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Enriching the Environment of the Laboratory Cat

By Sandra McCune

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Cats are intelligent, highly specialized carnivores. Like many predators, their senses are highly developed (reviewed by Bradshaw 1992). The cat's ability to hear, see and smell outside our own range give it a very different perception of its environment to ours. For example, it has a second olfactory system, the vomerosensory system which is associated with social behavior. The system is used when cats come into contact with other cats or their urine. In addition, the cat's visual images are supplemented with information from its highly developed sense of balance and sensory hairs on the head and legs which give the cat its position relative to other objects.


Megan Kendall

Purdue University

Date 1998
Pages 27-42
Series Environmental Enrichment Information Resources for Laboratory Animals: 1965 - 1995: Birds, Cats, Dogs, Farm Animals, Ferrets, Rabbits, and Rodents
Publisher U.S Department of Agriculture
Department U.S. Department of Agriculture
Location of Publication Beltsville, Maryland
Language English
Notes This government document was found at the U.S Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Library:
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal roles
  2. Animal welfare
  3. Cats
  4. Confinement
  5. Laboratory and experimental animals
  6. Mammals
  7. Physical environment
  8. Social Environments