Coons, since 1991, under the cattery name The Dorsai. Misha's speciality is cat and kitten care, but she is fairly allround as long as she doesn't have to deal with numbers.
Diana started breeding domestic shorthairs in 1997. Soon she wanted to breed pedigree cats instead, so in 2001 she switched over to breeding Maine Coons. She lives in a very small village Schelluinen in The Netherlands. Her cattery name is The Haecoon. Diana is teaching in our Dutch/Flemish course.
Anncharlotte Holsö (e-mail)
Anncharlotte has been breeding Burmeses for many years. She started her cattery Lilla Gråbo already in 1978, so she has long experience with cats and breeding. Anncharlotte lives in Nässjö in the south of Sweden. She is teaching both G1 and G2 courses.
Petra has always loved cats. In 2006 she started a small outcross Maine Coon cattery, Strictlycoons. She is particularly interested in cat behaviour and cat nutrition since a number of years, and is always willing to learn more. She studied pedagogics, German, mathematics and crafts for primary school children. After teaching children with learning and behaviour difficulties for over a decade, she now runs courses for senior citizens. Petra is teaching in our German courses.
In 2005 Claudia looked into Birmans blue eyes and got lost in them. She started a small scale Birman breeding, specialising in the red factor, with the catteryname Red'n'Hot in Italy. Learning all she can about cats is her biggest passion and she is particularly interested in genetics. In her professional life she is a project manager in an advertising agency. Claudia is teaching in our English and Italian courses.
Anders Ödman (e-mail)
Anders is living outside Varberg on the west coast of Sweden. He is together with his wife breeding Maine Coon cats under the cattery name S*Lady Coon's. The first Maine Coon arrived in the 2002 and they started their cattery in 2005. Anders teaching in both our swedish and english courses.
Paula Holsö (e-mail)
Paula has been active with cats/breeding/showing during a greater part of her life. She is breeding Burmese with the prefix S*Zikitzi's. Paula lives in Malmbäck, a few miles outside Jönköping in southern Sweden.
Maria Myrland (e-mail)
Maria lives in Knapstad, not so far from Oslo, in Norway. She is breeding Norwegian Forest Cats with the cattery name (N)Mariskogens.
Kajsa Olnéus (e-mail)
Kajsa is the ethologist in the PawPeds team. She studied ethology at the university, and she is particularly interested in cats. She is breeding British Shorthairs.
Ingegerd Wiklund (e-mail)
Ingegerd Wiklund and her 8 male cats, 4 Norwegian Forest Cats and 4 Maine Coons, live in Sundsvall, at the coast, in the middle of Sweden. She is the owner of the cattery name S*Finnugur's MCO & NFO. In the current situation, there are no fertile males in her cattery, but you should never say never. Ingegerd is teaching the Swedish G1 course since 2011.
Mia is living in Sollentuna just outside Stockholm. Mia and her husband are Cornish Rex breeders since 2005, under the cattery name S*Weminas. Mia has been teaching G1 and G2 since 2010 and also one of the G3 weeks.
Henning is a longterm Maine Coon breeder (first breeding female bought in 1989) with a history in catfancy: he served - among others - as secretary of the Maine Coon Breed council, is past president of the Maine Coon Association and was member of the executive board of MCBFA. He is the author of a book about his breed, the Maine Coon, based on his experience in breeding (kind of vast - but still learning) and has now led several international G1-Courses. His homebase is Munich and he can be visited under Canaletto's.
Francis van Arkel (e-mail)
Francis, living in the Netherlands, is a big cat lover and was raised with Siamese cats. After she married she wanted cats of her own of course but due to a cat allergy of her husband and her children, sadly it was not possible. Until she discovered the Siberian cat and Neva Masquerade (well, her husband did)! We fell in love, no allergies with these beautiful and loving cats in our house and soon after that we started our cattery in 2007 under the name Moya Dorogaya.
