FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT DOES A CAT BEHAVIOUR CONSULT LOOK LIKE?
Once you have sent me a completed history form and your usual vet has sent me a referral form, plus the cat's medical history, we can move forward to the consultation. This may be in your home, or online, depending on your preference. The initial consult will last around 2 hours, depending on the complexity of the problem, and during this time we will discuss the behaviour concerns, the cat's history and medical background, the environment in which he/she lives, their daily routines and relationships with other cats/animals and people. If appropriate I will carry out a veterinary examination of the cat. I will give an initial assessment of the problem and outline changes to be made. I will follow this up with a detailed behaviour report for you with full details of all my recommendations. I will also liaise with and send a separate report to your vet. I usually ask for an email update 2 weeks after you have started the plan to see how things are progressing. We will organise a 1 hour follow-up meeting (online) around 6 weeks after the initial consultation to have a full discussion. Email support is available for 3 months following the initial consultation (up to 3 hours of my time). If further consultations are required then these will be at additional cost.
CAN YOU DEFINITELY FIX THE PROBLEM?
Behaviour issues are often complex and require hard work, time and understanding to improve. By working together we can identify sources of stress or motivations for the behaviour, then work together to address these stressors such as by optimising the cat's environment. This may mean some changes to your house (for example extra litter trays) or the way you interact with your cat. There are no guarantees but I am here to help you and your cat and I believe that in most cases we can make significant improvements.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE?
There are no quick fixes and you should expect improvements to occur in weeks to months rather than days. As things progress we may tweak the plan to ensure it meets you and your cat's needs. Making the recommended changes can be difficult for caregivers and it does require patience and effort from everyone in the household. Unfortunately for some cats behaviour problems will be lifelong but we can work to reduce the severity and impact of these. In some cases I may feel that improvement is unlikely given the circumstances and alternatives may need to be considered. A risk assessment will form part of the report that you receive.
WHAT METHODS DO YOU USE?
I believe in improving the welfare of cats as my number one priority, therefore no punishment is used. All techniques are evidence-based, based on positive reinforcement and being kind to your cat. I aim to reduce any stress and enhance the cat's environment to suit its individual needs.
WILL MY INSURANCE COVER BEHAVIOUR CONSULTATIONS?
This depends on both the individual insurance company and your particular insurance policy. Please contact your insurance company to advise them you have been referred to a behaviour vet who is also a provisional member of the APBC and they will let you know what is covered. Completion of insurance documentation comes with an additional £25 charge to reflect the time taken to complete the forms. Please note I do not accept Direct Claims so you will need to pay for the services and then claim the money back afterwards.
WHAT FOLLOW-UP HELP IS PROVIDED?
A follow-up consultation is included in the package and usually takes place 6 weeks after the initial consultation. Additional follow-up guidance is available for a 3 month period and is usually via email. It is subject to fair-use of up to 3 hours of my time. Any extra consultations or follow-up help after this would be charged.
WHAT KIND OF BEHAVIOUR ISSUES CAN YOU HELP WITH?
I can help with a range of behaviour issues including stress/anxiety, house-soiling (urine or faeces), inter-cat conflict, human-directed aggression and overgooming. I also have a particular interest in helping to manage cats with Feline Idiopathic Cystitis ("stress cystitis"). If you have other questions or issues including how to introduce a new cat into the household, making your home cat-friendly, how to prepare you cat for moving house or anything else then please email me!
WILL I STILL SEE MY USUAL VET?
Yes! You should call your registered vet for all other health-related issues, this includes any emergencies.
WILL MY CAT BE PRESCRIBED BEHAVIOUR MEDICATION?
It totally depends on the case. In some circumstances behavioural medication may be indicated to help improve your cat's welfare. This would be discussed in detail with you at the consultation and would only be persued if it was something you felt comfortable with. Any behavioural medication would be discussed with and prescribed by your usual veterinary surgeon.
WHAT ARE YOUR OFFICE HOURS?
Cat Behaviour Vet’s office hours are Monday, Wednesday and Friday 9am to 4pm. I aim to respond to email queries within 48 working hours. If you have a health concern or emergency with your cat please contact your registered veterinary surgeon or their out-of-hours provider.
WHAT AREA DO YOU COVER?
I attend home visits throughout Kent and south-east London - please get in touch if you have a query about your area. There is no charge for travel within 40 miles of Deal, Kent but for any distance above this there is a charge of £1 per mile (for both outward and return journeys). If I do not cover your area I can offer an online consultation.
WHAT IS YOUR CANCELLATION POLICY?
You have the right to cancel at any time during the first 2 weeks after you sign up for a package. After this 2 week period is up if you give notice of cancellation the following will apply: (i) 14 days or more prior to the Initial Consult, we will provide you with a full refund; (ii) Less than 13 but more than 4 days prior to the Initial Consult, we will provide you with a refund equal to 70% of the Fees; (iii) Within 72 hours of the Initial Consult, you will not be entitled to any refund. Please see here for our full terms and conditions. Find the cancellation form here.
WHAT ARE YOUR TERMS AND CONDITIONS?
Please see here for our full terms and conditions.
WHAT INFORMATION DO YOU NEED PRIOR TO THE CONSULTATION?
At least 14 days before the consultation date I will need to have received from you a completed pre-visit history questionnaire, a signed contract, a full medical history from your vet, a referral form from your vet and to have paid the invoice. The consultation is only confirmed once the above has been completed fully.