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An evaluation of the role the Internet site Petfinder plays in cat adoptions

By M. K. Workman, C. L. Hoffman

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To better understand factors contributing to cat adoptions, this study was used to explore a possible association between an adoptable cat's popularity on Petfinder and the cat's length of availability for adoption at a managed-intake nonhuman animal shelter. This study was also used to examine factors associated with a cat's popularity on Petfinder and the percentage of adopters who visited Petfinder before making adoption decisions. One third of adopters surveyed visited Petfinder before adopting, and half of those had viewed their adopted cats' Petfinder profiles. The number of clicks per day that cats received on the site was negatively correlated with their length of availability. Age at adoption was positively correlated with length of availability and negatively correlated with number of clicks per day. Coat color was a strong predictor of number of clicks per day and length of availability. The only variable within the photographer's control significantly associated with number of clicks per day was whether the photos included toys. Although cats' physical characteristics are strong predictors of their popularity, strategic use of toys in cats' photographs may promote adoptions of cats who are typically overlooked.

Publication Title Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science
Volume 18
Issue 4
Pages 388-397
ISBN/ISSN 1088-8705
DOI 10.1080/10888705.2015.1043366
Language English
Author Address Department of Animal Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation, Canisius College, 2001 Main St., Buffalo, NY 14208,
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animals
  2. Animal welfare
  3. Carnivores
  4. Cats
  5. Color
  6. Evaluation
  7. Fur
  8. Internet
  9. Mammals
  10. peer-reviewed
  11. photography
  12. pigmentation
  13. predictions
  14. vertebrates
  1. peer-reviewed