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A Comparison of Cats (Felis silvestris catus) Housed in Groups and Single Cages at a Shelter: A Retrospective Matched Cohort Study

By Malini Suchak, Jacalyn Lamica

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Category Journal Articles
Abstract

When cats are relinquished to shelters, they frequently experience a great deal of stress. Shelters often try to control certain aspects of their environment, such as housing, to help them relax. Some cats are placed in small group rooms upon entry, whereas others are placed in single cages. There are tradeoffs to both systems. We wanted to compare the experience and outcomes of cats placed in single housing and group housing in shelters. We found that their experiences while at the shelter were similar, however single-housed cats were moved to the isolation unit more frequently than group-housed cats, which reduced their visibility to the public by pulling them off the adoption floor. Single-housed cats were also sent to the offsite location more frequently, which means they spent more time in transport than group-housed cats. Both groups were adopted at approximately the same rate and after similar lengths of time. However, the rate of return was high, especially in group-housed cats, and live release rate after return was lower than after a cat’s initial stay. More research is needed to know why this is happening and how to reduce returns after adoption.

Submitter

Katie Osborn

Date 2018
Publication Title Animals
Volume 8
Issue 2
ISBN/ISSN 2076-2615
Publisher Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
Location of Publication Basel, Switzerland
DOI 10.3390/ani8020029
URL http://www.mdpi.com/2076-2615/8/2/29
Language English
Additional Language English
Tags
  1. Animal housing
  2. Animal shelters
  3. Animal welfare
  4. Cats
  5. Group housing
  6. Mammals
  7. social housing