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Feline Home Design

Research review could help shelters and adopters better accommodate kitty companions

Research review could help shelters and adopters better accommodate kitty companions

Ariel Brody/Dreamstime.com
More than 50 percent of pet cats are kept entirely indoors during the day, and nearly 60 percent at night, according to the most recent pet owners survey conducted by the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association. But when those cats go a little stir-crazy in their home environments, some of them can end up at your shelter.

To learn what makes cats thrive indoors, Irene Rochlitz, a researcher at the University of Cambridge in England, reviewed previous studies and published her conclusions in Applied Animal Behavior Science (Volume 93). Feline welfare can be assessed using a modified version of “The Five Freedoms,” Rochlitz wrote. A set of basic welfare standards developed for farm animals in 1965, the Five Freedoms call for access to food, water, a suitable environment, and health care; the freedom to express most normal behaviors; and freedom from conditions likely to lead to fear and distress.

By examining their surroundings from a cat’s point of view and taking a cue from Rochlitz’s conclusions, adopters may be able to create a kitty haven in their homes.

 Read the full article.

 

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