- Access to course content on mobile, tablet or desktop
- Make your own study schedule and take advantage of online tutoring hours
- Obtain a certified diploma once you finish the course.
Suitable for: SUITABLE FOR: This course is suitable for all students over the age of 17. Students can study on this course no matter where you are in the World. The course is made up of various units and each build up your knowledge base of the subject. Courses are all delivered in English.
Level 3 Diploma in Feline Studies
This Quality Assured Level 3 Diploma course is aimed at improving the knowledge base of pet owners, breeders/exhibitors and those involved with cats professionally. It delivers a wide syllabus of topics to provide the student with an introduction to the width and breadth of the subject area.
Students will expand their knowledge and understanding by studying a whole variety of topics, including historical, practical, legal and scientific aspects of the field of feline studies. These will vary from examinations of folklore, anatomy, genetics, cattery management and animal law. The Level 3 Diploma in Feline Studies will be awarded to those students who satisfactorily complete all 10 Units of this course and a final online examination.
Module 1: Origins of the domestic cat
This module will form a sound basis for the rest of the course by examining how the modern domestic cat came to be uniquely important to the people of the world. The module covers the following topics:
- Domestication throughout the world
- Cats and religion
- The rise and fall of cats in Europe
- Folklore, legends and magic
Module 2: Anatomy and Physiology
This science based module examines the cats' physical body from the cellular level to its external anatomy. It introduces basic biological principles which can be applied to all other animal species although it focuses specifically on domestic felines. Body systems such as the neurological, digestive and reproductive systems are included in their own later modules. Module 2 covers the following topics:
- External points of the cat
- Cells, tissues, organs and organ systems
- Locomotary system, including skeleton and musculature
- Circulatory systems. Heart, blood and lymphatic systems
- Urinary system
- Endocrine system
Module 3: Neurophysiology and sensory systems
Building on the knowledge in module 2 this module examines how information about the internal and external environment is transmitted around the body. The topics in module 3 include:
- Homeostasis. How the body maintains a constant internal environment
- Structure and function of nervous cells and tissues
- The brain
- Sense receptors, light, chemical and Sound
Module 4: Nutrition
Adding to the knowledge gained in modules 2 and 3 this module examines how a cats body gains the substances needed to grow and maintain life. This may appear to be an uncontroversial subject, but pet food is a big business and the module will also examine how this business emerged and some of the debates it engenders. The module includes discussions of biology, husbandry and a debate about the commercial industry.
- Classification of nutrients/signs of deficiency
- Digestive system anatomy and physiology
- Feeding cats
- Commercial food industry
Module 5: Reproduction
The cat is a prolific species, in the wild in spite of its status as a predator, its relatively small size means that it is not safe from other predators. Its reproductive strategy involves producing many young in order to ensure some survive to adulthood. This module will examine feline reproduction from oestrus to weaning. Other subjects connected with reproduction such as genetics, breeding systems, and preventing reproduction will be dealt with in future modules.
- Male and female reproductive anatomy
- Breeding cycles and puberty
- Pregnancy and birth
- Kitten development
- Controlling breeding
Module 6: Behavioural science
As cats have become increasingly popular as companion animals during the last century, the relatively new interest in their behaviour has resulted in increased research into their behaviour, both endearing and problematic. This module will examine how cats interact with each other, (communication, territorial and dominance behaviour) and discuss behavioural development in kittens. It will also discuss feline behaviour problems from a human point of view.
- Feline communication. Body language, expression, scent and posture
- Behaviour development. Newborn reflexes to social animal
- Problem behaviour. Urine marking, middening, aggression
Module 7: Genetics
This module will examine the subject of genetics and inheritance from the basic building blocks of the genome, to the determination of a particular individuals characteristics. An understanding of genetics is necessary for anyone thinking of breeding cats as well as determining the reasons why certain cats have particular characteristics. Colour, pattern and coat length will be discussed in detail as examples of obviously recognizable characteristics, although the principles described are equally applicable to body form/size, temperament and in certain cases behaviour. Although concentrating on scientific aspects of the topic, a brief review of breed specific mutations is included.
- Genome and definitions
- Inheritance of specific characteristics ( colour/pattern/coat length)
- Breed specific mutations
Module 8: Health
Cats, like all other living organisms occasionally suffer from ill health, although many domestic cats will only meet a veterinarian for routine check ups, vaccinations and neutering. Nevertheless ill health can occur in even the most well cared for animal and this module will explore the various diseases and conditions which bring about poor health. Broadly speaking these conditions/diseases can be divided into two groups, those a cat catches e.g. as the result of infection/parasites or those that are non-infectious, encompassing genetic problems, cancers and nutritional disorders (module 4). Specific examples of diseases, their symptoms and prevention will be discussed but this course is not intended to be, not should be considered as, a substitute for veterinarian diagnosis and treatment.
- Infectious disease. Viral, bacterial, fungal infections, vaccination, and parasites
- Non infectious disease (cancer/genetic disease)
Module 9: Husbandry
Although many cats live out their lives in one or two animal pet home, many others live together in larger groups, either due to specific planning by humans, or as a result of neglect. Many cats will experience such conditions in their lifetimes, either by being bred in a cat breeder's establishment, falling on hard times and being 'rescued' by a charity organisation or living out their lives without close human contact as ferals. This module will examine the practical way in which larger numbers of cats can be cared for on a regular basis. It will examine procedures used in rescue/feral control organisation and the care and procedures used in boarding and breeding catteries.
- Rescue organisations (history/procedures, feral colony management)
- Boarding/pedigree catteries (Procedures, breeding programs, line-breeding, in-breeding and out crossing)
Module 10: Rules and regulations
Cats inevitably are included in the rules, laws and regulations our societies need to function due to their close association with humans. This module will examine some of the history behind animal legislation around the world, as well as current and proposed regulations. It will also discuss the sometimes widely differing rules surrounding 'pedigree' cats within different governing cat associations and the implications for the animals belonging to the members of those organisations.
- Animal welfare/abuse legislation, history and worldwide Pedigree organisation regulations. Different breed recognition, ethics, showing, and breeding