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Cat Care

Course CodeBAG107
Fee CodeS1
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

Study All About Cats

People have kept cats as pets for over 5,000 years. Today they remain one of the most popular pets world wide. On farms, they are an important part of pest control. In the USA, there are an estimated 90 million cats kept as pets. In some countries they are more popular than others.

This course is designed for both pet owners who have a passion for their cats, as well as for anyone who works in the pet industry.

Learn about:

  •     different breeds
  •     foods and nutrition
  •     health care
  •     managing their activity
  •     psychology and training
  •     anatomy and physiology
  •     working in the feline industry

Lesson Structure

There are 9 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction
    • Basic Feline Needs - Basic Duties of the Cat Owner
    • Food and water
    • Shelter and Containment
    • Health care for sick cat
    • Grooming
    • Claw trimming
    • Bathing
    • Travel
    • Housebreaking
    • Introducing a new cat at home
    • Cats with babies and children
    • Cats and dogs
    • Cat breeds – pedigrees and non-pedigrees
  2. Feline Biology
    • Skin
    • Eyes
    • Ears
    • Nose
    • Mouth
    • Digestive system
    • Reproductive system
  3. Breeds
    • Domestic cat breeds
    • International and national associations
    • Long haired breeds – characteristics, common health problems, temperaments, care, history
    • Semi-long haired breeds - characteristics, common health problems, temperaments, care, history
    • Short haired breeds - characteristics, common health problems, temperaments, care, history
  4. Feline Health Care
    • Preventative care
    • Vaccinations
    • Recognising ill health
    • Dealing with emergencies
    • Artificial breathing and heart massage
    • How to induce vomiting
    • Specific situations to deal with e.g. burns, wounds, dehydration, hypothermia (and many more)
    • Poisoning
    • Wounds
    • Bandaging
    • Restraining for treatment
    • Transportation of the injured cat
    • Desexing
  5. Feline Illnesses
    • Internal parasites
    • Roundworms
    • Hookworms
    • Tapeworms
    • Whipworms
    • Lungworms
    • Stomach worms
    • Bladder worms
    • Flukes
    • Worm control
    • External parasites
    • Ticks
    • Fleas
    • Mites
    • Common ailments and diseases (numerous)
    • Skin disorders
  6. Feline Diet
    • Introduction to foods and feedings
    • Dietary options
    • Free feeding
    • Scheduled, portion controlled feeding
    • Understanding dietary requirements
    • Kittens (0-12 months)
    • Pregnant and lactating cats
    • Fussy cats
    • Obesity and overweight cats
    • Underweight cats
    • Geriatric cats
    • Raw diets
    • Toxic foods
  7. Feline Behaviour
    • Understanding the cats mind
    • Personality and temperament differences
    • How cats communicate
    • Body language
    • Sleeping routines and circadian rhythms
    • Play
    • Behavioural problems
    • Recognise and understand aggression
    • Dealing with aggression
    • Inappropriate elimination
    • Excessive vocalisation
    • Geriatric dysfunction
    • Controlling killing wildlife
    • Eating disorder
    • Abnormal suckling
    • Separation anxiety
  8. Breeding and Raising Kittens (includes PBL Project)
    • Cat breeding industry
    • Ethics in animal breeding
    • A brief look at genes
    • Sexual behaviour
    • Socialisation of kittens
    • Problem based learning project – Improving Standards for Ethical Breeding
  9. Feline Services (includes PBL Project)
    • Grooming services
    • Professional training and handling
    • Day care or boarding facilities
    • Re homing and fostering
    • Using cats as therapy pets
    • Health care industry
    • Feline therapy services – hydrotherapy, physiotherapy, massage
    • Retail and manufacturing industry
    • Pet funerals and memorials
    • Business basics for self-employment in the feline industry
    • Laws and small business
    • The importance of keeping records
    • Buying an established business
    • Buying a franchise
    • Approaches to business planning
    • Problem based learning project – Starting a Small Business in the Cat Industry

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


Which Breed is Best?

There are over 40 distinct breeds of domestic cats; and each one will have advantages and disadvantages over the others.  Some breeds will be more valuable than others, and some will be more popular in one country than another country.

There are a number of different organisations around the world that manage the registration of different cat breeds; and their systems of registration are not always a perfect match. Some breeds are more well known, and more widely known and others tend to be restricted in both number and the parts of the world where you will find them.

