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A review of cat behavior in relation to disease risk and management options

By C. A. Lepczyk, C. A. Lohr, D. C. Duffy

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Domestic cats ( Felis catus) are a common household pet and also a notorious invasive species around the world. Because cat numbers have been increasing in many locations it is critical to work on management solutions that help to reduce threats posed by cats. With regard to cat behavior, one of the threats both to cats themselves and the species that they interact with is disease transmission. As part of a broader overview on applying cat behavior to management the focus of this review is to consider different types of cat behaviors and highlight how they relate to disease as a means to help inform management. Specifically, we focus on cat movement, foraging, and cat-human interactions as broad classes of cat behavior that can lead to acquisition and transmission of diseases. In addition, we review the diseases that are commonly harbored by cats, are of growing human health concern, and for which we have reasonable information. Finally, we review the main forms of cat management in order to provide a set of recommendations for use in addressing cat diseases.

Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 173
Pages 29-39
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
DOI 10.1016/j.applanim.2015.07.002
Author Address School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849, USA.lepczyk@auburn.edu
Additional Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal behavior
  2. Animal diseases
  3. Animals
  4. Carnivores
  5. Cat diseases
  6. Cats
  7. Diseases
  8. Ecology
  9. Feline leukemia
  10. Foraging
  11. Guidelines
  12. Habitats
  13. Health
  14. Households
  15. Infections
  16. Interactions
  17. Introduced species
  18. Invasive species
  19. Mammals
  20. Parasites
  21. Parasitic diseases
  22. peer-reviewed
  23. Protozoa
  24. Rabies
  25. Reviews
  26. toxoplasmosis
  27. transmission
  28. vertebrates
  29. Virus diseases
  1. peer-reviewed