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Feline behaviour

Accredited by UK Rural Skills

feline behaviour course

The domestic cat has been a human companion for thousands of years although attitudes toward Felis catus have been mixed. They were worshipped in Ancient Egypt but also bred and killed for mummification as offerings.


Cats have been associated with malicious witchcraft and superstition even today causes black cats to be the last to be rehomed from shelters. However, these unfounded attitudes were confounded by writings from history for example, by Samual Pepys in the 1600s after the Great Fire of London.


Nowadays, with cats being a part of family life and thus taken away from the fight for daily existence, we can see that the domestic cat has special qualities. Feline behaviour for instance is sometimes an enigma although much can be explained to support their welfare where ignorance and misunderstanding causes problems.


In this seven-unit course you will examine the nature of Felis catus as a hyper-carnivore, their physiological and anatomical requirements to be able to make informed decisions as to their enrichment and welfare. Feline physiology relevant to behaviour is covered and how their physiology determines their behaviour.


You will investigate the cat-human relationship, species-specific music and the science behind its calming effects on the domestic cat. Finally, you will carry out a behavioural study on Felis catus and report your findings.


The course is aimed at those wishing to know more about cat behaviour to support their welfare. This might include shelter managers and animal protection workers. This course will also provide invaluable experience and practice of studying at university level in a science-based course.

However, anyone with an interest in feline welfare will gain knowledge and understanding from the feline behaviour (level 5) course.

Course fee £625.00

Instalments: these are made by standing order at £62.50 p.c.m. International transactions will incur additional fees. You can try unit 1 before committing to the whole course.


Course materials are sent via email but paper copies are available for an additional fee of £15 per unit. Postage charges may need to be added depending on your location.

Click here for payment options and important information

Course Content (summary)

Unit 1

Evolution of Felis catus and behavioural theories.

Evolutionary stages, fossil record, current methods (e.g. DNA profiling, mDNA, microsatellite analyses); innate behaviour, learned behaviour, behavioural theories

Unit 2

Physiology of Behaviour

Nervous and endocrine systems, hormones, effects on behaviour, role in survivial

feline behaviour course

Unit 3

Communication Behaviour

Signalling intentions, function, vocalisations, body and head posture, importance of the tail, tactile communication, species-species communication

Unit 4

Comparative behaviours and Welfare

Other members of the Felis genus, similarities in behaviours, functions, other cat genera, cat welfare: methods of managing behaviours, species-specific music

Unit 5

The cat-human relationship

Research, solicitation behaviours, human-only directed behaviours, vocalisations, cat personalities, human perceptions

feline behaviour course

Unit 6

Studying behaviour and investigation

You will investigate methods of studying animal behaviour and from this learning formulate your own animal behaviour study for the cat. 

Unit 7

Planning, carrying out and reporting on a behavioural study

This is the final unit and in which you choose a topic for a behavioural investigation. You will collect data, present and analyse it and report your findings with conclusions. Statistical analyses are optional. This unit should be excellent preparation for moving on to a university degree course that requires scientific studies and reporting.

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