Domestic Cat Care

Learn about caring for cats. A serious foundation for anyone working in the pet industry; or for passionate cat owners.

Course Code: BAG107
Fee Code: S1
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
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Gain a deeper understanding of cats

 

If you're thinking about cat care specifically as a new income stream or employment option, this course will assist you to demonstrate your ability to work with cats and understand the industry without question.

Domestic Cat Care is a comprehensive 100 hour course covering all aspects of diet and nutrition, preventative health care and treating illnesses, understanding feline behaviour, breeding, business planning and more! 

Developed with the feline professional or cat enthusiast in mind, the course will take you through an experiential learning experience designed to help you develop knowledge and skills to work with cats confidently. 

You will complete set tasks and projects thus enabling you to be familiar with the scope of the industry and the services available. 

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 illhealth
    • 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 parasite
    • 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
    • Rehoming 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.

Aims

  • Investigate aspects of domestic cat care and the basic duties of owners and professional carers.
  • Develop understanding of basic biology – anatomy and physiology – and associated processes.
  • Examine variations between different breeds by focusing on common health issues, temperaments and characteristics.
  • Recommend different preventative care schedules and learn how to recognise and treat ill health.
  • Develop clear understanding of parasites, ailments and disease, treatment options available and the significance of veterinary assistance.
  • Investigate feline nutrition and outline an appropriate diet for the domestic cat specific to their needs.
  • Distinguish between normal and abnormal cat behaviour, extending this to develop appropriate strategies for dealing with problem or undesirable behaviours.
  • Assess the current breeding industry and demonstrate ethical standards in cat breeding and rearing kittens.
  • Investigate and evaluate services which exist in the current cat industry and propose a small business idea which is of personal interest.

What You Will Do

  • Consider 4 specific areas of cat care. For example, one area may be grooming. Find out about the products and services which are available in your locality for each area you chose.
  • Choose one part of the body to research, for example skin, digestive system etc. Visit as many veterinarians that you can and ask them for information leaflets or flyers they have which relate to the health of that area of the body. Take notes on any repetition that you notice with regards to the health and caring for of that part of cat’s body.
  • Contact breed associations of your choice in your own country and investigate the specific standards they set for the physical characteristics of a particular breed (to be registered as pedigree). Using online resources available to you, now investigate some associations in a different country. You want to find out if there are similarities or differences in the standards of that country for the same breed you investigated in part A of the task.
  • Research attitudes into neutering in your locality. For your research to have validity, you will need to contact between 8-10 people who own or work with cats and have some questions devised which you can ask them to draw out information on their attitudes and views about neutering.
  • Find at least 3 cat owners who have cats with former or ongoing physical illness. Discuss with them the illness and the treatments which the cat undergoes. Ask questions about the how the illness affects the cats overall wellbeing. Ask about the nature of the illness and the long term management of the illness.
  • Look at foods available in the local the supermarket and take notes of the nutritional components of the foods. Research specialist diets for specific health concerns e.g. urinary stress or hairball control and make contrasts between the products available. Limit this to 6 products.
  • Research the differences in the diets of indoor and outdoor living cats. Make comparisons of nutritional deficiencies or excesses.
  • If possible, observe the cat in six states of hunting in real life-
    • stalk, run, pounce, catch, kill, eat. Take notes of the different physical positions and levels of exertion in each stage. If other cats were present/nearby during the hunting, you should also take notes of your observations of any behaviour directed at those nearby e.g. aggression.
  • Problem Based Learning Project in Ethical Breeding Standards
  • Problem Based Learning Project in Starting a Small Business in the Feline Industry

Breeding Cats

There are more breeds of cats than what most cat owners realise. Each breed has it's own peculiarities; not only in how they look, but also in how they behave and how they need to be managed. Some cat breeds are easier to care for than others. 

If you are to provide a cat with the conditions it needs to have a healthy and happy life, you do need to match the right breed with the situation it will live in.

