Sarah Ellis - Contributor Profile


Sarah has a keen interest in the behaviour and welfare of the domestic cat. She has a BSc in Zoology and Psychology from the University of Bristol (UK), a Post-Graduate Diploma in Companion Animal Behaviour Counselling from the University of Southampton (UK) and a PhD from Queen’s University Belfast (UK) which focussed on investigating ways to improve the welfare of cats housed in rehoming centres. 

Sarah spent several years at the University of Lincoln as a post-doctoral research scientist working on numerous projects including investigating novel ways to improve feline welfare, and to further our understanding of feline behaviour and the cat-human relationship. 

In 2015, Sarah decided to concentrate on the application of research and joined International Cat Care as their Feline Behaviour Specialist to help develop their work in the areas of feline behaviour and welfare. 

In 2019, Sarah moved to role of Head of Cat Advocacy within International Cat Care. She also is a Visiting Fellow at the University of Lincoln where she teaches on the MSc Clinical Animal Behaviour programme. 

Sarah has had numerous radio and TV appearances, covering many aspects of feline behaviour and welfare. She has co-authored a NY Times Best-Selling book with John Bradshaw entitled ‘The Trainable Cat’ which details how training can be used to improve cats’ well-being.

Published Papers

  • Ellis, S. L., Riemer, S., Thompson, H., & Burman, O. H. (2020). Assessing the external validity of successive negative contrast–implications for animal welfare. Journal of applied animal welfare science, 23(1), 54-61.
  • Dall, P. M., Ellis, S. L. H., Ellis, B. M., Grant, P. M., Colyer, A., Gee, N. R., ... & Mills, D. S. (2017). The influence of dog ownership on objective measures of free-living physical activity and sedentary behaviour in community-dwelling older adults: a longitudinal case-controlled study. BMC public health, 17(1), 1-9.
  • Riemer, S., Ellis, S. L., Thompson, H., & Burman, O. H. (2018). Reinforcer effectiveness in dogs—The influence of quantity and quality. Applied animal behaviour science, 206, 87-93.
  • Ellis, S. L. (2018). Recognising and assessing feline emotions during the consultation: History, body language and behaviour. Journal of feline medicine and surgery, 20(5), 445-456.
  • Riemer, S., Ellis, S. L., Ryan, S., Thompson, H., & Burman, O. H. (2016). A reappraisal of successive negative contrast in two populations of domestic dogs. Animal cognition, 19(3), 471-481.
  • Thompson, H., Riemer, S., Ellis, S. L., & Burman, O. H. (2016). Behaviour directed towards inaccessible food predicts consumption—A novel way of assessing food preference. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 178, 111-117.
  • Ellis, S. L. H., Thompson, H., Guijarro, C., & Zulch, H. E. (2015). The influence of body region, handler familiarity and order of region handled on the domestic cat's response to being stroked. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 173, 60-67.
  • Hewison LF, Wright HF, Zulch HE, Ellis SLH (2014) Short-term consequences of preventing visitor access to kennels on noise and the behaviour and physiology of dogs housed in a rescue shelter. Physiology and Behavior, 133, 1-7.
  • Finka LR, Ellis SLH, Stavisky J (2014) A critically appraised topic (CAT) to compare the effects of single and multi-cat housing on physiological and behavioural measures of stress in domestic cats in confined environments. BMC Veterinary, Research, 10, 73-89. doi:10.1186/1746-6148-10-73.
  • Sparkes AH, Bessant C, Cope K, Ellis SLH, Finka L, Halls V, Hiestand K, Horsford K, Laurence C, MacFarlaine I, Neville PF, Stavisky J, Yeates J (2013) ISFM Guidelines on Population Management and Welfare of Unowned Domestic Cats (Felis catus), Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, 15, 811-817.
  • Ramos D, da Cruz NO, Ellis, SLH, Hernandez JAE, Reche-Junior A (2013) Early stage animal hoarders: Are these owners of large numbers of adequately cared for cats? Human Animal Interaction Bulletin, 1, 55-69.
  • Ellis SLH, Rodan I, Carney HC, Heath S, Rochlitz I, Shearburn LD, Sundahl E, Westropp JL (2013) AAFP and ISFM Feline Environmental Needs Guidelines, Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, 15, 219-230.
  • Ellis S, Wells DL (2010) The influence of olfactory stimulation on the behaviour of cats housed in a rescue shelter. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 123(1-2), 56-62.
  • Ellis S (2009) Environmental enrichment: Practical strategies for improving animal welfare. Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, 11, 901-912.
  • Ellis S, Wells DL (2008) The influence of visual stimulation on the behaviour of cats housed in a rescue shelter. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 113(1-3), 166-174. 
  • Downey H, Ellis S (2008) ‘Tails’ of acquisition: The incorporation of the feline into the family. Journal of Business Research, 61, 434-441.
  • Ellis, S (2007). Enrichment for animals: pets and environmental enrichment. In: Encyclopaedia of Humans-Animal Relationships. Eds. M. Bekoff & J. Nystrom, Greenwood Publishing Group, 695-698.

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