Studies have shown that domesticated cats first appeared around 4000 BC, and since then, many of us have sought to understand their unique and fascinating personalities. But with a reputation for being challenging to train and fiercely independent, it’s not always easy!
Ideal for cat owners, pet shop workers, breeders, groomers, animal health professionals and animal welfare officers, our Certificate of Cat Psychology and Training will give you insights into how to manage and influence the behaviour of our feline friends.
You will learn about cat senses and communication, understand their natural behaviour, and explore cat behaviour management. You will also study behavioural disorders and abnormalities in cats, and learn the ins and outs of basic obedience training.
Outcomes achieved by undertaking animal care courses include:
- Learning about the nature and scope of cat psychology
- Exploring cat psychology terminology
- Gaining an understanding of cat industries
- Studying how to differentiate between health and behavioural issues
- Gaining insights into feline diabetes and kidney disease
- Understanding stress in cats
- Learning about cat senses and cat communications
- Gaining an understanding of the sounds made by a cat
- Studying the body language of cats
- Examining the smell and hearing of cats
- Understanding the natural behaviour in cats
- Learning about cat aggression and scratch fever
- Exploring cat behavioural development
- Studying cats’ biological rhythms and sleep
- Gaining insights into cats’ sexual and maternal behaviour
- Understanding eating and drinking in cats
- Learning about abnormalities and behavioural disorders in cats
- Exploring nature or nurture
- Studying sensitive periods
- Gaining insights into cats’ neurological development
- Understanding how cats sleep and play
- Learning about cat temperament tests
- Exploring how cat breeds differ
- Studying basic training in cats
- Gaining insights into dealing with cat aggression — redirected, maternal and idiopathic
- Understanding housebreaking
- Learning about inappropriate elimination
- Exploring excessive vocalisation
- Studying geriatric dysfunction
- Gaining insights into controlling the killing of wildlife
- Understanding eating disorders
- Learning about abnormal suckling
- Exploring separation anxiety
- Studying obedience training and discipline
- Gaining insights into forming habits
- Understanding the advantages of training cats early
Fascinating Facts About Cats
Like humans, cats’ personalities, behaviour, and the way they communicate vary dramatically. Breeds and species can only determine so much, and the rest is often determined by environmental factors and their individual personalities — something you’ll discover when undertaking animal care courses. But what do we know? Cats are definitely fascinating, and here’s why …
- All cats have a unique ‘vocabulary’ with their owner, which includes purrs, behaviours and vocalisations.
- Cats can exhibit up to 100 different vocalisations.
- Meowing is a behaviour that cats developed exclusively to communicate with people.
- Domestic cats purr at a frequency of 25 to 150 vibrations per second.
- When threatened or being aggressive, cats often growl or hiss.
- If they are hunting prey, some cats make a chirping sound.
- A ‘caterwaul’ is the cry of a cat ‘in heat’.
- Cats find it threatening if you make direct eye contact with them.
- If a cat rubs their face and body against you, they are marking you as their territory through their scent glands.
- Cats often yawn as a way to end a confrontation — it’s like a ‘talk to the hand’ gesture!
- Hissing is defensive not necessarily aggressive and an expression of stress, fear or discomfort.
- When cats are fighting, the cat that is hissing is generally the more vulnerable one.
- If a cat approaches you with a straight tail that’s almost ‘vibrating’, it means they are extremely happy to see you.
- When a cat ‘kneads’, it is a sign of contentment — kittens knead their mums when they are nursing to stimulate milk production.
- When a cat exposes their belly, they are relaxed and showing trust.
- Whiskers are a great indicator of a cat’s mood – whiskers back means they are scared, whiskers forward generally means they’re hunting.
- When a cat swats you with retracted claws, they are normally playing not attacking.
- Unlike dogs, when a cat wags its tail, it’s their way of saying you are getting on their nerves.
- A cat putting their bum in your face is a gesture of friendship. Ewww …
- If a cat drapes its tail over you, another cat (or even a dog), it’s a symbol of friendship.
- Cats are very fussy about water bowls – some even prefer to ignore them and drink out of the tap!
- They groom other cats (and sometimes people) in ‘social grooming’ — a term known as allogrooming.
- Cats like to sleep on pillows or dirty washing that smell like their owners or in laundry baskets where they can hide.
- They will often attack human’s ankles when they’re bored.
- Certain cats go mad for unusual foods including chips, olives and … beer hops.
- Most cats don’t like the scent of citrus.
- Around half the cats in the world respond to the scent of catnip, whereas kittens have no response to it at all.
- If your cat goes missing inside, look in a bag or box, as these are some of their favourite hiding spots.
- Some cats like the smell of chlorine (because it smells like cat wee).
- Many cats like to lick their owner’s freshly washed hair.
- Cats can be thieves and will often hide objects like stuffed animals that remind them of prey.
- White cats with blue eyes are prone to deafness.
- A cat’s learning style is similar to a two to three-year-old child.
- A group of kittens is called a kindle.
- Collective nouns for adult cats include a ‘clowder’, ‘glaring’, ‘clutter’ and ‘pounce’.
- The location of cat breeders is called catteries.
- Most cats can be toilet-trained.
- Cats can drink seawater in order to survive (unlike humans).
- Every cat’s nose is unique — similar to human fingerprints.
- Most languages in the world have a similar word to describe the ‘meow’ sound.
- The first cat video, ‘Boxing Cat’s, was recorded by Thomas Edison in 1894.
- Kittens in the same litter can have more than one dad – female cats in heat can release multiple eggs over a few days.
- Cats dream, just like people and exhibit this by whimpering and twitching their whiskers.
How To Train A Cat To Sit
Because cats appear to be stubborn and aloof, many people think they are completely untrainable. However, undertaking animal care courses may have you thinking otherwise. Cat behaviourists believe they actually enjoy the physical and mental stimulation of training … as long as there are treats involved of course!
The key to training a cat is the establishment of trust and motivation (hence the treats), using positive methods and never resorting to punishment. A training clicker can also help as you can train your cat to associate the clicking noise with a delicious reward. Here are some tips from the RSPCA on how to teach your cat how to sit on cue.
- With a treat in one hand and your clicker in the other, sit on the floor and call your cat to you.
- Hold the treat slightly above your cat’s head.
- Wait for them to sit as their eyes follow the treat.
- When they start to sit, click and then reward them with the treat.
- Repeat the process until your cat is properly sitting properly and then say the cue word ‘sit’.
- Repeat the training over several days until they’ve mastered it. Patience will be required!
Keen to increase your knowledge of cat behaviour so you manage and respond to fur babies in a personal or professional capacity? Then animal care courses, such as our Certificate of Cat Psychology and Training is the purrfect course for you!