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The Behavior Department: New Research Helps Adopters Meet Their Feline Soul Mates

The ASPCA’s Feline-ality program matches cats to people through examination of their personalities and behaviors

The ASPCA’s Feline-ality program matches cats to people through examination of their personalities and behaviors

Emily Weiss, Ph.D., is the senior director of shelter behavior programs at the ASPCA.
Many of you likely know about the ASPCA’s Meet Your Match Canine-ality and Puppy-ality adoption program, which helps match adopters to dogs and puppies based on the lifestyle and expectations of the adopter and the behavior of the individual animal. Composed of an assessment that gauges certain canine behaviors and an adopter survey that invites potential guardians to respond to questions about everything from expectations to home environments, the Meet Your Match program pairs humans with pooches most likely to fit in with their lives.

Soon after launching that program, we at the ASPCA began to focus on creating a similar program for cats. Thanks to the generous support of the Iams Company, we have spent the last two years in research and development of “Feline-ality.”

When we first started the cat project in 2003, little research had been done on feline behavior assessment tools and their validity. Several of my colleagues—Katherine Houpt, Ilana Reisner, Kathy Carlstead and others—have been doing fantastic work researching behavior modification techniques in domestic cats, but there has been considerably less focus on predicting future behaviors.

 Read the full article.

 

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