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Cat Care with E'Lise Christensen, DVM

Learn about board-certified veterinary behaviorist Dr. E'Lise Christensen, DVM, one of Howcast's cat experts, in this video.


Hi. My name's E'Lise Christiansen, and I'm a Veterinarian, and Behaviorist. In Veterinary Medicine, I have a specialty designation called Veterinary Behaviorist. That's basically the equivalent of a human psychiatrist, if you can believe that. We're a very small group in the United States, less than sixty, in fact. But, we're all in common with each other, in that we love animals, and we are very interested in the way they behave. One of the reasons I got into animal behavior is because, when I worked at a Veterinary Clinic in High School, I noticed how many animals were at risk of being euthanized, or kicked out of their homes because of behavior problems. And in fact, it's one of the number one reasons that animals die every year.

For young dogs, for instance, it may out pace infectious diseases combined. So, I really felt that it would be great place for me to help animals, in a way that other people weren't. And now, that's all I do, all day. Mostly, I focus my attention on cats and dogs, but Veterinary Behaviorists are trained to work all species. So if a zoo had a problem, or a laboratory had a problem, or a woman with a chinchilla had a problem, those are all situations that a person might call a Veterinary Behaviorist for. I did this Howcast Series on cats, because cats are really, kind of misunderstood, and they get a lot of punishment for things that are normal behaviors for them.

They also end up getting kicked to the curb a lot, for behaviors that could be treated relatively easily. So, I hope this Howcast Series has really helped families that have cats, or are thinking about getting cats, to settle in with them and really feel like they can work with any cat problems that they have come up, or at least find a way to get help. If you need more help, or you are interested in a Veterinary Behaviorist, you can go to my website at

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