Cristina was born and raised in a house where cats and dogs were absolutely indispensable. Currently she shares her life with her husband, two children and her Norwegian Forest Cats in Portugal. After working for years as graphic designer she opted to be a full time mom and in 2009 she started to study more about her breed and quickly learned how very special they are and decided to become a breeder under the name Dandy Tails, her goal has a breeder is for healthy and happy kittens. In her spare times she combines her love for cats with her crafts love. Cris is teaching in our english courses.
Ambra Mari (e-mail)
Ambra was born in Italy but she currently lives in France. She fell in love with Ragdolls in 2009 and she bought her first Ragdoll in 2010. Very quickly she found out that the colors she liked the most were also the ones that were not selected enough so she decided to start breeding and focus improving the chocolate and lilac lines. She has a small scale cattery, named RaGalaxy. Her main interests are cat genetics and ethical breeding. In her professional life she is a group leader in molecular biology studying rare children-diseases. Ambra is teaching in our French, Italian and English courses.
Nicole lives with her husband and their cats in a small town in Germany. The first time Nicole heard about the Ragdoll was in 2005 as she was looking for a cat that was only meant to be held in the house. She encountered a very big beautiful gracious cat named Ragdoll. She looked at these beautiful blue eyes and was fallen in love. In 2006 her first two Ragdolls moved in and in 2010 she realized her dream and started breeding Ragdolls under the cattery name Rakhshanda. It is very important for Nicole to keep the healthiness and the unique nature of this wonderful breed. Nicole is teaching in the German courses.
Lena Nordström (e-mail)
Lena is dedicated to the Birmans since 1975. She has worked with cat club work, shows, holding educations and also seminars in a lot of cat related topics. For many years she has been working with the Sacred Birman breed club. Starting her judge career in 1985 with the semi-long hair breeds and short after that also with the longhair. For a long time she has being chairman in a research foundation for cats. She is a well known person on the show bench with her prefix Shenandoahs, both in FIFe, WCF and CFA shows. Her web page is well visited by cat people due to pages with a lot of information not only in Birman matters. Lena is teaching in our Swedish courses and lives in Stockholm.
Bianca Fischer (e-mail)
The love for British Shorthair cats reached her on ten feet - because her husband bred already in the 90s these lovable "teddys with big round eyes", and brought eight velvety paws in her life, which has always been enriched by cats. Very soon they decided together to pursue this wonderful hobby under the cattery name vom Zweitälerland. Bianca and her family live on the edge of the beautiful Southern Black Forest, in Germany and she is teaching in the German courses.
Monika Ostrowska (e-mail)
Monika was always a dog person. Then, almost 2 decades ago, she met Zosia – solid black domestic beauty with with incomparable elegance and confidence, - and then Ghia – Javanese talk show girl. That's when "a dog person" was converted to an altogether different religion ;) Now Monika’s home is governed by a bunch of Siberian cats. Monika is interested in feline genetics, health care and health problems, holistic approach and cat’s nutrition. Her cattery "DEIRS" is placed in Denmark, and works under auspices of TICA and FIFe.
Monique van der Ouderaa (e-mail)
Monique, a great cat lover, grew up with domestic cats and never lived one day in her life without a cat. She lives with her husband, children and cats in a very small village, Schore, in the Netherlands. In 2011 their first Maine Coon came to live with them, soon followed by three more. Monique breed Maine Coons under the cattery name Licha. Health, nutrition and the well being of cats are very important to her and she thinks the courses of the PawAcademy are a great and good information and knowledge source for both lovers and breeders of cats.
Stefania Maione (e-mail)
Stefania lives in the south of Italy and fell in love with Norwegian Forest Cats in 2008; she started breeding three years later and her cattery name is Onceuponapaw's. She thinks that breeding means loving a breed, but mostly keeping on learning more everyday, since a great passion - without a great knowledge - is something incomplete. She has been fashinated by PawPeds courses since they spread feline culture all over the world and is proud to be part of the CL team.
