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|
|Publisher||Taylor & Francis|
|Author Address||Planning Unit, The College of The Bahamas, Oakes Field Campus, P.O. Box N-4912, Nassau, New Providence, Bahamas.email@example.com|
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