Cat’s behavioural needs – Study shows more education is needed

Comparison of interpretation of cat’s behavioral needs between veterinarians, veterinary nurses, and cat owners

Since environmental factors can play a large role in anxiety in cats, this is a very relevant study. Anxiety negatively affects health and welfare.

The five freedoms are statements that indicate the minimum welfare needs of animals in human care. The five freedoms were set out long ago and describe negative states that an animal should be free from. We have come far from the five freedoms and now also think about what should be provided so that an animal is not only free from a negative emotional state, but can live in a positive emotional state.

One of the five freedoms states:

The freedom to express normal behaviours

As veterinary professionals, we need to be able to advise the public on the needs of pets in the home and therefore reduce environmental risk factors that can adversely affect pet health. Environmental factors may not be obvious: They are not necessarily direct stressors to a cat, but may be a lack of ability/opportunity to carry out normal behaviours a cat has evolved to do.

With future seminars planned, I will be interested to receive feedback from veterinary staff on subjects where they feel extra knowledge will aid them to help their clients and pets.