Dr Kat Littlewood staff profile picture

Contact details +6469518414

Dr Kat Littlewood BVSc(Dist), PGDipVCSc(Dist), PhD, AFHEA, FANZCVS(AWSEL)

Lecturer in Animal Welfare

Doctoral Co-Supervisor
School of Veterinary Science

I am a veterinarian and Lecturer in Animal Welfare within Tāwharau Ora (School of Veterinary Science). I am a fellow of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists in Animal Welfare, Ethics, and Law (by examination).

My PhD research focused on the veterinarian’s role in end-of-life management of animals and I explored veterinary training and the perspectives of New Zealand cat owners. I am passionate about enhancing veterinarians’ understanding, and enactment, of their role as animal welfare experts.

My research employs social science approaches to better understand complex human-animal interactions and ethically challenging situations. I aim to develop a nuanced understanding of why and how people make the decisions they do about how animals are managed. I also work to operationalise the Five Domains Model for animal welfare assessment and training.

He aha te mea nui? Māku e kii atu, he tāngata, he tāngata, he tāngata.
What is the most important thing in the world? Well, let me tell you, it is people, it is people, it is people.

I have a diverse range of research interests. My major research themes include:

  • Understanding how animal welfare is conceptualised by different people,
  • Exploring how human values, attitudes, and behaviours influence animal welfare,
  • Developing systematic scientific strategies to evaluate animal welfare, and
  • Implementation of animal welfare policy and standards.

I am a veterinarian and a member of the Animal Welfare Science and Bioethics Centre  (Tāwharau Ora / School of Veterinary Science). I teach undergraduate and postgraduate animal welfare, behaviour, ethics, and law. My research focuses on interactions between humans and animals to develop a nuanced understanding of why and how people make the decisions they do about how animals are managed.

My major research themes include:

  • What is animal welfare? i.e., how is animal welfare understood by different people?
  • How human values, attitudes, and behaviours influence animal welfare
  • Systematic scientific evaluation of animal welfare
  • Animal welfare policy & standards
More about me...View less...

Professional

Contact details

  • Location: 2.04, Collinson Village
    Campus: Manawatu

Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Veterinary Science with Distinction - Massey University (2013)
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Veterinary Clinical Science with distinction - Massey University (2016)
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Veterinary Science - Massey University (2022)

Fellowships and Memberships

  • Member, Higher Education Academy (Associate Member/Fellow) (2017)
  • Member, Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists (Fellow) (2022)

Certifications and Registrations

  • Licence, Co-Supervisor, Massey University
  • Licence, Veterinary Council of New Zealand

Research Expertise

Research Interests

Major research themes include:

  • What is animal welfare? i.e., how is animal welfare understood by different people?
  • How human values, attitudes, and behaviours influence animal welfare
  • Systematic scientific evaluation of animal welfare
  • Animal welfare policy & standards

Thematics

21st Century Citizenship, Health and Well-being

Area of Expertise

Field of research codes
Agricultural And Veterinary Sciences (070000): Animal Production (070200):
Applied Ethics (220100): Bioethics (human and animal) (220101):
Curriculum and Pedagogy (130200): Education (130000):
Humane Animal Treatment (070207):
Philosophy And Religious Studies (220000):
Veterinary Sciences (070700)

Keywords

Animal welfare, animal wellbeing, quality of life, systematic scientific evaluation of animal welfare, Five Domains Model for animal welfare assessment, animal ethics and legal frameworks, bioethics, animal euthanasia, end-of-life decision-making for animals, companion animal behaviour and welfare, cat welfare, dog welfare, zoo animal welfare, owner-vet relationships, human-animal relationships, perceptions of animal welfare, human behaviour change for animals, social science research methods and qualitative data analysis, and veterinary education.

