Domestic Cat Care 100 Hours Certificate Course
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Domestic Cat Care 100 Hours Certificate Course
This online course in Domestic Cat Care will appeal to cat lovers who want to learn everything they can about looking after their own cat and anyone who works with cats in a charitable or professional capacity. Written by industry relevant professionals and delivered online via distance learning, the course will give you a firm understanding of how cats should be looked after, to ensure their physical and psychological well-being.
Ever since what is thought to be the African Wildcat was domesticated by the Egyptians, to hunt and kill vermin around 4,000 years ago to protect crops from rats and mice, domestic cats have been very important to humans. In fact they were so successful in decimating the rodent population in Egypt, there was less disease and death, more food available for the poor and so a better quality of living for ordinary Egyptians, meaning there was probably less chance of a revolt. This led to cats being revered as expert hunters and associated with the goddesses Bast, Isis and Pasht, with anyone guilty of killing a cat immediately executed for their heinous crime. Later domesticated cats were also adopted to control vermin by three of the greatest empires of the ancient world, Greece, Rome and Persia and eventually they arrived in most other places in the world.
However the middle ages were not a good time to be a cat in Europe. They were rumored to be connected with witchcraft and so many thousands were slaughtered and this could have played a part in the spread of the Bubonic Plague, because there weren't enough cats to kill all the rats, the main carrier of the disease. Prevalent throughout Europe, the Black Death is thought to have killed between 30 and 60% of the population, possibly as many as 100 million people.
In these more enlightened times, the symbiotic relationship that has developed between Homo Sapiens and Felis Catus over 4.000 years has become mostly one of mutual companionship.
Domestic Cat Care will be an invaluable qualification if you:
- are a cat owner or someone getting one for the first time
- work or want to work in a Cat Sanctuary or Rescue Center
- Work or want to work in a cat Kennel
- are a professional cat sitter, or want to start a business in cat sitting
- are or want to be a Veterinary Nurse
- work in taking care of cats in any amateur or professional capacity
Learning Goals: Domestic Cat Care
- 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.
Lesson Structure: Domestic Cat Care
There are 9 lessons in this course:
- Basic Feline Needs - Basic Duties of the Cat Owner
- Food and water
- Shelter and Containment
- Health care for sick cat
- Claw trimming
- Introducing a new cat at home
- Cats with babies and children
- Cats and dogs
- Cat breeds – pedigrees and non-pedigrees
2 Feline Biology
- Digestive system
- Reproductive system
- 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
- 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)
- Restraining for treatment
- Transportation of the injured cat
5 Feline Illnesses
- Internal parasites
- Stomach worms
- Bladder worms
- Worm control
- External parasite
- 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
- 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 problem based learning 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 problem based learning 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.
What You Will Do In This Course:
- 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
The first signs of illness are often loss of appetite and listlessness. If the cat looks bright, but has missed a couple of meals, there is probably no need for concern, as it is likely that it is getting its food elsewhere. If the cat is listless as well, it is probably a good idea to keep it indoors for a while so that the situation can be monitored. If they are ill, cats will often go into very inaccessible areas, and this is best prevented.
Other early signs of illness are: prolapse of the third eyelid, vomiting, diarrhoea, sneezing, runny eyes, straining, crouching, ear scratching, bad breath, head shaking, yowling and dribbling from the mouth or spitting. If a cat displays any such symptoms it needs to be examined by a veterinarian.
When a cat is sick, it needs familiar surroundings. Siamese and Burmese cats in particular require attention and affection when ill to ensure a good recovery.
Cats recuperating from an illness are also more likely to eat better at home than in a surgery. For this reason, vets will only keep a cat in a surgery during the most critical stages of an illness. A vet will rely on any information you can provide as to the cat’s history so be observant.
DEALING WITH EMERGENCIES
Artificial Breathing and Heart Massage
Artificial breathing is an emergency procedure used to exchange air in the unconscious cat. Heart massage is used when no heartbeat can be heard or felt. Completing both together is known as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The following emergencies in a cat may require CPR:
• Prolonged Seizure
• Head Injury
• Electric Shock
• Obstructed Airways
• Sudden Death
To determine which basic life-support technique is required in an unresponsive cat, use the following procedures:
Is the cat breathing?
Observe the rise and fall of the chest. Feel for air against your cheek.
• If YES, pull out tongue, clear airway. Observe
• If NO, feel for pulse.
Does the cat have a pulse?
Feel for the femoral artery located in the groin.
• If YES, begin artificial breathing.
• If NO, begin CPR.
Artificial Breathing (Mouth-to-Nose Breathing)
1. Lay cat on flat surface with right side down.
2. Open mouth and clear any foreign bodies blocking airway.
3. Pull the tongue forward and close the mouth. Place your mouth over the cat’s nose and blow gently into the cat’s nostrils. (seal lips and blow a little harder if lungs are not inflating)
4. Complete one breath every four to five seconds (12 to 15 per minute).
5. Continue until the cat breathes again, or as long as the heart is beating.
CPR (Artificial Breathing and Heart Massage)
6. Continue with mouth to nose breathing
7. Place fingers and thumb on either side of the sternum, behind the elbows.
8. Compress the chest firmly six times; administer a breath. Then repeat. (80 to 120 compressions per minute).
9. Pause every two minutes for 10 to 15 seconds to check for pulse and spontaneous breathing.
10. Continue until the heart beats and cat breathes on its own, or until no heartbeat is felt for 30 minutes.
How to Induce Vomiting
Warning: DO NOT induce vomiting if your cat has already vomited, is unconscious, convulsing, swallowed an acid, sharp object, poison, chemical or petroleum.
Induce vomiting by giving Hydrogen peroxide 3% (one teaspoon per five pounds or 2.3 kg of body weight) every ten minutes or until the cat vomits. Repeat three times only.
Syrup of Opecac (one teaspoon per ten pounds or 4.6 kg of body weight). Once only.
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