Cat Behaviour Conference:
In the Company of Cats

Buy tickets to watch the Cats Protection online cat behaviour conference: In the Company of Cats! This 1 day event is available to watch now on demand until 24th March 2022.

Watch a day of cat behaviour CPD, featuring expert speakers from around the world!

After the success of Cats Protection’s first virtual behaviour conference in 2020, Cats Protection held a 2021 conference. The day was focused on feline behaviour, looking at the interactions cats have with each other and with other species.

Registration is still open (until February 2022) to all members of the veterinary profession, as well as anyone else working with cats, e.g. shelter staff or pet sitters. 

You will have access to the session recordings for 6 months post event, until 24th March 2022.

Tickets to watch all sessions on demand are £50+VAT.
Register below:

EVENT PROGRAMME

All sessions are available to watch on demand until March 24th 2022. Click each session below to read the synopses.

Welcome to the Cats Protection Cat Behaviour Conference.

Presented by Kersti Seksel

People often want to get a new kitten when they already have an older cat. In this presentation we will explore why people may want a second, third or even fourth cat. Then we will look at how best to introduce the new kitten and what to do when things do not go well.

Presented by Linda Ryan

This lecture will introduce positive reinforcement training for cats, including the basic science of how cats learn, as well as the cat-specific considerations in training. We will overview clicker training, and how to use it, as well as introducing some practical uses for training with cats, such as applications in cooperative care. Training with cats is fun, and cats can really enjoy positive training as part of building the human-cat bond, providing enrichment, and teaching them essential life skills to help them thrive in our care.

Presented by Jane Williams

Looking at some cases of multi-cat households and the relationships between the cats; the owners and the cats; and the owners as well exploring some approaches to getting the best possible outcomes for the animals and humans involved, in terms of welfare and wellbeing.

Dr Jane Murray – Introducing puppies to household cats: factors associated with owner-reported puppy behaviour

Dr Lauren Finka – Cats are more affiliative and display fewer signs of conflict and agonistic behaviour when humans adopt a more cat-centric approach during cat-human interactions

Mauro Inês – Me and my cat – cat owner perceptions of the cat-owner bond

Presented by Lindsey Quinlan

When the lights are turned down and no one is looking, what does Macavity really get up to? Wouldn’t you like to know? Cats are an enigmatic species, challenging to understand under the best conditions, made even harder in a shelter environment. At Battersea, the use of Nest cameras is a vital tool in our management of cats, helping us to objectively assess and monitor behaviour and welfare (including sociability, frustration, fearfulness, physical health, kitten births, affiliative bonds in pairs, and more). This talk explores how this technology lends us vital insight into who a cat really is and what they need from us, making us best placed to help.

Q&A with Lindsey Quinlan

Presented by Daniel Cummings

In the company of cats, can canines be kept? Considering it from a both the cats’ perspective and the dogs’ perspective this session looks at the challenges of co-habitation between canines and felines and all the points to be considered to ensure both live harmoniously with good welfare.

Q&A with Daniel Cummings

Presented by Sarah Ellis

In this talk, we will learn how communication between cats underpins many of the ways cats communicate to people. We will also investigate its adaption to promote effective cat-human communication. We will then explore the variation in individual cats’ desire for interaction with people and what causes that variation, finishing with top tips on how best to interact with pet cats including special considerations for interactions between babies/children and cats.

 Q&A with Sarah Ellis

Panel Discussion with Karen Hiestand, Dr Sarah Ellis, Dr Lauren Finka and Lindsey Quinlan

This event is kindly sponsored by:

Established in 1969 Norbrook Laboratories Ltd. is a leading global veterinary pharmaceutical manufacturer with a long-held reputation for delivering top quality established products including Loxicom® and Thyronorm® Further product information can be found on the website; www.norbrook.com.

Dechra Veterinary Products

When cat’s behaviour is problematic, owners need be able to find qualified, assessed, and regulated professional help. The Animal Behaviour and Training Council is the regulatory body for animal trainers and animal behaviour therapists and the only charity dedicated to promoting the welfare of animals undergoing training or behaviour therapy. 
Visit abtc.org.uk

FELIWAY Optimum is the brand new pheromone discovery, scientifically proven and created to help calm cats better than ever and in more situations. FELIWAY Optimum provides a message of enhanced serenity helping all cats feel more comfortable and secure by providing reassurance, as well as harmony between cats living together.

