Behaviour and environment
A detailed discussion about normal cat behaviour and problem behaviours is beyond the scope of this manual, although additional information is available from a number of sources including:
Behaviour-related problems are increasingly recognised in veterinary practice, probably as a result of better understanding of feline behaviour and improved recognition of problem behaviours. A rise in the number of cats kept purely indoors, increasing numbers of multicat households, and the presence of higher density cat populations also contribute to an increasing number of problem behaviours.
Historically, behavioural assessment has not formed part of routine preventive healthcare examinations. However, the Cat Care for Life programme has been created to improve feline welfare and this means supporting both physical health and emotional well being.
The Cat Care for Life life stage booklets have been designed to give owners additional information on cats behavioural development and environmental needs and support the veterinary team on explaining the importance of these.
A Behavioural Checklist and an Environmental checklist are provided as part of the Cat Care for Life programme and can be helpful in identifying early indicators/risk factors that could lead to problems.
Follow Cat Friendly Clinic principles
If the whole veterinary healthcare team treat cats gently and calmly during consultations and other veterinary visits, this will help prevent the cats developing any negative associations with the visit to the clinic and help to make them easier patients in the future. This will also help bond clients to the clinic and increase uptake of preventive healthcare.