Solveig M Emberland (e-mail)
I live in Haugesund, a small town on the westcoast of Norway. My whole life I have always loved animals, especially cats. I am breeding British Shorthair and my cattery name is NO*Mimmi's Katteri.
Elzbieta Kaczak-Koscianczuk (e-mail)
Elzbieta is living in Poland, with her two children, cats and dogs. Elzbieta breeds Maine Coons since 2010 under the cattery name Furor Poeticus. She will soon start to realise her long dream of joining Foundation/Outcross Maine Coon breeders. This way she wants to contribute to genetic diversity and health of Maine Coons as a breed. In her professional life she is an editor in a publishing house, but after work Elzbieta helps the cats as a cat behaviourist. She graduated cat behaviour at the Warsaw University and is always willing to learn more. Her main interests are cat genetics, especially behaviour genetics. Elzbieta has edited texts of Polish G1 course and teaches our Polish courses.
Monika Stefaniak (e-mail)
Monika used to be a dog-lover, but the beginning of 21st century changed also her mind and she started to share her life with 2 domestic cats. After some time, in 2009 she was infected with very dangerous virus called NFO and Norwegian Forest Cats became important part of her life. While thinking about starting her own cattery Monika finished The PawAcademy Courses G1, G2 and G3. Knowing the value of the courses she decided to translate the G1 course into Polish and now she teaches our Polish courses. Monika breeds Norwegian Forest Cats under the cattery name Taurandir*PL. Dogs are still important part of her life and she has at home the perfect herd keeper – Caspy, the Australian Shephard. Apart from cats’ herding, Caspy also trains agility and obedience. Monika’s other hobby is diving and protection of marine life, as well as cats’ genetics and health care.
Günter Rosenthal (e-mail)
Günter started to breed Maine Coon cats in 2008 under the cattery name Rogupet-Clan. He lives together with his wife and his Coons near Saarbrücken in Germany. His special interest as addition to general learning about cats lies in genetics. In his working life he is active in IT.
Michèle Furrer (e-mail)
I live in Switzerland with my husband, my six children, my 8 Siberians and my Labrador. I always thought I was a dog girl until I met my first Siberians. They are the perfect mix between cat and dog. I had such a hard time buying my first cat that I decided to start breeding in 2011. Wanting to do things right, I followed the PawPeds’ courses. I’m an eternal student so I keep looking for new cat related courses to follow. Next one up is Feline Behaviorist. My cattery name, Moonlight Shadow comes from my first Neva = Moonlight and my first blue Siberian = Shadow.
Virginie Dujeu (e-mail)
Virginie lives in France with her family and her 8 cats. She has started breeding Ragdolls briefly then turned to Siberians. She runs a family-size cattery, Playcat, and houses 3 females and 5 retirees. Looking to learn more, she followed PawAcademy up to G3, and too sad to end the adventure, she has joined G1-FR teachers team.
Heidi Ladurner (e-mail)
Heidi fell deeply in love with the Norwegian Forest Cat in 2011 and started breeding in 2013 under the cattery name von den Raben. A biologist by training, she loves to dig into scientific papers covering especially cat genetics, infectious diseases and cat behaviour. Heidi lives in Munich/Germany.
Hanne Lindvig (e-mail)
Cats have been a part of Hanne’s life since 1985. She got her first Norweigan Forest Cat in 2005 and fell in love with this breed. In 2008 she started breeding under the prefix DK Lindvig. Hanne lives in Denmark with her husband and her dearly beloved furry friends. She has a holistic outlook on life and her main interest in cats lies within genetics, breeding, health, and behaviour. Hanne has finished the PawAcademy courses G1, G2 and G3.
Franziska Ritter (e-mail)
All my life I have been accompanied by cats. In 2008, my very big dream came true with the arrival of our first Maine Coon. This was the cornerstone of our Cattery Kelowna's. Together with my husband we live near Bern in Switzerland. One of my favorite subjects in cat breeding is the exciting genetics. I am always happy to deal with.