 

Research Projects

Summary of Research Projects

Position Current Completed
Project Leader 2 0

Research Outputs

Journal

Boys, RM., Beausoleil, NJ., Pawley, MDM., Littlewood, KE., Betty, EL., & Stockin, KA. (2022). Identification of potential welfare and survival indicators for stranded cetaceans through international, interdisciplinary expert opinion. Royal Society Open Science. 9(10)
[Journal article]Authored by: Beausoleil, N., Betty, E., Littlewood, K., Pawley, M., Stockin, K.
Boys, RM., Beausoleil, NJ., Pawley, MDM., Littlewood, KE., Betty, EL., & Stockin, KA. (2022). Fundamental Concepts, Knowledge Gaps and Key Concerns Relating to Welfare and Survival of Stranded Cetaceans. Diversity. 14(5)
[Journal article]Authored by: Beausoleil, N., Betty, E., Littlewood, K., Pawley, M., Stockin, K.
Littlewood, K. (2022). Changing human behaviour to enhance animal welfare. NEW ZEALAND VETERINARY JOURNAL.
[Journal article]Authored by: Littlewood, K.
Littlewood, K. (2021). Kat Littlewood: an international tour – from home. VetScript. 34(5)
[Journal article]Authored by: Littlewood, K.
Littlewood, KE., & Beausoleil, NJ. (2021). Two domains to five: Advancing veterinary duty of care to fulfil public expectations of animal welfare expertise. Animals. 11(12)
[Journal article]Authored by: Beausoleil, N., Littlewood, K.
Littlewood, KE., Beausoleil, NJ., Stafford, KJ., Stephens, C., Collins, T., Quain, A., . . . Zito, S. (2021). How decision-making about euthanasia for animals is taught to Australasian veterinary students. Australian Veterinary Journal. 99(8), 334-343
[Journal article]Authored by: Beausoleil, N., Littlewood, K., Stephens, C.
Littlewood, K., Beausoleil, N., Stafford, K., & Stephens, C. (2021). “What would you do?”: How cat owners make end-of-life decisions and implications for veterinary-client interactions. Animals. 11(4)
[Journal article]Authored by: Beausoleil, N., Littlewood, K., Stephens, C.
Mellor, DJ., Beausoleil, NJ., Littlewood, KE., McLean, AN., McGreevy, PD., Jones, B., . . . Wilkins, C. (2020). The 2020 five domains model: Including human–animal interactions in assessments of animal welfare. Animals. 10(10), 1-24
[Journal article]Authored by: Beausoleil, N., Littlewood, K.
Littlewood, KE., Beausoleil, NJ., Stafford, KJ., Stephens, C., Collins, T., Fawcett, A., . . . Zito, S. (2020). How management of grief associated with ending the life of an animal is taught to Australasian veterinary students. Australian Veterinary Journal. 98(8), 356-363
[Journal article]Authored by: Beausoleil, N., Littlewood, K., Stephens, C.
Carolyn Gates, M., Littlewood, KE., Kongara, K., Odom, TF., & Sawicki, RK. (2020). Experience of practicing veterinarians with supervising final-year students and new graduates in performing desexing surgeries. Journal of Veterinary Medical Education. 47(4), 465-474
[Journal article]Authored by: Gates, M., Kongara, K., Littlewood, K., Odom, T.
Kells, NJ., Beausoleil, NJ., R Godfrey, AJ., E Littlewood, K., Ward, RN., & Johnson, CB. (2020). Effect of analgesic strategies on pain behaviour associated with combined ring castration and hot iron tail docking in Merino lambs. Applied Animal Behaviour Science. 222
[Journal article]Authored by: Beausoleil, N., Godfrey, A., Johnson, C., Kells, N., Littlewood, K., Ward, R.
Gates, MC., Littlewood, KE., Kongara, K., Odom, TF., & Sawicki, RK. (2020). Cross-sectional survey of anaesthesia and analgesia protocols used to perform routine canine and feline ovariohysterectomies. Veterinary Anaesthesia and Analgesia. 47(1), 38-46
[Journal article]Authored by: Gates, M., Kongara, K., Littlewood, K., Odom, T.
Gates, MC., Littlewood, KE., Kongara, K., Odom, TF., & Sawicki, RK. (2020). Cross-sectional survey of surgical techniques used to perform dog and cat spays in New Zealand veterinary practice. New Zealand Veterinary Journal. 68(1), 46-53
[Journal article]Authored by: Gates, M., Kongara, K., Littlewood, K., Odom, T.
Carolyn Gates, M., Littlewood, KE., Kongara, K., Odom, TF., & Sawicki, RK. (2020). Guidelines for implementing a low-costvolunteer desexing skillstraining program forveterinary andveterinary technology students. Journal of Veterinary Medical Education. 47(1), 27-38
[Journal article]Authored by: Gates, M., Kongara, K., Littlewood, K., Odom, T.
Gates, C., Littlewood, K., Kongara, K., Odom, T., & Sawicki, R. (2018). There are many ways to spay a cat. Vet Script. 31(10), 24-26 Retrieved from http://www.sciquest.org.nz/node/150229
[Journal article]Authored by: Kongara, K., Littlewood, K., Odom, T.
Littlewood, KE., Beausoleil, NJ., Stafford, KJ., Stephens, C., Collins, T., Fawcett, A., . . . Zito, S. (2018). Exploring how end-of-life management is taught to Australasian veterinary students. Part 1: Technical euthanasia. Veterinary Record.
[Journal article]Authored by: Beausoleil, N., Littlewood, K., Stephens, C.
Littlewood, K. (2017). Are we waiting too long?. VetScript.
[Journal article]Authored by: Littlewood, K.
Littlewood, K., & Mellor, D. (2017). Witness for the Prosecution. VetScript.
[Journal article]Authored by: Littlewood, K.
Littlewood, KE., & Mellor, DJ. (2016). Changes in the welfare of an injuredworking farm dog assessed using the five domains model. Animals. 6(9)
[Journal article]Authored by: Littlewood, K.

