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Sign up to join us for the Cat Behaviour Conference by Cats Protection

Date: Friday 24 September 2021 | 9am - 5.30pm GMT

Location: Online

Cost: £50+VAT

Can’t join us on the day? Don’t worry, you can purchase your ticket in advance and you’ll be sent the link for the recording. The recording will be split into individual talks so you can dip in and out of them easily for six months from the date of the conference.

What is the Cats Protection Cat Behaviour Conference?

The Cats Protection Cat Behaviour Conference is one of the first conferences dedicated to cat behaviour and is ideal for veterinary professionals and everyone working in the animal welfare sector, caring for cats as well as budding cat behaviourists. 

cat behaviour conference

Register for the conference

This year's theme: In the company of cats

The day will be focused on feline behaviour, looking at the interactions that cats have with each other and other species. This online event in September 2021 will feature informative sessions and engaging Q&As, focussing on a number of topics including:

  • how to train cats and practical application for cooperative care
  • using technology to assess pairs of cats

Speakers include a range of cat behaviour experts, including renowned feline veterinary behaviourist, Kersti Seksel, speaking live from Australia!


9-9.15am: Welcome

9.15-10am: Kersti Seksel

Introducing cats and kittens - how to help it go smoothly and what to do when it goes wrong

People often want to get a new kitten when they already have an older cat. In this presentation we will explore why people may want a second, third or even fourth cat. Then we will look at how best to introduce the new kitten and what to do when things do not go well.

10-10.15am: Q&A Kersti Seksel

10.15-11am: Linda Ryan

Cats and vets - An introduction to cat training and practical application in cooperative care at the vets

This lecture will introduce positive reinforcement training for cats, including the basic science of how cats learn, as well as the cat-specific considerations in training. We will overview clicker training, and how to use it, as well as introducing some practical uses for training with cats, such as applications in cooperative care. Training with cats is fun, and cats can really enjoy positive training as part of building the human-cat bond, providing enrichment, and teaching them essential life skills to help them thrive in our care.

11-11.15am: Q&A Linda Ryan 

11.15-11.30am: Short break

11.30am-12.05pm: Jane Williams

Cats and other cats - friends or foes?

Looking at some cases of multi-cat households and the relationships between the cats; the owners and the cats; and the owners as well exploring some approaches to getting the best possible outcomes for the animals and humans involved, in terms of welfare and wellbeing.

12.05-12.15pm: Q&A Jane Williams

12.15-1pm: Research section 

Dr Jane Murray - Introducing puppies to household cats: factors associated with owner-reported puppy behaviour

Dr Lauren Finka- Cats are more affiliative and display fewer signs of conflict and agonistic behaviour when humans adopt a more cat-centric approach during cat-human interactions

Mauro Inês- Me and my cat – cat owner perceptions of the cat-owner bond

1-1.40pm: Lunch break

1.40-2:20pm: Lindsey Quinlan

Cats and the shelter – Using Nest cameras to assess pairs, and more

When the lights are turned down and no one is looking, what does Macavity really get up to? Wouldn’t you like to know? Cats are an enigmatic species, challenging to understand under the best conditions, made even harder in a shelter environment. At Battersea, the use of Nest cameras is a vital tool in our management of cats, helping us to objectively assess and monitor behaviour and welfare (including sociability, frustration, fearfulness, physical health, kitten births, affiliative bonds in pairs, and more). This talk explores how this technology lends us vital insight into who a cat really is and what they need from us, making us best placed to help.  

2:20-2.30pm: Q&A Lindsey Quinlan

2.30-3.05pm: Daniel Cummings

Cats and dogs - Meow woof, talking about cat and dog cohabitation

In the company of cats, can canines be kept? Considering it from a both the cats’ perspective and the dogs’ perspective this session looks at the challenges of co-habitation between canines and felines and all the points to be considered to ensure both live harmoniously with good welfare.

3.05pm-3.15pm: Q&A Daniel Cummings

3.15-3.30pm: Short break

3:30-4.15pm: Sarah Ellis

Cats and people - Cat friendly interactions

In this talk, we will learn how communication between cats underpins many of the ways cats communicate to people. We will also investigate its adaption to promote effective cat-human communication. We will then explore the variation in individual cats’ desire for interaction with people and what causes that variation, finishing with top tips on how best to interact with pet cats including special considerations for interactions between babies/children and cats.

