Course contributors

Who will ‘teach’ the course and who will assess it?

We have brought together the very best experts in all aspects of feline behaviour - clinical animal behaviourists, scientists, animal welfare experts, vets and vet nurses, to provide you with the very best course content.

For example, on module 1 we have expert learning materials from:

Dr Sarah Ellis

Sarah has a keen interest in the behaviour and welfare of the domestic cat. After completing a degree in Zoology and Psychology (University of Bristol, 2001) and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Companion Animal Behaviour Counselling (University of Southampton, 2006), Sarah specialised in cats and was awarded a PhD for investigating ways to improve the welfare of cats housed in homing centres. Sarah then spent several years at the University of Lincoln as a Research Scientist working on numerous projects, including investigating novel ways to improve feline welfare, and furthering our understanding of feline behaviour and the cat-human relationship. In 2015, Sarah decided to concentrate on the application of research and joined charity International Cat Care as their Feline Behaviour Specialist to help develop their work in the areas of feline behaviour and welfare.  She also is a Visiting Fellow at the University of Lincoln where she remains involved in several feline related projects. Sarah also writes for several feline specialist publications including Your Cat and has appeared on BBC Horizon TV programmes “The Secret Life of the Cat”, “Little Cat Diaries”, “Cat Watch 2014:The New Horizon Experiment” and more recently, BBC Two’s Cats vs. Dogs. She has written a book with John Bradshaw entitled The Trainable Cat which details how training can be used to improve cats’ well-being. It is currently available for pre-order and will be published in the summer.


Dr Lauren Finka

Lauren is currently a research fellow at the University of Lincoln, working on improving non-invasive pain detection in cats. She also works for Battersea Dogs and Cats Home as a feline behaviour and welfare advisor, developing training packages and delivering talks to support staff in providing optimal standards of care for their cats. Lauren has a PhD in feline welfare and behaviour, supported by International Cat Care (ICC) and The Centre Of Applied Pet Ethology (COAPE). Her PhD research focused on developing practical and reliable ways to assess the behaviour of cats in rehoming centres in order to improve the rehoming process. Lauren has previously worked for several different rehoming centres and is a passionate advocate for feline welfare, focusing on utilising scientific evidence in order to promote ‘best practice’. Lauren also sits on International Cat Care’s Behaviour and Welfare expert panels. 


Harry Eckman

As an animal welfare specialist, Harry has managed companion animal population management and shelter management programmes throughout Europe. He has worked for the Mayhew Animal Home, RSPCA and Wood Green Animal Shelters. His international work has included improving welfare standards in shelters and veterinary facilities, directing humane dog and cat population management projects and incorporating dog and cat behavioural and welfare concepts into stray population management programmes. As Campaign Coordinator for the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA), Harry worked extensively across Europe and Asia on companion animal population management programmes, rabies eradication projects and animal welfare NGO capacity development. As a Co-founder of Change For Animals Foundation, Harry directs their stray animal population management projects as well as providing organisational and capacity development support for locally based animal welfare organisations. Harry also works as Companion Animal Programmes consultant for the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) supporting their companion animal management programmes around the world.