In many jurisdictions, cat breeders may not need a qualification, but they should have excellent knowledge of the breed of cat and their best interests in mind at all times.  The queen must have the proper care throughout pregnancy and post pregnancy. A clean, appropriate environment must be provided with the correct nutrition available.

The female cat should be fully grown to their adult size before breeding occurs, and this is usually around 18 to 24 months of age.  If the female falls pregnant before she has chance to fully grow then all her energy will go on the pregnancy, rather as her own growth.  The male tom should not be under the age of 18 months before being bred, and this ensures he is in good health with a good temperament.

It is the breeder’s responsibility to ensure the female and the male cat have both had full health evaluations, and this should be carried out by a veterinary surgeon.  Both cats should be checked prior to breeding for;

  • Full physical examinations.
  • Full courses of vaccinations, or ensure they are up to date.
  • Faecal and urinary analysis.
  • Free from parasites or infections.
  • Tested for FeLV (Feline Leukaemia Virus) and FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus).
  • Tested for genetic disorders, e.g. polycystic kidney disease, hip dysplasia, patellar luxations and heart disease.
So you're interested in studying cats and caring for cats ... you could have a chat with one of our course advisers who can tell you more about studying with us. Or you could get started today and take yourself on a new path!  

 

 

After Your Studies

Some people will do this course to enhance their employment or business prospects; while others may be simply in pursuit of a passion for cats. Their goal might be nothing more than to know more and be able to better care for their own animals.

This course will raise your knowledge, understanding and awareness of cats, cat breeds and caring for cats to a new level, and that will potentially result in a wholesale change in the way you look at cats.

Whether your aim is to work more with cats the future is only limited by your imagination.

This course could lead to: 

  • Employment in a pet care retail environment
  • A foundation to working in animal health care; have you thought of a potential veterinarian career?
  • A first step to further education in the animal welfare field; a basis for starting your business in cat care - or maybe you would like to run a cattery?
  • Getting into professional breeding and showing

 

 

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How can I start this course?

You can enrol at anytime and start the course when you are ready. Enrolments are accepted all year - students can commence study at any time. All study is self paced and ACS does not set assignment deadlines.

Please note that if a student is being assisted by someone else (e.g. an employer or government subsidy), the body offering the assistance may set deadlines. Students in such situations are advised to check with their sponsor prior to enrolling. The nominal duration of a course is approximately how long a course takes to complete. A course with a nominal duration of 100 hours is expected to take roughly 100 hours of study time to complete. However, this will vary from student to student. Short courses (eg. 100 hrs duration) should be completed within 12 months of enrolment. Certificates, Advanced Certificates and Awards (eg. over 500 hours duration) would normally be completed within 3 -5 years of enrolment. Additional fees may apply if a student requires an extended period to complete.
If a student cannot submit their assignments for 6 months to ACS, they should advise the school to avoid cancellation of their student
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If you are under 18, we need written permission from your parent/ guardian for your enrolment to continue, we can arrange that after you have enrolled.

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You sure can. We are here to help you learn whatever your abilities.

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If you have limited computer skills, we can make special arrangements for you.

This is possible, it depends on the institution. We recommend that if you would like to use our courses that you contact the institution first. Our Course Handbook is a good resource for this.

Our courses are written in English and we only have English speaking academic staff. If you can read and complete your assignments in English, our courses are ideal for you.

Our courses are designed to build knowledge, hands on skills and industry connections to help prepare you to work in the area, running your own business, professional development or as a base for further study.

This course has been designed to cover the fundamentals of the topic. It will take around 100 hours to complete, which includes your course reading, assignment work, research, practical tasks, watching videos and anything else that is contained in the course. Our short courses are a great way to do some professional development or to learn a new skill.

