Here For a Good Time, Not a Long Time: Feline Behavior for Shelters (3-Part Series)

  • 2 Nov 2021
  • 16 Nov 2021
  • 3 sessions
  • 2 Nov 2021, 12:30 PM 1:30 PM (EDT)
  • 9 Nov 2021, 12:30 PM 1:30 PM (EST)
  • 16 Nov 2021, 12:30 PM 2:00 PM (EST)
  • Zoom


Registration is closed

Three-Part Series:

Here For a Good Time, Not a Long Time:

Feline Behavior for Shelters

Speaker: Tabitha Kucera, Elite Fear Free and Low Stress Handling Certified Registered Veterinary Technician, CCBC, and KPA-CTP 

November 2, 9 & 16, 2021 on Zoom


November 2, 12:30 - 1:30 p.m.

Do You Speak Cat? Feline Communication for the Veterinary and Shelter Team

Veterinary and shelter team members often express doubt about handling cats. The best way to know a cat’s emotional state and whether they are relaxed enough to cope with the stress of veterinary procedures is to watch their body language. This session will help you understand how cats communicate with us and determine how to tell when they are fearful, stressed, anxious, or happy. This is the first step to Fear-Free and Feline Friendly handling.

November 9, 12:30 - 1:30 p.m.

Thinking Outside the Cage: Shelter Enrichment for Cats

Enrichment in shelter settings is incredibly important for cats. Keeping cats stimulated mentally is as needed as caring for their physical needs. Providing enrichment for cats and kittens in shelters can help decrease stress and unwanted behaviors that result from stress. It can also help to decrease illness. Happy and healthy cats are more likely to become adopted and stay in long term homes. This session will cover:

  • What is socialization and enrichment and why it is needed
  • Benefits of socialization and enrichment to animals, the shelter, and staff
  • Practical application of shelter enrichment and enrichment examples will be discussed that respect all 5 cat's senses
  • Feline Friendly Handling 

November 16, 12:30 - 2:00 p.m. (note this session is 90 min.)

No More Cat Wrangling! Techniques for Fear Free Feline Handling

Many cats feel fear, anxiety, and stress when being handled and/or approached. The effects of feeling this way can lead to reduced quality of life for the patient and animal care teams, an increase in injury to staff, and make owners less likely to bring their cats in for veterinary visits. Fear, anxiety and stress can also make veterinary visits more difficult and lead to lower quality care, fewer diagnostics, and ultimately poorer medical outcomes. Lastly, it can lead to cats being surrendered due to broken bonds between pets and their owners. This is why it is vital for us to do what we can to limit fear, anxiety, and stress in the cats we are working with and provide consistent, positive human to cat social interactions. 

In this session, we will discuss the effects and how to identify the signs of fear, anxiety, and stress in our cats.  We will also discuss tools and handling techniques that can help reduce fear, anxiety, and stress in cats thus making the shelter, veterinarian and home an overall less stressful and happier place for cats, visitors, employees, and volunteers. When a cat's fear and anxiety is recued, animals will be more adoptable and more likely to stay in long-term, loving homes.

  • The effects of fear, anxiety, and stress in cats
  • Identify signs of fear, anxiety, and stress in cats
  • Understand the potential consequences of force-based handling techniques on cats and humans
  • Learn basic handling techniques to reduce fear, anxiety, and stress for cats in veterinary clinics, shelters, and at home

*Ohio Animal Welfare Federation is an approved provider of content which enhances professional competence and aligns with th5 domains of the CAWA Exam specifications. Every hour of training equals 1 CE towards CAWA Recertification.

REGISTRATION FEE (includes all three programs)

You will be automatically enrolled in ALL 3 sessions (individual session registration is not available). Zoom information will be sent separately and may not be shared. 

  • $30 per person for staff and volunteers of Ohio Fed member organizations
  • $45 per person for non-members


Tabitha Kucera is an Elite Fear Free and Low Stress Handling Certified Registered Veterinary Technician, CCBC, and KPA-CTP. She is the owner of Chirrups and Chatter Cat and Dog Behavior Consulting and Training in Cleveland. She enjoys helping people better understand and relate to their animal companions, which leads to a stronger bond and a more gratifying relationship between animal and human. She loves educating others through writing, behavior consulting, and lecturing on all things cats and dogs, including feline and canine behavior, working with fearful animals, fear free handling, and more. She is a Fear Free certified speaker, a trainer-mentor for Cat Pawsitive Pro, co-host of the podcast, Not Just a Vet Tech, serves as the co-chair of Pet Professional Guild’s Cat Committee, is the vice president of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, President elect for the Society of Veterinary Behavior Technicians, and she serves on the board of The Together Initiative for Ohio’s Community Cats.

© 2018 Ohio Federated Humane Societies (d.b.a. Ohio Animal Welfare Federation)

Ohio Federated Humane Societies is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. P.O. Box 21328, Columbus, OH 43221 

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