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International Cat Care is pleased to announce the launch of three new distance education courses aimed at cat enthusiasts wanting to learn more about cat behaviour. Each course offers a different intensity of learning, from a 2-month short course to an 18 month online tutor-led course.

International Cat Care already provides a range of popular distance education courses aimed at the veterinary profession. These new courses now fill the gap for cat professionals and cat owners eager to learn more about cat behaviour. Elizabeth Waring, iCatCare’s Cat Behaviour Learning Organiser comments, ‘We are very excited to be offering courses on feline behaviour to a wider audience allowing us to reach as many people as possible. The range of courses on offer means we should have a course to suit everyone.’

Enrolment has already opened for Getting to know your cat: An introduction to feline behaviour, a 6-month online course aimed at all cat owners and enthusiasts. The course is made up of five modules which look at many aspects of feline behaviour including the impact of domestication, understanding the behaviour of free-ranging cats and pet cats, how cats communicate and use their senses, understanding feline emotions and how they allow us to assess a cat’s welfare, what are a cat’s environmental needs and how can we best provide them, and understanding why behaviours might become problems for their owners and first aid interventions for these behaviours. Students work through the course materials at their own pace, with a short assessment at the end of each module, and on successful completion of the course, students will receive a certificate. The first 50 students to enrol will receive a 50% discount on the cost of registration.

Cat Friendly Introductions: Cats, dogs and babies, which is due to launch at the end of the year, is the perfect follow-on to Getting to know your cat: An introduction to feline behaviour or can be studied as a stand-alone course. Again, aimed at cat owners and enthusiasts, this course provides the learner with the knowledge to assess whether their home and current cat is likely to accept another cat and how best to choose a new feline addition. It also provides step-by-step advice on how to best introduce cats to other cats, dogs and babies to maximise the chance of a positive relationship in the future. This course is a 2 month, short online course where students work through the course materials at their own pace. There is a short assessment at the end of each module and on successful completion of the course, students will receive a certificate.

To complement the current behaviour course available to veterinary professionals, Advanced Feline Behaviour for Cat Professionals is a course aimed at providing the same high level of knowledge to those working with cats in a range of capacities such as rehoming centres, groomers, boarding catteries and cat sitters to name a few. This is an 18 month, online, tutor-led course which allows for inter-peer and tutor discussion. Learners work through the modules remotely allowing them flexible study times around their working lives. This course covers the same elements as Getting to know your cat: An introduction to feline behaviour but in greater depth. There is also additional focus on behavioural development in kittens and the impact of their early experiences on behaviour as well as how cats learn and how we can use this to improve the welfare of cats. The course is modular and students work to deadlines to complete assessments which are marked externally by feline behaviour experts. On completion, students will receive a certificate. Enrolment is open for this course, with a start date of March 2020.

For more information on these courses, and to sign up, visit https://icatcare.org/education/