No more cat wrangling! Techniques for force free feline handling.
Many cats feel fear, anxiety, and stress when being handled and/or approached. The effects of feeling this way can lead to reduced quality of life for the patient and animal care teams, an increase in injury to staff, and make owners less likely to bring their cats in for veterinary visits. Fear, anxiety and stress can also make veterinary visits more difficult and lead to lower quality care, fewer diagnostics, and ultimately poorer medical outcomes. Lastly, it can lead to cats being surrendered due to broken bonds between pets and their owners. This is why it is vital for us to do what we can to limit fear, anxiety, and stress in the cats we are working with and provide consistent, positive human to cat social interactions.
In this session, we will discuss the effects and how to identify the signs of fear, anxiety, and stress in our cats. We will also discuss tools and handling techniques that can help reduce fear, anxiety, and stress in cats thus making the shelter, veterinarian and home an overall less stressful and happier place for cats, visitors, employees, and volunteers. When a cat’s fear and anxiety is reduced, animals will be more adoptable and more likely to stay in long-term, loving homes.
· The effects of fear, anxiety, and stress in cats
· Identify signs of fear, anxiety, and stress in cats
· Understand the potential consequences of force-based handling techniques on cats and humans
· Learn basic handling techniques to reduce fear, anxiety, and stress for cats in veterinary clinics, shelters, and at home
Causes and treatment of Inter-cat aggression
Tabitha Kucera and Paula Garber
This session will discuss the various causes of inter-cat aggression between cats who share the same household (Note: It will not cover aggression between outdoor cats). It will discuss the identification of problems, prevention strategies and client recommendations. These will include signs of conflict, types of aggression, the difference between play and aggression and environmental considerations for cats in conflict.
The presenters will also review the extensive protocol they implement to resolve inter-cat aggression, including the use of scent, pheromones, space sharing, enrichment, desensitization and counterconditioning. This is an issue that often resolves at a glacial pace, so the session will also discuss how to manage client expectations and provide support during the process.