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Elements and Performance Criteria

  1. Identify common domestic cat breeds
  2. Identify and evaluate behavioural and housing needs
  3. Handle and restrain cats
  4. Assist with health care needs
  5. Feed cats
  6. Maintain records

Required Skills

Required skills

complete relevant workrelated documents and maintain accurate animal records

comply with OHS animal care ethics and industry codes of conduct regulations and legislations

employ safe and environmentally responsible organisational systems and procedures when working with restraining and handling cats

maintain the highest standards of personal and workplace hygiene and infection control at all times to reduce the risk of infection and crossinfection

measure interpret and record cat weight length and other relevant objective indicators of change in physiological status

monitor cat health condition and behaviour and recognise normal and abnormal signs

prepare doses for treatments as directed and verified by supervisor

provide basic first aid to cats as required under supervision

use equipment and materials correctly and in accordance with manufacturers specifications

literacy skills to read and follow organisational policies and procedures including OHS and animal welfare follow sequenced written instructions and record information accurately and legibly

oral communication skillslanguage to fulfil the job role as specified by the organisation including questioning active listening asking for clarification and seeking advice from supervisor

numeracy skills to estimate calculate and record routine workplace measures

interpersonal skills to work with others and relate to people from a range of cultural social and religious backgrounds and with a range of physical and mental abilities

problemsolving skills to assess appropriate practices and prioritise daily tasks

use safe manual handling techniques andor equipment

use safe waste handling and disposal procedures

Required knowledge

anatomical terminology

anatomical structures and physiological features related to basic care requirements for cats

cat condition scoring and methods used to measure interpret and record weight and development

awareness of natural cat behaviour relating to the characteristics of the species age health status behavioural and social needs and the signs of distress illness and undesirable behaviours

basic cat care and hygiene principles

basic cat first aid techniques

cat condition scoring and methods used to measure interpret and record weight and development

housing social and activity needs of cats and environmental impacts on health and wellbeing

methods of transmission of disease and infection

milestones in developmental progress from new born to mature cats

organisational policies and procedures regarding the care and health maintenance of cats

personal protective clothing and equipment and when and how it should be used

physical conditions and vital signs of cats

relevant legislation regulations and codes of practice including OHS animal welfare and ethics

safe cat handling techniques and procedures potential hazards and control measures

terminology and language variations used by workplace staff and the public to describe cats their behaviour status health and treatments

terminology used to describe and document health and behavioural signs including desirable and undesirable features

types of food and food supplements and their role in cat diets

types of information that has to be reported and recorded in animal care workplaces

workplace hygiene standards disinfectants cleaning agents cleaning techniques and cleaning equipment and materials

Evidence Required

The Evidence Guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria required skills and knowledge range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Training Package

Overview of assessment

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit

The evidence required to demonstrate competence in this unit must be relevant to workplace operations and satisfy all of the requirements of the performance criteria required skills and knowledge and the range statement of this unit Assessors should ensure that candidates can

identify the specific characteristics and needs of cats and apply these to the best practice industry standard of housing enrichment feeding and health management

classify and identify cats breed by age sex condition colours markings and other identifying features using industry terminology

safely and humanely interact with handle and restrain cats

report and document treatments behaviours and other information on individual cats in accordance with animal welfare regulations industry standards and workplace protocols and procedures

The skills and knowledge required to provide basic care of domestic cats must be transferable to a range of work environments and contexts and include the ability to deal with unplanned events

Context of and specific resources for assessment

Assessment of this unit is to be practical in nature and will most appropriately be assessed against the types of processes required in the industry sector in which candidates are working or in a situation that reproduces normal work conditions Workplaces can include animal shelters pet shops and catteries or similar workplaces

There must be access to a range of animals as well as relevant information equipment andor resources to enable one to demonstrate competence Assessment must cover a minimum of three commonly available cat breeds

Method of assessment

To ensure consistency in ones performance competency should be demonstrated to industry defined standards on more than one occasion over a period of time in order to cover a variety of circumstances and over a number of assessment activities

The assessment strategy must include practical skills assessment Suggested strategies for this unit are

written andor oral assessment of candidates required knowledge

observed documented and firsthand testimonial evidence of candidates application of practical tasks

simulation exercises that reproduce normal work conditions

thirdparty evidence

workplace documentation


This unit may be assessed in a holistic way with other units of competency relevant to the industry sector workplace and job role

Guidance information for assessment

Assessment methods should reflect workplace demands eg literacy and numeracy demands and the needs of particular target groups eg people with disabilities Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people women people with a language background other than English youth and people from low socioeconomic backgrounds

Range Statement

The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised wording, if used in the performance criteria, is detailed below. Essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) may also be included.

