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Askemur Klavebäck, Alexandra, 2024. Finns det kattbeteenden som påverkar tiden till adoption? : en beteendestudie på katthem. First cycle, G2E. Uppsala: SLU, Applied Animal Science and Welfare



Cat shelters play an important part in the housing, caring and rehoming of homeless cats and other cats in need of a new home. Despite many cats finding new homes after a temporary stay, some cats end up spending a long time at the shelter. Shelter environments include different stressors to cats which can affect their behaviour and welfare. Cats’ stay at shelters are therefore recommended to be short. A longer stay can lead to welfare issues for the cat which can contribute to stress and behavioural issues. Consequently, a cat risks developing behaviours which can decrease the chance of adoption and extend the stay.
Prior studies have shown that different factors such as age, gender, health, temperament, appearance and behaviour can affect the time of stay at shelters. Specific cat behaviours like friendliness and playfulness were the most desirable behaviours for adopters according to surveys. The aim of this study was to investigate if there were specific cat behaviours which could be linked to a shorter or longer stay at cat shelters. The study also aimed to use the results to contribute to increased knowledge about different behaviours of cats. In the long term, there was also an ambition that the study could promote shorter stays at cat shelters which would benefit cats' welfare.
Direct observations of 21 cats took place at a cat shelter over a period of 15 days. Each cat was observed for 5 minutes per day, using an ethogram and continuous recording. A subjective assessment was made at the end of each observation, in order to gain a more complete understanding of both the cats’ behavioural and emotional state.
The most frequent behaviours overall were Slow Blinking 20%, Eye Contact 15%, Social Vocalization 8%, Hiding 6% and Sitting 6%. There was a large individual variation between the cats but in 51% of observations, the cats were assessed as content.
In conclusion, there was a large behavioural variation observed among cats in the shelter. Social behaviours were exhibited more among cats with a shorter time spent at the shelter. Contact-seeking was exhibited 6% by cats with 0-3 months spent at the shelter, compared to 0% by cats with > 7 months spent at the shelter. Other behaviours like resting and hiding were exhibited more by cats with a longer time spent at the shelter. However, further research is needed in order to draw clear conclusions about specific cat behaviours linked to time spent at shelters. The cats’ behaviour itself may influence the adoption time, but there are still many other factors affecting the adoption time as well.

Main title:Finns det kattbeteenden som påverkar tiden till adoption?
Subtitle:en beteendestudie på katthem
Authors:Askemur Klavebäck, Alexandra
Supervisor:Andersson, Maria and Hirsch, Elin
Examiner:Anderson, Claes
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2024
Level and depth descriptor:First cycle, G2E
Student's programme affiliation:VK007 Etologi och djurskydd (kandidat) 180,0 hp
Supervising department:(VH) > Applied Animal Science and Welfare
Keywords:kattvälfärd, beteende, katthem, adoptionstid
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Deposited On:02 Jul 2024 07:42
Metadata Last Modified:05 Jul 2024 01:17

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