Conference

Littlewood, K. (2021, July). One Domain to Five: Advancing veterinary duty of care. Presented at ANZCVS Scientific Series
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Littlewood, K.
Littlewood, K., Beausoleil, N., Stafford, K., & Stephens, C. (2019). The vet’s role in end-of-life management of older cats. , Science Week
[Conference Abstract]Authored by: Beausoleil, N., Littlewood, K., Stephens, C.
Littlewood, K., Beausoleil, N., Stafford, K., & Stephens, C. (2018, July). ‘Ending animal life: how and what techniques are Australasian veterinary science students being taught?. Presented at Science Week. Gold Coast, Australia.
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Beausoleil, N., Littlewood, K., Stephens, C.
Littlewood, K., Beausoleil, N., Stafford, K., & Stephens, C. (2018). Vets, owners, and older cats: Exploring animal behavioural change in euthanasia decision-making. , International Society for Applied Ethology
[Conference Abstract]Authored by: Beausoleil, N., Littlewood, K., Stephens, C.
Littlewood, K., Beausoleil, N., Stafford, K., & Stephens, C. (2018, September). The Influence of Feline Behavioural Changes on Euthanasia Decision-Making. Presented at New Zealand Companion Animal Conference
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Beausoleil, N., Littlewood, K., Stephens, C.
Gates, M., Littlewood, K., Kongara, K., Sawicki, R., & Odom, T. (2018). How many ways to spay? Improving student confidence and competence in performing desexing surgeries at the time of graduation. Poster session presented at the meeting of ISVEE 15. Chiang Mai, Thailand
[Conference Poster]Authored by: Gates, M., Kongara, K., Littlewood, K., Odom, T.
Littlewood, K., Beausoleil, N., Stafford, K., & Stephens, C. (2017, July). Vets, owners, and older cats; exploring euthanasia decision-making in practice. Presented at Science Week
[Conference Oral Presentation]Authored by: Beausoleil, N., Littlewood, K., Stephens, C.

Teaching and Supervision

Teaching Statement

Courses taught into:

193.305 Advanced Animal Behaviour

117.107/227.107 Animal Behaviour, Welfare, & Handling

117.331 Animal Welfare Science

117.332/227.226 Dilemmas in Animal Welfare

117.361 Companion Animal Science

117.371 Animal Production

227.414 Small Animal Medicine, Surgery & Therapeutics

227.511 Animal Welfare & Behaviour SPECIAL TOPIC

194.731 Animal Welfare Science

Courses Coordinated

  • 227.226 Integrative Studies in Veterinary Science II

Graduate Supervision Statement

My research interests primarily relate to animal welfare. These include systematic scientific evaluation of animal welfare, animal ethics and legal frameworks, animal euthanasia, end-of-life decision-making for animals, companion animal behaviour and welfare, owner-vet relationships, human-animal relationships, perceptions of animal welfare, human behaviour change for animals, social science research methods and qualitative data analysis, and veterinary education. I am currently supervising research into various aspects of zoo animal welfare.

I enjoy working with enthusiastic people who are willing to think outside the box and think critically about how animals are managed and their welfare in a range of situations. 


Dr Kat Littlewood is available for Masters and Doctorial supervision.

Media and Links

Media

  • 17 Oct 2021 - Online
    New Zealanders are locking down their cats