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A comparison of Bahamian cat and dog caregivers on New Providence

By W. J. Fielding

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This article offers the first comparison of actions and attitudes of Afro-Caribbean caregivers who keep only cats or only dogs. A total of 330 Bahamian caregivers found that women primarily keep cats; men primarily keep dogs. Cat keepers were more attached to their companion animals but no more sensitive toward nonhuman animal-welfare issues than dog keepers. When considering actions toward pets, the study noted few differences between the two types of caregivers. Both types reported low neutering rates and lack of confinement. Findings suggest that although both cat and dog caregivers thought themselves good pet caregivers, both types would benefit from animal-welfare education. In communities where cat populations pose a threat to indigenous wildlife and current care-keeping practices may be a cause for concern, caregivers may need education as to the implications of their actions. Given the similarity in dog-keeping practices in the West Indies, the findings about cat caregivers reported here may be applicable to other Afro-Caribbean communities. Further research on cats should be done to allow better understanding of the dynamics and behavior of cat populations on small islands.

Publication Title Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science
Volume 12
Issue 1
Pages 30-43
ISBN/ISSN 1088-8705
Publisher Taylor & Francis
DOI 10.1080/10888700802536616
Language English
Author Address Planning Unit, The College of The Bahamas, Oakes Field Campus, P.O. Box N-4912, Nassau, New Providence,
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal rights
  2. Animals
  3. Animal welfare
  4. Attitudes
  5. Biological resources
  6. Canidae
  7. Canine
  8. Caribbean
  9. Carnivores
  10. Cats
  11. Communities
  12. Dogs
  13. Education
  14. Humans
  15. Islands
  16. Mammals
  17. Men
  18. peer-reviewed
  19. Pets and companion animals
  20. Primates
  21. Social psychology and social anthropology
  22. United States of America
  23. vertebrates
  24. West Indies
  25. Wild animals
  26. wildlife
  27. Women
  1. peer-reviewed