November 2013 by Sheila Segurson D'Arpino, DVM, DACVB

Audience: Executive Leadership, Foster Caregivers, Public, Shelter/Rescue Staff & Volunteers, Veterinary Team

Video Length: 94 minutes

Can cats who are shy and fearful in the shelter still get adopted?

Yes, says board certified veterinary behavior specialist Dr. Sheila D'Arpino. Feline behavior while in a shelter is not always a good representation of that same cat's behavior in less stressful surroundings. Proper housing, handling, and, if needed, behavior modification can turn that hissing and hiding cat into a beloved family pet.

Cats who remain scared and fearful can have a happy outcome, too. Attendees will learn how to use the information gained in assessments and by observation to place them into either a home adoption program or barn and community cat programs.

Please join Dr. D'Arpino and Maddie's Fund® for Helping Cats Who Hiss and Hide: Assessment, Behavior Modification and Re-Homing Strategies for Shy and Fearful Cats.

The recorded version of this webcast is available below.

In this presentation, you will learn:

  • What types of cats might show fear and fearful aggression
  • How to handle intake of shy and fearful cats
  • How to house and handle shy, fearful cats to reduce stress
  • How to treat shy and fearful cats with behavior modification, enrichment, medication and more
  • Options for rehoming shy, fearful cats
  • How to provide post-adoption support for these cats

Dr. D'Arpino will help you become familiar with the tools and techniques that will allow you to increase your lifesaving of cats, as well as ensure an outcome tailored for the well-being of that individual cat.

Helping Cats Who Hiss and Hide: Assessment, Behavior Modification and Re-Homing Strategies for Shy and Fearful Cats is part of an ongoing series of educational programs from Maddie's Institute, the academic division of Maddie's Fund®, providing the most innovative animal welfare information to shelter staff, veterinarians, rescue groups and community members to increase the lifesaving of homeless dogs and cats community-wide.

This course has been pre-approved for Certified Animal Welfare Administrator continuing education credits.

After viewing the presentation, click here to take the quiz and receive a Certificate of Attendance!

Photo of Dr. Sheila D'Arpino smiling with two children and a white dog

Sheila Segurson D'Arpino, DVM, DACVB

Dr. Sheila Segurson D'Arpino works for Maddie's Fund as the Director of Research. She first became involved with animal sheltering in 1987 by volunteering for the San Francisco SPCA's behavior department. Her experiences at the SPCA and with her American Pit Bull Terrier, Diamond, solidified her interest in animal behavior and shaped her career.

A veterinarian and board-certified veterinary behaviorist, Dr. D'Arpino graduated from the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in 1996. After a one-year internship at The Animal Medical Center in New York, she spent five years working as a general practice/emergency veterinarian at animal hospitals in San Francisco, Santa Clara and Sacramento, California.

In 2005, Dr. D'Arpino graduated from Maddie's® Shelter Medicine Program at UC Davis. She was the first in the nation to complete a three-year, post-graduate behavior specialty training program with an emphasis on shelter animals and shelter behavior programs.

After completing Maddie's® Program, Dr. D'Arpino worked for the UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program, the Sacramento SPCA and started a behavior specialty practice. Before joining Maddie's Fund, she worked at the Animal Rescue League of Boston where she developed and oversaw enrichment and behavior modification programs for the Center for Shelter Dogs.

Dr. D'Arpino and her husband, Christopher, share their home with their three children and four dogs, plus the occasional foster dog or two!