MEET THE SPEAKERS

Kersti graduated in Veterinary Science from Sydney University. She has a BA in Behavioural Sciences with a major in Psychology as well as a MA (Hons). She is a Fellow of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists in Animal Behaviour, a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists and a Diplomate of the European College of Animal Welfare and Behavioural Medicine.
Kersti is the principal of a specialist practice in behavioural medicine in Sydney, Australia. She teaches the distance education course in Behavioural Medicine for the Centre for Veterinary Education (University of Sydney) and is an adjunct associate professor at Charles Sturt University. She has presented at numerous conferences nationally and internationally and has written many textbook chapters, written a book; Training Your Cat, is a regular presenter on ABC radio and is a consultant on VIN (Veterinary Information Network). She created and pioneered Puppy Preschool® and Kitten Kindy® classes internationally.

Linda is a Veterinary Technician Specialist in Behaviour and Oncology, and is an ASAB accredited Certificated Clinical Animal Behaviourist (for cats and dogs). She is a passionate veterinary nurse, and welfare-focused animal trainer and behaviourist.
Over the years of working with cancer and internal medicine canine and feline patients, many of whom often had to be seen repeatedly, and were anxious, Linda became interested in learning more about welfare and behaviour within the clinic, and how this could fit in alongside excellent veterinary care. Inspired by the animals and humans she worked with, Linda subsequently gained further experience and qualifications, including a Veterinary Technician Specialty in Behaviour, and in Oncology, as well as a BSc (Hons) in Animal Behaviour and Welfare, and achieved ASAB CCAB status in 2020. She is an ABTC registered Clinical Animal Behaviourist, and Animal Training Instructor.
Linda currently runs Inspiring Pet Teaching, dividing her time between seeing clinical behaviour cases, working alongside pets’ vets, and providing continuing education for veterinary and training/behaviour professionals. She also works part time in the Cat Advocacy team at International Cat Care. 

Jane Williams completed the PGDip in Companion Animal Behaviour Counselling at the University of Southampton, and a research MSc at the same institution. She has been a full member of the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors since 2009, and was its Chair 2017-20. She is currently an APBC Committee Member and Head of the Assessment Team.
She is Animal Behaviour and Training Council Registered as a Clinical Animal Behaviourist, and an Animal Training Instructor. Jane was the ABTC Chair (2018-20) and is currently a Trustee and its Secretary.
Jane Williams has been a full member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers since 2008.
Jane is a member of the British Veterinary Behaviour Association. She is a Pets as Therapy assessor.
Jane lives in Essex with 30 tortoises, six dogs, Harry rabbit and another equally animal-mad human. She was a cat owner for many years, including phases of being a multi-cat household.

Lindsey Quinlan is Head of Cattery Operations and Feline Welfare at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, leading the teams who care for over 3,000 lost, abandoned, and unwanted cats at Battersea’s three centres every year. Since joining Battersea, Lindsey has overseen substantial development in the charity’s care and rehoming of cats, in addition to introducing a dedicated Feline Welfare team to lead on the delivery of cat friendly principles in the management of Battersea cats. Lindsey also works with rescue centres across the country to help drive best practice standards in the management of unowned cats, and plays an active role in discussing cat welfare issues with policy makers. With a background in business management, Lindsey’s approach to delivering excellent welfare is pragmatic – understand the domestic cat’s vastly different lifestyles, treat each cat as an individual with unique needs and preferences, optimise resources to effectively help.

Daniel graduated with a degree in Zoology with Animal Behaviour from the University of Wales. Since then he has worked at some of the largest rescue and rehoming charities in the UK, most recently working as a behaviourist and trainer for Dogs Trust before working with the Cats Protection Behaviour team to provide behaviour support for cats. Daniel has written for a number of publications and has recently graduated with a Masters degree in Animal Welfare Science, Ethics and Law from the University of Winchester. Most importantly, Daniel is an owner of a young tabby cat called Lady Bug.