It’s up to you. The study hours listed in the course are a rough guide, however if you were to study a short course (100 hours) at 10 hours per week, you could finish the course in 10 weeks (just an example). Our courses are self-paced, so you can work through the courses in your own time. We recommend that you wait for your tutor to mark and return your assignment before your start your next one, so you get the benefits of their feedback.

The course consists of course notes, videos, set tasks for your practical work, online quizzes, an assignment for each lesson (that you receive feedback from your tutor from) and ends in an exam (which is optional, if would like to receive the formal award at the end), using our custom built Learning Management System - Login.Training.

Our courses are designed for adults to gain professional development and skills to further their careers and start businesses.

Our custom online learning portal allows you to conduct your learning online. There may be practical tasks that you can do offline. You have the option of downloading your course notes or print them to read later.

There is also the option to pay an additional fee for printed course notes and or USB (availability limited to location and deliverability).

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We offer printed notes for an additional fee. Also, you can request your course notes on a USB stick for an additional fee.

Yes, your tutor is here to help you. Simply post any questions you have in your login.training portal or contact the office and we can pass on a message to your tutor.

We are more learning focussed, rather than assessment focussed. You have online quizzes to test your learning, written assignments and can complete an exam at the end of the course (if you want to receive your certificate). You will not receive a pass/ fail on your course work. If you need to add more details on your assignment, we will ask you to resubmit and direct you where you need to focus. If you need help, you can ask your tutor for advice in the student room.

Each module (short course) is completed with one exam.

Exams are optional, however you must sit an exam if you would like to receive a formal award. You will need to find someone who can supervise that you are sitting the exams under exams conditions. There is an additional cost of $55 (AUS) $50 (O/S) for each exam.
More information is here

There are practical components built into the course that have been designed to be achieved by anyone, anywhere. If you are unable to complete a task for any reason, you can ask your tutor for an alternative.

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You can bundle the short courses to create your own customised learning bundle, Certificates or Advanced Certificates. More information is on this page.

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Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

Melissa Leistra

B.Ed. M. Human Nutrition

Alison Pearce (Agri & Animal)

Alison brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to ACS students.

She has worked as a University Lecturer, has also run a veterinary operating theatre; responsible for animal anaesthesia, instrument preparation, and assistance with surgical techniqu





Tutors

Meet some of the tutors that guide the students through this course.

Sarah Pirecki

BAnVetBioSc., Dip. ProjMgt (TBC).

A passionate advocate for animal health and welfare. Sarah completed a Bachelor of Animal and Veterinary Bioscience majoring in Animal Health and Disease and is currently completing a Diploma of Project Management. She has a wide range of experience working in agricultural settings, veterinary nursing, assistance dog raising, and animal education.

Robert Browne

B.Sc., PhD

Robert’s science employment has included consultancy with biotechnology corporations and in response to the global biodiversity conservation crisis, and has focused on amphibian conservation and sustainability. Working with zoos in Australia, the USA, Europe, and as Research Officer for the IUCN has led Robert to work with collaborative conservation programs in the USA, Peoples Republic of China, Australia, Russian Federation, Islamic Republic of Iran, and Cameroon.

Robert has experience in a wide range of research fields supporting herpetological conservation and environmental sustainability. He has published in the scientific fields of nutrition, pathology, larval growth and development, husbandry, thermo-biology, reproduction technologies, and facility design. In addition to his work in research and other international projects for the conservation of amphibians, other vertebrates, and invertebrates, Robert is establishing a sustainability project with a research facility based in the region of a coastal village in Belize.

Megan Cox

Megan has completed a Bachelor of Science (Environmental Conservation) with Honours from Writtle University College, as well as a Master of Science Degree in Countryside Management from Manchester Metropolitan University.

Her experience includes working as a Botanist, Ecologist, Head Gardener, Market Gardener and a Farming and Conservation Officer.

She has worked in various roles in Horticulture, Agriculture and Ecology since 2005. Megan has worked for the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the Centre for Environment and Rural Affairs among other organisations in the UK, as well as in Australia and Cambodia.

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