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Nygårds, Nanette, 2021. Trygg inne eller fri ute? : Ägares uppfattningar om kattens beteendebehov som inne- respektive utekatt. First cycle, G2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Animal Environment and Health



The domestic cat (Felis silvestris catus) has developed into a social, but also independent animal, with behavioral needs linked to its evolutionary adaptations. The cat has traditionally lived outdoors, and as such has had free access to natural enrichment. Whether the cat should be free to roam outside is, however, debated. The outdoor cat tends to be more injury-prone, and can also be viewed as a nuisance and a pest. Today, many cats are kept indoors, with or without limited access to the outdoors, which may lead to cats not being able to perform natural behaviors satisfactorily. An online survey was distributed to investigate owners’ perceptions about the domestic cat’s characteristics and behavioral needs as linked to indoor- vs outdoor management. The results suggest that perceptions vary with cat lifestyle. Owners with indoor, and limited outdoor, cats tend to understand the domestic cat as a social species, dependent on humans and in need of protection. Owners with cats roaming free outside tend to see it as a more asocial, self-reliant and freedom-dependent species. Respondents generally show strong knowledge and favorable perceptions for cat welfare, but underlying attitudes may play a role in owner approaches to cat management. The outdoor cat may, primarily, risk a lack of social and emotional care, while the indoor cat may experience a lack of cognitive enrichment. Indoor and outdoor cat owners alike could therefore provide their cat with interactive play, foraging activites, and opportunity for behavioral training which can all function as means of cognitive stimulation and social bonding. Awareness of cat welfare legislation and knowledge about the domestic cat’s nature could need strengthening. Cat owners could be more pro-actively offered information from reliable and accessible sources. The question about cats’ in/outdoor status appears as a societal issue where public attitudes may have significant implications for its welfare in an ethically sustainable future. It may, thus, be beneficial to also involve the public in further research and educational efforts.

Main title:Trygg inne eller fri ute?
Subtitle:Ägares uppfattningar om kattens beteendebehov som inne- respektive utekatt
Authors:Nygårds, Nanette
Supervisor:Andersson, Maria
Examiner:Yngvesson, Jenny
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2021
Level and depth descriptor:First cycle, G2E
Student's programme affiliation:None
Supervising department:(VH) > Dept. of Animal Environment and Health
Keywords:innekatt, utekatt, beteendebehov, välfärd, kunskap, attityder, biologisk mångfald
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Animal husbandry
Deposited On:11 Jan 2022 09:15
Metadata Last Modified:12 Jan 2022 02:00

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