Sarah has a keen interest in the behaviour and welfare of the domestic cat. She has a BSc in Zoology and Psychology from the University of Bristol, a Post-Graduate Diploma in Companion Animal Behaviour Counselling from the University of Southampton and a PhD from Queen’s University Belfast which focussed on investigating ways to improve the welfare of cats housed in rehoming centres. Sarah spent several years at the University of Lincoln as a post-doctoral research scientist working on numerous projects including investigating novel ways to improve feline welfare, and to further our understanding of feline behaviour and the cat-human relationship. In 2015, Sarah decided to concentrate on the application of research and joined International Cat Care as their Feline Behaviour Specialist to help develop their work in the areas of feline behaviour and welfare. In 2019, Sarah moved to the role of Head of Cat Advocacy within International Cat Care. She also is a Visiting Fellow at the University of Lincoln where she teaches on the MSc Clinical Animal Behaviour programme. Sarah has had numerous radio and TV appearances, covering many aspects of feline behaviour and welfare. She has co-authored a NY Times bestselling book with John Bradshaw entitled The Trainable Cat which details how training can be used to improve cats’ mental wellbeing.

Research Speakers

Jane is a veterinary epidemiologist based at Dogs Trust, with 20 years of experience in analysing risk factors for disease and behaviour problems in companion animals. Her role of Deputy Head of Research (Welfare Projects and Grants) includes the day-to-day management of a large longitudinal study of dogs, ‘Generation Pup’ (www.generationpup.ac.uk). Prior to joining Dogs Trust in 2017, she set up and led the feline sister project of ‘Generation Pup’ called ‘Bristol Cats’ which follows kittens through life.

Mauro is a veterinary surgeon and a Clinical Animal Behaviourist. Since graduating in 2007 from the Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária in Lisbon, he has been in practice as a Small Animal Veterinary Surgeon both in the UK and in Portugal. In 2014, Mauro completed a Certificate in Small Animal Medicine. In 2021, he completed a Masters in Clinical Animal Behaviour at the University of Lincoln, with his thesis focussing on the bond established between cats and their owners. He is currently working towards accreditation with ASAB, hoping to become a Certificated Clinical Animal Behaviourist.

Dr Finka is a research fellow at Nottingham Trent University and specialises in cat behaviour and welfare. Her work focuses on utilising multidisciplinary tools to improve human-cat relationships, as well as applying evidence-based information to support optimal cat management and wellbeing in practical contexts. Dr Finka has a PhD in feline welfare and behaviour and over 10 years of experience working with rehoming centres, most recently with Battersea Dogs & Cats Home as a feline welfare specialist and training provider. Lauren writes a monthly column for Your Cat magazine and recently published The Cat Personality Test, a practical, evidenced based book to help cat owners better understand their cats’ behaviour and meet their needs. Dr Finka also sits on International Cat Care’s feline wellbeing panel.

Panel Speakers

Dr Sarah Ellis, Dr Lauren Finka and Lindsey Quinlan are also panel speakers.

Karen trained as a vet in New Zealand and practised in both NZ and the UK for nearly 10 years while volunteering in many more countries. She has also worked in veterinary education and animal welfare and remains heavily involved in animal welfare charities as an advisor, educator and trustee. Karen has Masters degrees in Applied Animal Behaviour and Welfare, Medical Ethics and Law, a BSc in Psychology and is a resident of the European College of Animal Welfare and Behavioural Medicine. She is currently a PhD researcher at the University of Sussex, within the Mammal Communication and Cognition Group, investigating the cross-species empathy between humans and companion animals – for more information go to mypetresearch.com

Welcome
09:00 – 09:15

Cats and Kittens
09:15 – 10:00
Kersti Seksel

Q&A
10:00 – 10:15
Kersti Seksel

Cats and Vets
10:15 – 11:00
Linda Ryan

Q&A
11:00 – 11:15
Linda Ryan

Short Break
11:15 – 11:30

Cats and Other Cats
11:30 – 12:05
Jane Williams

Q&A
12:05 – 12:15
Jane Williams

Research Section
12:15 – 13:00

Lunch Break
13:00 – 13:40

Cats and the Shelter
13:40 – 14:20
Lindsey Quinlan

Q&A
14:20 – 14:30
Lindsey Quinlan

Cats and Dogs
14:30 – 15:05
Daniel Cummings

Q&A
15:05 – 15:15
Daniel Cummings

Short Break
15:15 – 15:30

Cats and People
15:30 – 16:15
Sarah Ellis

Q&A
16:15 – 16:30
Sarah Ellis

Panel Discussion
16:30 – 17:25
Sarah Ellis, Lauren Finka, Karen Hiestand, Lindsey Quinlan

Closing Remarks
17:25 – 17:30