clinical animal behaviourist

What is a ‘clinical animal behaviourist’?

Accreditation/Qualifications and the CFBA

There is a lot of disinformation on the internet. Everyone appears to be an expert. Clients who have a problem with their animals will often seek a solution online before calling a professional in. Many times irreparable damage has been done by not calling a professional right from the beginning.

clinical animal behaviourist


A clinical animal behaviourist has been accredited by a separate body after qualifying in their chosen field in behaviour. The study is usually over many years and not a quick 4 week course. A clinical animal behaviourist should typically have studied at university level. The practitioner will then have to go through strict membership interviews and checks before becoming a full member of a separate animal behaviour association  – for instance the CFBA (Canine and Feline Behaviour Association). The CFBA has a rigid code of conduct and asks for a minimum of 20-30 written case studies from the practitioner’s own experience, references before accreditation by them.

clinical animal behaviourist

An interview with the practitioner is then conducted so show that the clinical animal behaviourist knows what they are talking about and are confident, competent and presentable in their interview. The CFBA only accepts behaviourists who are species specific and have studied their chosen animal for years. They do not accept all round animal behaviourists who may cover a wide variety of different species. In line with their name, the CFBA mainly accept practitioners who work with either cats or dogs.

In the CFBA’s own words”

The Canine and Feline Behaviour Association (CFBA) is accepted by Pet Insurance Companies who cover behaviour problems on their policies and meets their criteria for excellence in the field. Anita Kelsey is an accredited Member of the CFBA and as such, your pet insurance policy may assist with costs.  Each insurance company will have it’s own criteria of what it deems a behaviour problem which the client can discuss with their insurance company prior to booking an appointment.

clinical animal behaviourist

There are two main recognised behaviour associations including the ASAB (Association for The Study Of Animal Behaviour) and the CFBA mentioned above.

A practitioner has to belong to either organisation for a client’s pet insurance company to recognise the expertise of the behaviourist. Without the chosen animal behaviourist’s membership of the CFBA or the ASAB, a client cannot claim back their behaviour fees. Vets in the UK recognise and accept all CFBA and ASAB members and will recommend them to clients.

The RSPCA on finding a clinical animal behaviourist

It’s important that the behaviour expert identified is someone with the appropriate knowledge, skills and experience to treat your pet. Anyone can call themselves a behaviour expert, but many do not possess up-to-date knowledge or the necessary skills required to treat pets with behaviour problems.

Anita Kelsey has full accreditation by Middlesex University (3 years study – BA Hons 1st) and the CIDBT (2 years study) under the guidance of cat biologist and feline behaviour specialist Roger Tabor.

For more information regarding hiring a home visit by a clinical animal behaviourist please email

clinical animal behaviourist

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