Evaluation of the addition of in-cage hiding structures and toys and timing of administration of behavioral assessments with newly relinquished shelter cats

Alexandra M. Moore, Melissa Bain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Most cats entering shelters are euthanized. This study used behavioral assessments to determine how quickly a cat acclimated to its new environment and whether enrichment eased this transition. Twenty-five cats at 2 municipal shelters were evaluated with 2 separate standardized behavioral assessments at 3separate times, beginning the day after entering the shelter. One behavioral assessment included an in-cage evaluation, whereas the other assessment involved a stepwise combined in- and out-of-cage evaluation. Eleven of the cats were given a cardboard box to hide in and a toy in the cage, whereas 14cats were not given these objects. Our results suggest that cats need 72hours to achieve optimum behavioral scores and a decrease in stress levels based on the 2 separate evaluations. The tests were correlated in their outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)450-457
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research
Volume8
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2013

Keywords

  • Behavior
  • Cat
  • Enrichment
  • Shelter
  • Stress
  • Welfare

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)

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