Common domestic cat breeds may include:








Behavioural characteristics may include:

behaviour characteristics can vary according to:

the breeding season

the breed, age and sex of the animals

behaviour characteristics associated with different species:

body language, vocal and other forms of communication

normal behaviour patterns:

normal feeding, resting, eliminative behaviour

activity levels appropriate for age and breed

social behaviour towards conspecifics and other species including humans

inappropriate behaviour:

changes to expected normal behaviour

excessive vocalisation

destructive behaviour

inappropriate elimination

inter-cat aggression

repetitive or stereotypic behaviour patterns

signs of anxiety and distress.

Colours, markings and other identifying features may include:

age, sex and size

coat or skin colours and texture

eye colour

markings, patterns and permanent scars

microchip, ear tags, tattoos and markings.

Signs of distress in cats may include:

aggressive behaviour

subdued behaviour



Housing design and environmental factors may include:


biological control of waste

cleaning routines and methods

drainage and weather protection

general animal housing security

housing furniture

local council requirements related to:

limits to numbers and types of animals allowed

noise control

pest control

restricting access to animals

waste management

ventilation, heating and cooling requirements

housing design:

housing options:

individual or group housing as appropriate

housing requirements:

compatibility with other cats and other species

food and water distribution

security considerations

longevity and sturdiness of materials

suitability for specific species

species-specific options for animals to hide or rest

designs that allow for enrichment activities or species-specific exercise, feeding or socialising.

Enrichment needs may include:

food or food-related enrichment:

food puzzles and scatter feeding

physical enrichment items:

a range of toys

activity centres

scratch poles

vertical space

social enrichment:

interaction with people

levels of contact with other animals of the same or different species, as appropriate.

Welfare of animals requirements may include:

adequate housing, nutrition and stock levels

compliance to appropriate state or territory legislation and regulations

enrichment opportunities

the absence of pests and vermin

the compatibility of species and breeds.

OHS risks when working with animals may include:

animal bites, kicks and scratches

biological hazardous waste and sharps disposal

handling of chemicals and medicines

gas leakage

inhalation of aerosol particles

intraocular contamination

manual handling, including carrying, lifting and shifting

needle pricks and cuts from other sharps

release of infective agents (animal and human)

slippery or uneven work surfaces


Equipment used to handle and restrain cats may include:

collars and leads

treats or toys.

Methods used to approach and catch cats may include:

calling animal by name

encouraging animal to approach by offering a treat

quietly approaching animal, slipping on collar and attaching lead or catching and holding animal with hands.

Common health issues may include:

behavioural disorders

environmental hazards:


temperature extremes

exposure to the elements

inadequate exercise

infectious diseases caused by:

bacteria, virus, fungus and mould

internal and external parasites

non-infectious diseases:

nutritional imbalances and disruptions

genetic disorders



physical traumas

chemical toxicities and allergies

zoonotic diseases.

General health maintenance and preventative treatment may include:

routine health check-up

control of parasites


immunisation/vaccinations as required

insect control


routine observation of waste elimination and faecal examination.

Digestive system features related to specific feeding routines and diets may include:

anatomical features:

mouth and teeth structures

digestive enzymes and bacteria

oesophagus and stomach

intestines, rectum and anus

physiological features:

eating processes

nutrient requirements, absorption and storage methods

waste elimination

feeding patterns and strategies

normal eating and drinking patterns for species, age and breed

potential digestive system malfunctions or problems

water needs.

Feeding hazards may include:

animal movement and handling

shelf life of foodstuffs

manual handling and general food preparation, storage and distribution equipment

contamination of foodstuffs from vermin, infectious agents and other sources

organic and other dusts

excessive noise

possibility of zoonotic infection.

Foodstuffs commonly available and suitable for a balanced diet may include:

high quality commercial and veterinary approved home prepared diets.

Required documentation may include:

accident and incident records

animal feeding, health and treatment records

animal identification and history

chemical and veterinary supplies register

diary, rosters and task completion and timeframe records

equipment use, damage and repair register

OHS safe work method statements, material safety data sheets (MSDS) and other records

provisions records of current stock and items used and items required

stock control records.