Our Blog


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February 14, 2018 Behaviour TeamCats0

When someone tries to describe an impossible task, they often say, “It’s like training cats”. But it is possible to train cats. Proof of that is a cat I know called Hartley. Hartley the cat is so well trained he recently went with his owner to a dog show. And was absolutely fine with it. You may expect a dog show to create some pretty antisocial cat behaviour. But Hartley came to ‘A Bark in the Park’ dog show with 300 dogs and sat in a carrier bag with a harness on; totally unfazed, because Hartley goes everywhere with his mum.


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February 6, 2018 Behaviour TeamCats

Cat behaviour is one of the great conundrums of pet ownership. How often have you heard of cat owners buying a lovely bed for their cat to sleep in, only to find that the cat will sleep on a bit of paper beside the bed. Cats like options. They like somewhere to hide, somewhere to go up high, and they like a choice of places to go to the toilet as well. A lot of people are guilty of not providing enough options with litter trays and food areas, especially with multi-cat households. One cat will actually block another cat from getting to food and you won't even see it. All they do is sit there with a blank expression, but what they're doing is saying, "Don't even think about coming past me." This is classic cat behaviour.


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February 5, 2018 Behaviour TeamCats

A trip to the vet with your beloved cat or dog doesn’t have to be traumatic (for either of you). By employing low-stress handling techniques your moggy or pup can be absolutely at ease for his or her next check-up. My team are all specifically trained in these techniques and the results make for a relaxed and happy pet, as well as a relaxed and happy pet parent! Low-stress handling comes down to reading your pet’s body language. They may not be able to speak, but your animals will absolutely tell you how they’re feeling. You can see how a dog or cat is feeling by understanding their body language, and learning to read it. Vets become experts at it. It’s really like learning any other language.


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February 4, 2018 Behaviour TeamCats

When I graduated 24 years ago, and started working as a vet, it was very much a given that animals hated going to the vet. It was all about their physical health—nobody was ever looking to see what the animal was dealing with psychologically. No-one stopped to think, ‘let’s make this a cat-friendly vet’ or a ‘dog-friendly vet’. We used to get them through the door, plonk them on the table, then examine them. If they were a placid sort of animal, they’d be fine. But most of them would just freeze in fear. Some of them would try and bite. Around 15 years ago, I set some goals for what I wanted to achieve as a vet. One of them was to create a surgery that animals would love coming to. I got really tired of seeing people dragging their cats and dogs through the door and thought, well surely there’s a better way than this.


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April 5, 2017 Behaviour Team

Clients so often walk into a consult with myself or any one of our other vets and will say “Fido isn’t eating”, or “Bella just isn’t right!”. What you’re really letting us know is that your pet’s behaviour has changed. Others will let me know that Rover paces and howls and tries to dig out of the yard when fireworks go off, or that Kitty has begun urinating outside her litter tray ever since the new kitten came home. Veterinary behavioural medicine is about recognizing an animals’ emotional state, understanding how this affects their physical health and how these two things join together into the behavioural response we can see.


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