BSN(Hons) BSc BVMS MANZCVS (Veterinary Behaviour)
Director and Veterinarian
Dr Cathy Lau is an experienced Veterinarian with special expertise in animal behaviour, low stress handling and cooperative care. She has worked since 2012 in clinics and emergency departments in Adelaide and Perth, practicing veterinary medicine, surgery and helping pets with distressing mental conditions. In her most recent endeavour, she has managed the initial establishment and the daily operations of a new clinic as the Veterinary Director.
Before her career in veterinary science, she has practised as a Registered Nurse in human medicine, providing compassionate care to those in need.
Dr Cathy is a respected animal behaviour expert and the go-to professional for a large variety of pets in need of a behaviour consultation. She has been accredited with a number of speciality qualifications in behaviour medicine and low stress animal care. She is operating her own business, offering her services to individuals and professionals by referral.
Above all, Dr Cathy is dedicated to improving the mental wellbeing of pets. She is a strong promoter of daily enrichment and is passionate about increasing the quality of life of animals and their owners. She is a lecturer and tutor for small animal behaviour units in the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program at Murdoch University, educating the upcoming generation of vets about pets mental health and cooperative care.
The name Positive Elements reflects our fundamental approach and philosophy. Our primary method for behaviour modification is positive reinforcement. We believe that reward is always more powerful than punishment and inherently has less relationship-damaging side effects.
We do not employ or believe in the effectiveness of the cruel and hurtful training practices of the past, which were based on an outdated understanding of animal behaviour. It is of the greatest importance to us that all of our pet clients are enjoying a positive and stress-free consultation experience.
We appreciate that understanding and altering behaviour is an art and a science. The name Positive Elements hints at a principle of using space in visual arts, while also referring to the building blocks of chemistry. We believe that analysing behaviour is the art of disseminating a complex presentation into its basic components, using the latest scientific methods and knowledge.
Our dedication to implementing the latest scientific methods and knowledge is reflected in our team’s motivation to constantly seek learning opportunities and to regularly study the latest research journals. In addition to furthering our own knowledge, we are also passionate about providing education to others by hosting training sessions, seminars and workshops.
We highly value the personal experience in our collaborating vets and dog trainers, and we believe that theory, as well as practical expertise, are both needed to understand how animals communicate, how they learn and why they behave in certain ways.
Continuing Professional Education
Veterinary behavioural medicine is an ever-evolving field. Behaviour professionals need to keep themselves updated with continuing education, and be aware of the latest scientific recommendations, to provide evidence-based treatment plans to their clients.
Dr Cathy regularly attends veterinary conferences from Australian and overseas institutes. Some conferences and lectures to note include:
Webinar: Biome, Brain and Behavior: An exploration of the guy microbiome-behavior relationship 2022 by Behavior Vets
Cooperative Care Conference by Zoospenfull 2021
World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) Congress Behaviour Stream 2019
Stress Free Pet Certificate 2019
Sydney University Centre for Veterinary Education (CVE) Behaviour Medicine 12-Month CVE Course 2018
Australian Veterinary Association Behaviour Interest Group (AVBIG) quarterly webinars 2018-2020
Australian Veterinary Association Annual Conference Behaviour Medicine Stream 2017
Nurse Kristy RVN
All our clients had heard Kristy’s friendly and cheerful voice when she called them to check in.
Kristy and Dr Cathy first met in 2015. They worked together at a vet practice south of Perth and since they’ve become good friends!
At work, they studied and completed Low Stress Handling Silver Certificate together back in 2017. Creating a fear free environment for pets in vet clinic is something they both strive to achieve.
They both aim to provide a high level of patient care and build meaningful bonds with the pets and their owners. They are both passionate about being a voice for animal wellbeing and making the lives of pet more fulfilled by educating pet owners about their needs.
Kristy has been in the vet industry since 2010. She started nursing in a small rural vet clinic in Exmouth, Western Australia. She has many years of vet nursing experience and practice management experience.
Kristy’s greatest joy is being a mum to her awesome son. Kristy and her family love the beauty of nature, so they moved to a home in a rural setting. They enjoy sitting outside watching the wildlife, such as kangaroos that come up to the door and the amazing various birdlife!
Dr Cathy is very grateful to have Kristy helping her out.