International Cat Care (iCatCare) and its veterinary division the International Society of Feline Medicine (ISFM) are launching two new behaviour courses, one aimed at cat owners and those working with cats in non-veterinary professions, and the other specifically for the veterinary profession.
The aim of the courses is to provide everyone with an interest in cats with a comprehensive understanding of what a cat is (eg, its free-ranging behaviour, development, learning capacity, emotional complexity, communicative abilities, relationships with us, to name just a few topics) so that they can fully understand the behavioural needs of the species, and utilise such knowledge to develop the practical skills to improve its wellbeing.
The course for cat owners and those living or working with cats in a non-veterinary profession (for example, owners, cat sitters, those running boarding catteries, breeders, those working in homing centres and welfare organisations) is the iCatCare Certificate in Feline Behaviour. This course aims to provide individuals with the knowledge and skills in many areas of feline behaviour to ensure they can develop mutually beneficial relationships with cats, provide the best environment for the cats in their care and meet their behavioural needs. The course also looks at understanding how cats develop problem behaviours, how to prevent them and how best to help when faced with problem behaviour.
The Advanced Certificate in Feline Behaviour, for vets and vet nurses/technicians, aims to help veterinary professionals reduce feline stress during visits to the veterinary clinic, incorporate behaviour into their welfare assessment of cats and effectively educate their clients on how best to meet their cats’ behavioural needs. It also provides an understanding of how cats develop problem behaviours, how to prevent them and how to provide first aid behavioural advice when clients’ cats present with problem behaviour.
Dr Sarah Ellis, iCatCare’s Feline Behaviour Specialist, said: “We are very excited to be able to offer these courses, which have been written by a multi-disciplinary team of recognised experts. Cats are so unique in their behaviour and the more we understand them, the better we can care for them”.
Both courses are online-based and modular, and are completed over a two year period. The courses commence this autumn, although expressions of interest can be made now at: http://icatcare.org/learn/behaviour.