An east Aucklander has made it her goal to help families and their feline members live together in harmony.
Molly Kelsey, from Pakuranga, is a registered Feline Behavioural Consultant who’s worked with cats for more than 10 years.
She’s loved animals since she was a child.
After finishing school, she studied veterinary nursing and worked as a vet nurse for four years.
Sommerville Veterinary Centre has been her main work place since she started volunteering when at age 17.
“I started working there when I graduated from Vet Nurse Plus,” Kelsey says.
She was inspired by her rescue cat Frodo’s various quirks to do her post-grad in feline behaviour.
“He ‘mimed’ instead of making an audible ‘meow,'” Kelsey says.
“He was an absolutely abysmal hunter, slept like a human does, and was always the little spoon.”
She’s registered with the Pet Professional Guild, International Society of Feline Medicine, and the International Association of Animal Behavioural Consultants.
“For many New Zealand households cats are part of the family,” Kelsey wrote on social media about the services she provides.
“They make irreplaceable companions but sometimes a simple lack of awareness for a cat’s unique needs can cause stress and anxiety which manifests in problematic behaviours such as house soiling and furniture damage.”
Kelsey offers personalised behaviour assessments and consultations, which can be defined as “offering compassionate, practical and affordable guidance”.
“To do this I gather information from owners through conversations, questionnaires, videos and photos of the problem behaviour(s) and floor plans of the home with markers of essential resources or areas of concern.
“After this takes place, I get to work to create an easy-to-follow behavioural modification plan.”
Her general consultations “facilitate discussing anything and everything feline behaviour related”.
Kelsey told the Times all cats have basic needs including food and safe resting places.
She says as they progress through life their needs may have to change due to factors such as age or illness.
“They have preferences much like us,” Kelsey says.
She says a cat owner’s understanding of “basic body language and essential needs goes a long way to understanding why cats do the things they do and how we can help them live their happiest and healthiest lives”.
Kelsey’s favourite part of working with cats is she learns something new from them, each and every day.
“I also love seeing how much joy they bring to others, simply by going through their daily lives.”
Outside of her cats and her work, she enjoys spending time with her rats and dog, embroidery, baking, reading and board games.
“I’m also a sucker for continued education,” she says.
“There’s just so much to learn.”
Kelsey encourages cat lovers who aren’t in a position to have a cat of their own to foster, to volunteer or donate to their local cat rescue group.
“They need all the help they can get.”