Persian Cats

Persians are one of the more widely recognised breeds

The Persian is a large to medium-sized cat with an average weight range of 7 to 12 pounds (3 to 5.5 kg). It has a large, round head, small ears and a comparatively short tail which gives the impression of strength and poise.  The breed was originally recognised as having a short nose, but over time this feature has become exaggerated by purpose breeding.  
It is famous for its long, silky coat and elegant characteristics.  Solid silver is the most popular colour for the Persian currently, however there are more than 80 colours available today, including black, blue, cream, and smoke.
 
Common Health Problems
Persians are susceptible to a number of health problems.  

  • Difficulty in breathing - as they have accentuated squashed-in faces, this causes constricted nostrils allowing problems with their breathing.  Their squashed in muzzles commonly accumulate dust and debris in their nose, making breathing even more difficult.  
  • Overactive tear glands.
  • Dental malocclusions.
  • Polycystic kidney disease—genetic tests are available in some countries.
  • Skin condition which causes redness, itchiness and hair loss known as Seborrhoea oleosa.  
  • Eye infections or conditions, e.g. entropion or cherry eye.

Personality and Temperament
Persians are sweet and docile, yet very intelligent.  They generally enjoy playing, but they lack the inquisitiveness that some other cats can possess.  Persians can be referred to as "furniture with fur" as they can remain inactive for long periods.   A Persian makes an ideal companion cat as it is not in its nature to pester you for attention, but it is extremely loving and enjoys being petted.  

Care
Due to its long hair, the Persian cat requires a considerable amount of care.  It requires daily grooming to prevent its fur matting and becoming dreadlocks.  Matted fur can pull on the skin causing sores.  Some owners prefer to trim the hair, especially around the anus to prevent faeces from becoming stuck in the fur.      
Litter box substrate and mess can become lodged in between the paws and in the long coat of the Persian.  Ensure the tray is kept clean, and the coat is checked regularly.
As Persians have an overactive tear gland, they may need the corner of their eyes gently wiped to prevent build up, staining and dirt sticking to this area.  
Teeth should be brushed at least once a week to prevent dental health deteriorating.  Ear cleaning and claw trimming should also be carried out when required.    

History and Background

The Persian cat is a popular breed globally and loved for its elegance and charm.  It is an old breed which originated from the earliest civilisations of Persia, now modern day Iran.  Long haired cats have been reported in Europe since the 1500s, however it is believed Persian cats were brought over in the 1600s.  
Pietro Della Valle was an Italian world traveller and is believed to be a fanatic of the long haired cat.  He brought many long haired cats to Europe, and it is thought that he brought a Persian cat over in 1626 which was scripted as a cat with a long, silky, grey coat.  
Around the same era Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc, who was a French astronomer, is believed to have brought Persian cats from Turkey to France.
In the 1800s cat shows became extremely popular, and Persian cats were exhibits in the first cat show held at Crystal Palace in London, Great Britain, in 1871.  Queen Victoria reigned Great Britain at this time and was a common spectator at these events.  
The Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) is one of the world’s largest register of cat breeds, and the early records show Persian cats recorded as early as 1871.   
Persian cats are one of the most popular cats breeds in the United States.  It is believed they were brought to North America in the late 1800’s.  

What is Required to Properly care for a Cat?

Responsible cat ownership starts with providing for it's basic requirements of food, water, shelter, physical and mental exercise and health care. If you are not prepared to attend to those needs, you shouldn't be considering keeping a cat at all.

Beyond that though; there is a social responsibility incumbent upon all cat owners; to manage their cat in a way so that it does not have a negative impact on others.

Cats can climb fences and roam. They cannot be controlled as easily as dogs. They can breed with other cats, get into fights and attack and kill not only vermin, but also protected wildlife.

  • Make sure your cat is de-sexed (unless it is used for breeding)
  • Micro chip and when required, register with local authorities
  • Consider locking cats in a cage at night to restrict movement
  • Ensure the cat is attended to when you are absent for any period - for example by a house sitter; or placing in a boarding cattery when you go on holidays.
  • Do all that you can to protect wildlife (eg. The way you landscape your garden can minimise the cat's ability to catch birds)
  • Take time to learn and understand your cat's psychology, and manage the animal according to it's individual psychology.

 

What Now?

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