Veterinary behavioural medicine (VBM) is an integral aspect of veterinary practice. However, Golden and Hanlon (Ir. Vet. J. 71:12, 2018) found that the majority of professionals surveyed felt they had received inadequate VBM education and were commonly asked to give advice on feline behavioural problems. The purpose of this study was to explore understanding of feline VBM and the availability of “cat friendly” provisions in clinical practice in Ireland. An online survey comprised 21 questions on professional role and experience, vignettes of common feline behavioural problems, and “cat friendly” practice management. Using a Likert Scale, participants were requested to score whether the advice depicted in vignettes supported best outcome based on the definition by Shalvey et al. (Ir. Vet. J. 72:1, 2019). The survey was distributed via professional organisations, social media, and at the University College Dublin Hospital Conference. Forty-two veterinary practitioners (VPs) and 53 veterinary nurses (VNs) completed the survey. The majority of veterinary professionals agreed with our classification of best outcome, but some areas of disagreement and uncertainty were identified. In addition, there were significant differences between VPs and VNs regarding spraying (p = 0.033), self-mutilation (p = 0.016), and resource-based aggression (p = 0.013). Relatively few “cat friendly” measures were implemented in respondents’ clinics. Our findings support the need for increased education in feline VBM, in particular, implementation of cat friendly practice initiatives.
|Cite this work||
Researchers should cite this work as follows: