Dr. Katherine Houpt is the James Law Professor of Animal Behaviour in the Department
of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University. Dr. Houpt
obtained her VMD in 1963 and PhD in 1972 in behaviuoral biology from University
of Pennsylvania. She has more than 20 years of experience as an animal behaviourist
and is also charter diplomat of the American College of Veterinary Behaviour (ACVB). She
has extensively published research on equine, feline and canine behaviour and directs
the Animal Behaviour Clinic at Cornell Hospital for Animals. Dr Houpt teaches small
animal, equine and farm animal behaviour at the College of Veterinary Medicine at
Cornell and author of Domestic Animal Behaviour (Blackwell Press).
1. What led
you to a career in animal behaviour?
Fascination with triggers of behaviour
2. What are your current main research interests?
The genetics of spaniel aggression and the causes of cribbing
3. What do you think is the most intriguing unanswered question in the field of animal
Are domestic animals conscious that is do they think about the future etc.
4. What do you consider to be the most serious welfare issue in domestic cats?
Punishment or euthanasia of cats that do not use their litter
5. If horse owners should change one thing about the way they keep their horses,
what would that be?
Give them pasture
6. What do you consider to be the most common misconception surrounding the domestic
That punishment can occur after the fact and still teach the dog to not perform the
undesirable (punished) behaviour.