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Early stage animal hoarders: are these owners of large numbers of adequately cared for cats?

By Daniela Cristina Ramos, N.O. Da Cruz, Sarah L.H. Ellis, J.A.E. Hernandez, Archivaldo Reche-Junior

Category Journal Articles

Animal hoarding is a spectrum-based condition in which hoarders are often reported to have had normal and appropriate pet-keeping habits in childhood and early adulthood. Historically, research has focused largely on well-established clinical animal hoarders with little work targeted towards the onset and development of animal hoarding. This study investigated whether a Brazilian population of owners of what might typically be considered an excessive number (20 or more) of cats were more likely to share the commonly reported psychological and demographic profile of animal hoarders than owners of 1-2 cats drawn from the same population. Psychological traits measured were attachment to pets (Lexington Pet Attachment Scale, LAPS), anxiety and depression (Hospitalized Anxiety and Depression Scale, HADS), and hoarding behavior (Saving Inventory-Revised, SI-R). Owners of 20 or more cats were significantly older, scored significantly higher pet attachment scores, and displayed significant positive relationships between hoarding behavior and anxiety. Such a profile demonstrates greater similarities to clinical animal hoarders than to typical cat owners on these particular measures, although additional disparities with clinical animal hoarders exist in the areas of functioning, veterinary care and home organization. Taking this information together, the studied population may represent the understudied group of early stage animal hoarders. However, external factors such as culture and societal animal control policies should not be overlooked as alternative explanations for pet keeping at levels that might be considered excessive.

Date 2013
Publication Title Human-Animal Interaction Bulletin
Volume 1
Issue 1
Pages 55-69
Language English
Additional Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. animal collecting
  2. Animal hoarding
  3. Animal rights
  4. Animals
  5. Animal welfare
  6. Anxiety
  7. Attachment
  8. Attachment behavior
  9. Attitudes
  10. Behavior and behavior mechanisms
  11. Bonds
  12. Brazil
  13. Carnivores
  14. Cats
  15. Depression
  16. Developing countries
  17. Diseases
  18. Human-animal bond
  19. Human behavior
  20. Humans
  21. Latin America
  22. Mammals
  23. Men
  24. open access
  25. peer-reviewed
  26. pet care
  27. Pets and companion animals
  28. Primates
  29. Social psychology and social anthropology
  30. South America
  31. Threshold Countries
  32. United States of America
  33. vertebrates
  1. open access
  2. peer-reviewed