4.15-4.30pm: Q&A Sarah Ellis

4.30-5.25pm: Panel discussion with Sarah Ellis, Lauren Finka, Karen Hiestand and Lindsey Quinlan

5.25- 5.30pm: Closing remarks

Who should attend?

  • Veterinary professionals
  • Rehoming centre employees and volunteers
  • Cat fosterers
  • Cat behaviourists
  • Cat groomers
  • Cat sitters
  • Pet shop employees
  • Cattery owners and staff
  • Students studying an animal-based course

The conference is also suitable for those whose work focuses on cats indirectly, including those studying for a relevant qualification. The day will count as seven hours of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for those needing to maintain CPD hours.

How can I attend?

  • As the conference is online, you can gain access from a location of your choice
  • Content will be available for another six months post event for no extra fee

Meet the speakers

Jane Williams BSc, MA, MSc

Jane completed the PGDip in Companion Animal Behaviour Counselling, as well as a research MSc at the University of Southampton. She has been a full member and is previous chair of the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors. She is currently an APBC Committee Member and Head of the Assessment Team. Jane is Animal Behaviour and Training Council Registered as a Clinical Animal Behaviourist, an Animal Training Instructor and a full member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers. Jane was the ABTC Chair (2018-20) and is currently a Trustee and Secretary. Jane is also a member of the British Veterinary Behaviour Association and a Pets as Therapy assessor.

She lives in Essex with her 30 tortoises, six dogs, Harry the rabbit and another equally animal-mad human. 


Mauro is a veterinary surgeon and a Clinical Animal Behaviourist. Since graduating in 2007 from the Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária in Lisbon, he has been in practice as a Small Animal Veterinary Surgeon both in the UK and in Portugal. In 2014, Mauro completed a Certificate in Small Animal Medicine. In 2021, he completed a Masters in Clinical Animal Behaviour at the University of Lincoln, with his thesis focussing on the bond established between cats and their owners. He is currently working towards accreditation with ASAB, hoping to become a Certificated Clinical Animal Behaviourist.


Linda is a Veterinary Technician Specialist in Behaviour and Oncology, and is an ASAB accredited Certificated Clinical Animal Behaviourist (for cats and dogs). She is a passionate veterinary nurse, and welfare-focused animal trainer and behaviourist, who, through years of working with cancer and internal medicine canine and feline patients, became interested in learning more about welfare and behaviour within the clinic, and how this could fit in alongside excellent veterinary care.

Linda achieved ASAB CCAB status in 2020. She is an ABTC registered Clinical Animal Behaviourist, and Animal Training Instructor.

Linda currently runs Inspiring Pet Teaching, dividing her time between seeing clinical behaviour cases, working alongside pets’ vets, and providing continuing education for veterinary and training/behaviour professionals. She also works part-time in the cat advocacy team at International Cat Care.

Dr Lauren Finka PhD

Dr Finka is a research fellow at Nottingham Trent University and specialises in cat behaviour and welfare. Her work focuses on utilising multidisciplinary tools to improve human-cat relationships, as well as applying evidence-based information to support optimal cat management and wellbeing in practical contexts. Dr Finka has a PhD in feline welfare and behaviour and over 10 years of experience working with rehoming centres, most recently with Battersea Dogs & Cats Home as a feline welfare specialist and training provider. Lauren writes a monthly column for Your Cat magazine and recently published The Cat Personality Test, a practical, evidenced based book to help cat owners better understand their cats’ behaviour and meet their needs. Dr Finka also sits on International Cat Care’s feline wellbeing panel.

