VSPN TECH323-0721: Cat Behavior 101: Things every Veterinary Professional Should Know!

The real time sessions for this course will be presented via Zoom webinar platform.

Presenter: Rachel Lees RVT, KPA CTP, VTS (Behavior)
Course Open: July 28-September 4, 2021
Real Time Sessions (RTS): Wednesdays, August 4, 11, 18 and 25, 2021; 8:30-10:00 PM ET (USA)    World Clock Converter
Total CE Credit: 6
RACE Category: 6 hours Medical

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Course Information:
Are you a fan of furry felines, looking to specialize in behavior maybe, or would like to improve your understanding of feline behavior? Regardless of your reason, join us for the Cat Behavior 101 course. Whether you are new to veterinary medicine or have been in practice, this course will review ALL the feline behavior basics every general veterinary practice team member should know about! In this 4-week course, participants will learn the basics of feline behavior including feline body language, creating positive veterinary experiences, litterbox basics, house soiling, and urine marking. Rachel will discuss unwanted behaviors such as scratching, attention-seeking, and play biting while also addressing how to introduce a cat to a household and demonstrating clicker training with cats. Yes, you read that correctly. Cats LOVE to clicker train

Learning Objectives: Upon completion of this course, the participant should be able to:
  • Know how to read feline body language and understand the signs of fear, stress, and anxiety in all cats
  • Understand safe handling techniques and how to keep team members and felines safe during veterinary visits
  • Discuss with clients litter box basics and troubleshoot everyday behavioral issues that are discussed in general practice
  • Comprehend and be able to explain the basics of using a conditioned reinforcer and using positive reinforcement to reinforce positive behavior
Level and Prerequisites: This basic VSPN CE course will be open for enrollment to veterinary technicians/technologists and support staff actively interested in feline behavior.

RACE Accreditation: This program has been approved for 6 hours of continuing education credit in jurisdictions which recognize RACE approval. (20-858800)

Course Agenda:

Week 1 (Real Time Session August 4): Do you See what I See? Reading Body Language and Keeping Veterinary Teams Safe with Feline Patients
This session will review feline body language and the difference between a behaviorally comfortable cat vs a fearful/concerned cat. Attendees will understand the signs of fear, stress, and anxiety in cats while also providing insights on how to create a positive atmosphere for felines (and staff when working with felines) at the veterinary hospital.

Week 2 (Real Time Session August 11): Litterboxes are Overrated: Elimination Out of the Box
This session will review and discuss why elimination out of the litterbox is one of the top reasons cats are rehomed today. Participants should understand how to set owners up for success by discussing litter box basics. The presenter will also discuss the behavioral diagnoses of house soiling and urine marking and how these cases are typically treated by the veterinary behavior team.

Week 3 (Real Time Session August 18): Scratch This: Addressing Feline Behavior Problems
The third session will address common unwanted feline behavior issues such as scratching, attention seeking, play biting, and aggression to housemate felines. Participants will also learn the appropriate way to slowly work through introduction to a new household. We will also discuss when it is time to refer to a behavior specialist (DACVB) instead of continuing to treat in the general practice setting.

Week 4 (Real Time Session August 25): Clicker Cats!
This final session will address the four quadrants of learning and why positive reinforcement is recommended by veterinary behaviorists. We will also review the basics of clicker training and demonstrate (via video) how to capture and shape feline behavior.

Successful completion (scoring 80% or better) on the end-of-course test is required to earn a certificate of completion for the course. To learn more about the requirements for earning a CE certificate, please refer to Receiving Your CE Credit and Course Completion Certificate.

Course Materials: Course materials will be available in the course library prior to each Real Time Session.
Required Textbook(s): There is no required textbook for this course.

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Tuition: $126 ($113 early bird special if enrolled by July 14, 2021)
Prices are listed in US dollars.

* Students currently enrolled in an AVMA accredited or CVMA approved Veterinary Technician Program may be eligible to receive a 50% discount off the regular rate for this course (upon verification of student status).

*To ensure participants are ready and prepared for classes, enrollment will close on August 4, 2021 at 5 pm ET (USA) or when the maximum number of participants is reached.

*For more information on how online CE works, see the Participant Resource Center.

To Enroll:
  1. Enrollment qualifications: VIN CE courses are open to VIN member and non-member veterinarians. Veterinarians enrolling in a VSPN CE course must be a VIN member. Veterinary support staff must be a VSPN member to enroll in a VSPN CE or a VIN CE course open to VSPN member enrollment.
  2. Each enrollee must be able to receive emails from @vspn.org and @vin.com addresses. Email is our major form of communication with participants; personal emails are highly recommended rather than clinic/hospital email addresses.
  3. For further assistance call 800-846-0028 ext.792 or email . Please include the course title, your full name, and contact information in your correspondence.

Course withdrawal and refund policy: A complete refund of the paid course price will be issued when your withdrawal request is received prior to the listed start date of the course. If you wish to withdraw after the start date please contact the VIN office 800-846-0028 ext. 792 to discuss eligibility for a pro-rated refund.

*For more information on VSPN's upcoming CE courses, check the VSPN Course Catalog.

VSPN CE Services:
800-846-0028 or 530-756-4881; ext. 792
or direct line to VIN/VSPN from the United Kingdom: 01 45 222 6154
or direct line to VIN/VSPN from Australia: 02 6145 2357