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Influencing Elimination Location in the Domestic Cat: A Semiochemical Approach

By N. Kasbaoui, C. Bienboire-Frosini, P. Monneret, J. Leclercq, E. Descout, A. Cozzi, P. Pageat

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Abstract

In the domestic cat, elimination at an inappropriate location is considered by cat owners and non-cat owners as an undesirable behaviour. The aim of the study was to assess the effect of a semiochemical formulation, reconstituted volatile fraction of cat anal gland secretions on the elimination behaviour of domestic cats. The study was conducted in four catteries, which housed 33 cats, using 37 litter trays and followed a randomised crossover design using the litter tray as the experimental unit. The parameters studied included daily elimination (urine plus stools) weight, urine weight, stool weight, elimination type and urine/stool quantity scoring. The parameters were analysed using GLMM with SAS 9.4 software. Four out of the six parameters studied showed a treatment effect, consistently in favour of cats defecating significantly less in the litter trays sprayed with the treatment versus litter trays sprayed with the control (elimination weight p = 0.0199; elimination type p = 0.0251; stool weight p = 0.0005 and stool quantity p = 0.003). These results demonstrate that an intraspecific semiochemical message originating from cat anal glands influences cats’ defecation location.

Date 2022
Publication Title Animals (Basel)
Volume 12
Issue 7
ISBN/ISSN 2076-2615 (Print)2076-2615
DOI 10.3390/ani12070896
Author Address Animal Behaviour and Welfare Department, Research Institute in Semiochemistry and Applied Ethology (IRSEA), Quartier Salignan, 84400 Apt, France.Molecular Biology and Chemical Communication Department, Research Institute in Semiochemistry and Applied Ethology (IRSEA), Quartier Salignan, 84400 Apt, France.Animal Experimentation Service, Research Institute in Semiochemistry and Applied Ethology (IRSEA), Quartier Salignan, 84400 Apt, France.Data Management and Statistics Service, Research Institute in Semiochemistry and Applied Ethology (IRSEA), Quartier Salignan, 84400 Apt, France.Research and Education Board, Research Institute in Semiochemistry and Applied Ethology (IRSEA), Quartier Salignan, 84400 Apt, France.
Additional Language English
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Tags
  1. Animal behavior
  2. Animal communication
  3. Human-animal interactions
  4. open access
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  1. open access