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Questionnaire survey identifies potential separation-related problems in cats

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The primary questionnaire survey to establish attainable separation-related issues in cats discovered 13.5 p.c of all sampled cats displayed potential points throughout their proprietor’s absence, in keeping with a examine printed April 15, 2020 within the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Daiana de Souza Machado, from the Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora, Brazil, and colleagues.

Although many research have been performed on proprietor separation issues in canine, little work has been completed to evaluate potential separation-related issues in cats. Regardless of the frequent perception that cats are comfortable being left alone for lengthy durations of time, latest research in cats and their homeowners counsel that pet cats are social and develop bonds with their homeowners.

To be able to assess separation-related issues in cats, de Souza Machado and colleagues developed a questionnaire to be used with cat homeowners. Based mostly on surveys in related research with canine, the questionnaire requested homeowners to supply fundamental data on every cat; describe whether or not their cat displayed sure behaviors when the proprietor was absent; and describe themselves and their cat interactions, in addition to the cat’s residing surroundings. The questionnaire was given to 130 homeowners of grownup cats residing within the metropolis of Juiz de Fora in Minas Gerais, Brazil, for a complete of 223 accomplished questionnaires (one per cat).

After assessing and categorizing responses for every class, the authors statistically analyzed their outcomes. The info confirmed 13.5 p.c of the sampled cats (30 out of 223) met a minimum of one of many standards for separation-related issues, with harmful behaviour most frequently-reported (current in 20 of the 30 cats). The opposite behaviors or psychological states recognized have been: extreme vocalization (19 out of 30 cats), inappropriate urination (18 cats), depression-apathy (16 cats), aggressiveness (11 cats), agitation-anxiety (11 cats) and inappropriate defecation (7 cats). The info additionally confirmed these cats have been related to households with no feminine residents, households with homeowners aged 18 to 35 years, and/or households with a minimum of two feminine residents, in addition to with not gaining access to toys (P=zero.04) and/or having no different animal in the home (P=zero.04).

This questionnaire nonetheless requires additional validation based mostly on direct remark of cat conduct. It is also restricted by a reliance on homeowners having the ability to precisely interpret and report their cats’ actions of their absence (for example, scratching on surfaces is regular in cats, although some homeowners could think about it harmful).

Though there’s extra work to be completed elucidating the connection between people and pet cats, this questionnaire can act as a place to begin for future analysis, along with indicating sure environmental components (like toys) that might assist cats with separation points.

The authors add: “This examine gives details about behavioral indicators according to separation-related issues (SRP) in a sampled inhabitants of home cats, in addition to in regards to the administration practices utilized by their homeowners. The questionnaire recognized that about 13% of cats could have indicators according to SRP in keeping with their homeowners’ stories, and subsequently, it could possibly be a promising software for future analysis investigating SRP in cats.”

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Supplies offered by PLOS. Notice: Content material could also be edited for model and size.

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