You are here: Home / Journal Articles / Practical physical and behavioral measures to assess the socialization spectrum of cats in a shelter-like setting during a three day period / About

Practical physical and behavioral measures to assess the socialization spectrum of cats in a shelter-like setting during a three day period

By M. Slater, L. Garrison, K. Miller, E. Weiss, K. Makolinski, N. Drain, A. Mirontshuk

View Resource (HTM)

Licensed under

Category Journal Articles
Abstract

Animal welfare organizations routinely accept large numbers of cats with unknown histories, and whose backgrounds vary from well-socialized pets to cats that have had little or no contact with humans. Agencies are challenged with making the determination of socialization level in a highly stressful environment where cats are often too frightened to show typical behaviors. A variety of structured behavioral assessments were conducted in a shelter-like environment, from intake through a three day holding period, on cats from the full range of socialization as reported by their caregivers. Our results show that certain behaviors such as rubbing, playing, chirping, having the tail up or being at the front of the cage were found to be unique to More Socialized cats. While not all more socialized cats showed these behaviors, cats that did were socialized. Assessing the cats throughout the three day period was beneficial in eliciting key behaviors from shyer and more frightened cats. These results will be used in future work to develop an assessment tool to identify the socialization status of cats as a standardized guide for transparent and reliable disposition decisions and higher live release rates for cats in animal shelters.

Publication Title Animals
Volume 3
Issue 4
Pages 1162-1193
ISBN/ISSN 2076-2615
DOI 10.3390/ani3041162
Language English
Author Address Shelter Research and Development, Community Outreach, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), 50 Stone Ridge Drive, Florence, MA 01062, USA.margaret.slater@aspca.org laurie.garrison@aspca.org katherine.miller@aspca.org emily.weiss@aspca.org kathleen.makolinski@aspca.org natasha.drain@aspca.org alexmm1345@gmail.com
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

Tags
  1. Animal behavior
  2. Animals
  3. Cages
  4. Carnivores
  5. Cats
  6. Mammals
  7. peer-reviewed
  8. shelters
  9. Socialization
  10. Stress
  11. vertebrates
Badges
  1. peer-reviewed