Karen Hiestand BVSc, BSc, MSc, MA, MRCVS

Karen trained as a vet in New Zealand and practised in both NZ and the UK for nearly 10 years while volunteering in many more countries. She has also worked in veterinary education and animal welfare and remains heavily involved in animal welfare charities as an advisor, educator and trustee. Karen has a Masters degrees in Applied Animal Behaviour and Welfare, Medical Ethics and Law, a BSc in Psychology and is a resident of the European College of Animal Welfare and Behavioural Medicine. She is currently a PhD researcher at the University of Sussex, within the Mammal Communication and Cognition Group, investigating the cross-species empathy between humans and companion animals - for more information go to

Daniel Cummings BSc (Hons), MSc (AWSEL)

Daniel graduated with a degree in Zoology with Animal Behaviour from the University of Wales. Since then he has worked at some of the largest rescue and rehoming charities in the UK, most recently working as a behaviourist and trainer for Dogs Trust before working with the Cats Protection Behaviour team to provide behaviour support for cats. Daniel has written for a number of publications and has recently graduated with a Masters degree in Animal Welfare Science, Ethics and Law from the University of Winchester. Most importantly, Daniel is an owner of a young tabby cat called Lady Bug.

Dr Jane Murray BScEcon (Hons), MSc, PhD

Jane is a veterinary epidemiologist based at Dogs Trust, with 20 years of experience in analysing risk factors for disease and behaviour problems in companion animals. Her role of Deputy Head of Research (Welfare Projects and Grants) includes the day-to-day management of a large longitudinal study of dogs, ‘Generation Pup’ ( Prior to joining Dogs Trust in 2017, she set up and led the feline sister project of ‘Generation Pup’ called ‘Bristol Cats’ which follows kittens through life.   


Kersti graduated in Veterinary Science from Sydney University. She has a BA in Behavioural Sciences with a major in Psychology as well as a MA (Hons). She is a Fellow of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists in Animal Behaviour, a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists and a Diplomate of the European College of Animal Welfare and Behavioural Medicine.

Kersti is the principal of a specialist practice in behavioural medicine in Sydney, Australia. She teaches the distance education course in Behavioural Medicine for the Centre for Veterinary Education (University of Sydney) and is an adjunct associate professor at Charles Sturt University. She has presented at numerous conferences nationally and internationally and has written many textbook chapters, written a book; Training Your Cat, is a regular presenter on ABC radio and is a consultant on VIN (Veterinary Information Network). She created and pioneered Puppy Preschool® and Kitten Kindy® classes internationally.

Lindsey Quinlan

Lindsey Quinlan is Head of Cattery Operations and Feline Welfare at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, leading the teams who care for over 3,000 lost, abandoned, and unwanted cats at Battersea’s three centres every year. Since joining Battersea, Lindsey has overseen substantial development in the charity’s care and rehoming of cats, in addition to introducing a dedicated Feline Welfare team to lead on the delivery of cat friendly principles in the management of Battersea cats. Lindsey also works with rescue centres across the country to help drive best practice standards in the management of unowned cats, and plays an active role in discussing cat welfare issues with policy makers. With a background in business management, Lindsey’s approach to delivering excellent welfare is pragmatic – understand the domestic cat’s vastly different lifestyles, treat each cat as an individual with unique needs and preferences, optimise resources to effectively help.

Dr Sarah Ellis BSc (Hons), PG Dip, PhD

Sarah has a keen interest in the behaviour and welfare of the domestic cat. She has a BSc in Zoology and Psychology from the University of Bristol, a Post-Graduate Diploma in Companion Animal Behaviour Counselling from the University of Southampton and a PhD from Queen’s University Belfast which focussed on investigating ways to improve the welfare of cats housed in rehoming centres.

Sarah spent several years at the University of Lincoln as a post-doctoral research scientist working on numerous projects including investigating novel ways to improve feline welfare, and to further our understanding of feline behaviour and the cat-human relationship. In 2015, Sarah decided to concentrate on the application of research and joined International Cat Care as their Feline Behaviour Specialist to help develop their work in the areas of feline behaviour and welfare. In 2019, Sarah moved to the role of Head of Cat Advocacy within International Cat Care. She also is a Visiting Fellow at the University of Lincoln where she teaches on the MSc Clinical Animal Behaviour programme. Sarah has had numerous radio and TV appearances, covering many aspects of feline behaviour and welfare. She has co-authored a NY Times bestselling book with John Bradshaw entitled The Trainable Cat which details how training can be used to improve cats’ mental wellbeing.

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