Liesbeth Koenraad (e-mail)
As long as I can remember, I'm surrounded by cats. At my parents' home we had domestic cats. Around 2000 I fell in love with the Maine Coon on a catshow. In 2004 my first love, Tiger, was a fact….. soon others followed…… I'm breeding Maine Coons since 2015, my cattery name is Spiritwalker. I live with my husband, our dog an Australian Shepherd called Spike and 7 cats in a small village Oostwoud.
Agnieszka Gorska (e-mail)
Agnieszka always wanted a cat, but she bought her first one - Arya - few years ago. Health problems of Arya caused that she wanted to start the cattery which puts the health in the first place. She breeds Siberian Cats since 2013 under the cattery name First Snow*PL. Agnieszka's main interests are cat nutrition, genetics and health. She is in the end of her PhD studies in Chemistry. She also works in the Faculty of Food Science and plans to start scientific work on cat nutrition. Agnieszka is teaching in our Polish courses.
Worked with courses in the past:
Åsa and her family live in a small village in the countryside outside Skellefteå in the north of Sweden. Åsa bought her first Maine Coon in 1988 when she lived in the UK working as an au-pair, and imported a few females in the early 1990s to start her cattery, S*Guldklimpen's. Apart from the cats, she also breeds sheep and is a passionate bellydancer. You can meet Åsa in our Swedish or English G1 or G2 courses.
Ulrika is active in the PawAcademy on several levels. As educated biologist she has made good use of her knowledge in biochemistry, cell biology, zoophysiology and population genetics. Ulrika teaches at all levels and has written and edited texts concerning food and nutrition, genetics and anatomy and physiology. Ulrika has a small cattery S*Som Hund & Katt breeding European Shorthairs. Ulrika and her husband lives by beautiful Lake Vättern outside Askersund in Sweden together with dogs and cats.
Sibylle has been living with cats since her childhood and started breeding Maine Coon cats together with her husband in 2007. Her cattery's name is GreyGables and her first concern is to invite breeders to join the Maine Coon Health Programmes and to think about outcross breeding. After several jobs (as air hostess, secretary and else) Sibylle managed a database for rare disorders and health problems in children and studied literature and media science at Goethe University, Frankfurt. She is experienced in project management and congress organisation and is completing her Ph.D. thesis on German children's literature. Sibylle is part of the Pawpeds translation team and is teaching the German courses since 2011.
Renate Gebel (e-mail)
Renate lives with her husband and their cats in Germany. She breeds Maine Coons since 2009 under the cattery name Wild Tulip. Health, nutrition, appropriate keeping of the cats and enrichment are very important to her. She is excited about genetics as well as the origin and the characteristics of the different breeds. In her opinion the PawAcademy courses are a real good possibility to convey knowledge to other cat owners and breeders. And because Renate has a lot of fun with mediation of interesting topics, she is teaching in the German courses.
Jolanda de Neijs
Jolanda de Neijs started breeding Maine Coons in 2010. She lives in Arnhem in the Netherlands with her husband and two kids. She took her cattery name - Friends of Beau - after her first Maine Coon Beau. She is teaching in our Dutch/Flemish courses.
Machteld Van Nederkassel
Machteld is living in Belgium. She is breeding Siberians and Neva Masquerade with the cattery name Bubastis'.
Luís breeds Norwegian Forest Cats with his wife since 2005, under the name Shadow Eyes. His cattery is based in Cascais, near Lisbon, in Portugal. He is a big fan of Pawpeds since its early days and uses it as tool almost from the start. Ethical and selective breeding are two of his main concerns, but he is also very interested in genetics and feline behaviour. He is a journalist when not around cats and he teaches in our English courses.
Ewa was highly involved at the start of the PawAcademy courses. She wrote parts of the G1 course, and acted as a teacher for several courses. Ewa lives in the countryside not far from Jönköping in Sweden. She has always had cats, and she started breeding Maine Coons in 2002. Her cattery name is S*Birkalunden's. Ewa's specialities are economy and pedagogics. She used to work as a teacher professionally, and has a teacher education.
