Tuesday 6 January 2015

Cat Behaviorists Should Be Scientifically Qualified

Cat behaviorists should be scientifically qualified because cat behavior is a science. There has to be a good knowledge of the behavior of animals generally and specifically the wild cats. The cat behaviorist should ideally be a zoologist and an ethologist (scientific study of animal behavior). Ideally they should have a good academic qualification in zoology and ethology. I am thinking of a doctorate from one of the world's top universities.

The problem for me is that nearly all cat behaviorists dispensing advice on the internet are unqualified academically in a relevant science.

I know that years of observation of cat behavior is great training and is almost enough but a hard, scientific background from a university where the undergraduates have to think out the box and post-doctoral researchers create something new is the best training for a cat behaviorist.

These sorts of people don't necessarily follow the crowd. They decide for themselves. You'll see that internet cat behaviorists nearly always follow the same arguments. That is not necessarily a poor thing but an open, enquiring mind is better placed to provide the best answers.

Vets are often not best qualified to discuss cat behavior. General animal behaviorists may not be sufficiently experienced to advise accurately on cat behavior. Not all information on the internet, which is where most people do their research, is reliable.

I'd advise a good book by a well qualified author over casual internet research although the latter can add to the former.

1 comment:

  1. Most of the Cat Behaviourists that I have come across preach from the very narrow confines of crude behaviourism and nothing else. Some who have degrees, MSc and in some cases a PhD have shown themselves to be bereft of all intelligent thinking.

    Behaviourism is far too crude a tool to study cats.

    Ethology is the only way.


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