Stefanie is into Maine Coons since Spring 1996. Her cattery name is Forestsprite. Stefanie lives in Germany, and is teaching in our German course.
Maud has been around in the cat world for a very long time - since the end of the 1960s. Her focus has always been on health and genetics. The veterinarians in the late 60s did not have any training specifically on cats, so the breeders had to study themselves. The fancy was still very small when she started, so she found a niche and built a breed in Sweden, later of course with help from other fellow breeders. She also got involved in all kinds of committees, both locally and in Sweden's leading cat organization. Maud is an engineer but has worked for many years as a teacher (mostly computers) and attended some pedagogic courses. She is breeding British Shorthairs (but she LOVES Siameses) under the FIFe prefix Pirot. There is a lot of information on her website!
Eva has been breeding Siberian Cats since 2001 with the cattery name S*Nikopeja's.
She is one of the founders of the Siberian Cat association.
Susanne is working at the Swedish Veterinary Institute in the parasitological department at the diagnostic laboratory as biomedical technologist. She is working with analysing and diagnosing parasites that is common in and on all kind of animals in Sweden. Her cat history begins on the farm where she was born with farm cats, and later on it went over to breeding Maine Coon cats. The first litter under the cattery name S*Carpe Feline's was born in 2003.
Roberta has been breeding Maine Coon Cats since 2007 with the cattery name
Mûres Sauvages in France. She is a socilogist, but she has also education in
animal nursery and veterinary assistancy, and has worked with people and
team management/ conseling for many years as well as teaching and coaching.
Roberta is also part of Pawpeds translation team and she's the registrar of the HCM Health Programme. Roberta is teaching in our G1 English course.
Heike has been breeding Maine Coons since 1992 on a small scale. Her cattery name is Geoffreysmanor. She lives in a small town in Germany and has grown up with lots of different animals. Therefore her interests in animal behaviour and genetics already started when she was a child.
Hilde lives in Norway and has been breeding Siamese cats for 5 years with the cattery name (N) Fuzzy Logic's. She is working as a pre school teacher, with the youngest children in kindergarden. She also also grooms dogs on a hobby basis. She is interested in both cats and dogs, and recently also got an interest in horses. Hilde is interested in learning and loves to teach. She teaches both in the Swedish and English courses at PawPeds.
Merete Steinvik Haugen
Merete is working towards a better general awareness and understanding of each cat's need and potential in life. She is particularily interested in the cats daily motivation and psychological well being. Merete studied the subject "cats" for several years before she in 2009 startet up her little cattery NO*Lille Mjau, breeding British Shorthairs. Merete is an artist, also working with conceptual ways of thinking. As she has experience in teaching at Oslo Univrsity, she has a good understanding of pedagogical ways of dealing with students. Merete lives in Norway, and she is teaching both the English and the Swedish G1 courses.
Rui was born in Portugal but he currently lives in Milan, Italy. He had domestic cats all is life but in 2009 he fell in love with an amber shaded silver Norwegian Forest Cat and decided to buy one. After some research, he discovered there was only a handful of them around the world, so he decided to start breeding amber shaded silver NFO:s under the name Vevelstad. In an effort to learn more about breeding and the breed, he started attending shows and enrolled on PawPeds courses, being involved in helping the project since then. His main interests are ethical breeding and colour genetics. In his professional life he works as website developer and social networks marketing expert, but during his free times you can find him leading our English courses.
Helene and Serge Marlot
Helene and Serge live in France and have been breeding Sphynx cats for 5 years with the cattery name Chatterie du Clan des Otori. They both work in the pharmaceutical industry, Helene in research and development, Serge in hospitals. They have lived together for 29 years surrounded by cats. They are very interested in finding treatments that contribute to improving the health of cats and kittens. They both like Japanese gardens and Serge loves traveling on a Harley Davidson.