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“Cats Learn the Names of Their Friend Cats in Their Daily Lives”, Takagi et al 2022

“Cats learn the names of their friend cats in their daily lives”⁠, Saho Takagi, Atsuko Saito, Minori Arahori, Hitomi Chijiiwa, Hikari Koyasu, Miho Nagasawa, Takefumi Kikusui et al (2022-05-13):

Humans communicate with each other through language, which enables us talk about things beyond time and space. Do non-human animals learn to associate human speech with specific objects in everyday life?

We examined whether cats matched familiar cats’ names and faces (Experiment 1) and human family members’ names and faces (Experiment 2). Cats were presented with a photo of the familiar cat’s face on a laptop monitor after hearing the same cat’s name or another cat’s name called by the subject cat’s owner (Experiment 1) or an experimenter (Experiment 2). Half of the trials were in a congruent condition where the name and face matched, and half were in an incongruent (mismatch) condition.

Results: One cat completed only the first trial before escaping from the room and climbing out of reach…1 showed that household cats paid attention to the monitor for longer in the incongruent condition, suggesting an expectancy violation effect; however, café cats did not. In 2, cats living in larger human families were found to look at the monitor for increasingly longer durations in the incongruent condition. Furthermore, this tendency was stronger among cats that had lived with their human family for a longer time, although we could not rule out an effect of age.

This study provides evidence that cats link a companion’s name and corresponding face without explicit training.

“Assessing Cats' (Felis Catus) Sensitivity to Human Pointing Gestures”, Maeses & Wascher 2022

“Assessing cats' (Felis catus) sensitivity to human pointing gestures”⁠, Margaret Maeses, Claudia A. F. Wascher (2022-03-13; ; backlinks; similar):

A wide range of non-human animal species have been shown to be able to respond to human referential signals, such as pointing gestures. The aim of the present study was to replicate previous findings showing cats to be sensitive to human pointing cues (Miklósi et al 2005).

In our study, we presented two types of human pointing gestures—momentary direct pointing and momentary cross-body pointing. We tested nine rescue cats in a two-way object choice task.

On a group level, the success rate of cats was 74.4 percentage. Cats performed significantly above chance level in both the direct pointing and cross-body pointing condition. Trial number, rewarded side and type of gesture did not significantly affect the cats’’ performance in the experiment. On an individual level, 5 out of 7 cats who completed 20 trials, performed significantly above chance level. Two cats only completed 10 trials. One of them succeeded in 8, the other in 6 of these.

The results of our study replicate previous findings of cats being responsive to human direct pointing cues and add additional knowledge about their ability to follow cross-body pointing cues. Our results highlight a domestic species, socialized in a group setting, to possess heterospecific communication skills, however we have to consider parsimonious explanations, such as local and stimulus enhancement.

“A Domestic Cat (Felis Silvestris Catus) Model of Triarchic Psychopathy Factors: Development and Initial Validation of the CAT-Tri+ Questionnaire”, Evans et al 2021

“A domestic cat (Felis silvestris catus) model of triarchic psychopathy factors: Development and initial validation of the CAT-Tri+ questionnaire”⁠, Rebecca Evans, Minna Lyons, Gayle Brewer, Emily Bethell (2021-12; ; similar):

We operationalised the triarchic model of psychopathy (boldness, meanness, and disinhibition) in domestic cats using a cat triarchic (CAT-Tri) questionnaire.

In study 1 (n = 549), we identified candidate items for CAT-Tri scales using thematically analysed cat owner questionnaire responses. In study 2 (n = 1,463), owners completed a questionnaire battery; the preliminary CAT-Tri questionnaire, Feline Five, and Cat-Owner Relationship Subscales. In study 3 (n = 30), associations between feline daily activity and Cat-Tri scales were investigated.

A 5-factor cat triarchic plus (CAT-Tri+) solution emerged: Boldness, Disinhibition, Meanness, Pet-Unfriendliness, and Human-Unfriendliness. Disinhibition and pet-unfriendliness predicted a higher quality cat-owner relationship; meanness and boldness predicted a lower quality relationship.

Findings: provide insight into the structure of triarchic psychopathy in cats.

…Previous research has reported that owner-rated cat personality consists of 3 (Gartner et al 2014, Salonen et al 2019), 4 (Arahori et al 2016), 5 (The Feline Five; Litchfield et al 2017) or 6 (Bennett et al 2017a, Bennett et al 2017b, Elvers & Lawriw 2019, Ha & Ha 2017) factors. Although there is a lack of consensus over the factor structure of domestic cat personality, a review by Gartner & Weiss 2013 suggested that sociability, curiosity (both facets of feline extraversion), and dominance have the highest validity across studies. Litchfield et al 2017 conducted the most comprehensive (n = 2,802) study of owner-rated cat personality (52 traits) to date, which informed the Feline Five conceptualization: agreeableness, dominance, extraversion, impulsiveness and neuroticism. Nevertheless, it is possible that existing measures of cat personality do not capture all potential personality factors, especially those that are related to aggression (Beaver 2004), or other behaviors viewed as undesirable by owners (Gazzano et al 2015). Within an evolutionary framework, behaviors associated with survival in threatening contexts (eg. climbing, attacking, hissing) may have been genetically selected for in the ancestors of today’s domestic cat. These behaviors may be conceptually related to psychopathy, and may still form part of the typical cat personality structure (Bergmüller 2010).

“Stress-Related Behaviors in Companion Dogs Exposed to Common Household Noises, and Owners'' Interpretations of Their Dogs'' Behaviors”, Grigg et al 2021

“Stress-Related Behaviors in Companion Dogs Exposed to Common Household Noises, and Owners'' Interpretations of Their Dogs'' Behaviors”⁠, Emma K. Grigg, Juliann Chou, Emily Parker, Anwyn Gatesy-Davis, Sara T. Clarkson, Lynette A. Hart (2021-11-08; ; backlinks; similar):

Sudden, loud noises are one of the most common triggers for fearful behaviors in dogs, and many companion dogs suffer from noise sensitivity. Existing research focuses on dramatic infrequent sounds (eg. thunderstorms, fireworks). Anecdotally, and based on reports of undesirable behaviors in response to noises in the home, many common household noises may also be causing fear and anxiety in companion dogs. However, these responses have not yet been studied in home environments.

We surveyed 386 dog owners about their dogs’ responses to household sounds, and recorded dog behaviors and human reactions from 62 videos and compilations available on an online video sharing platform, featuring dogs reacting to common household noises.

Numerous signs of canine fear and anxiety were reported by survey respondents and observed in the videos, in response to both daily, and irregular but “normal”, household noises. Responses were statistically-significantly stronger to sounds characterized as high frequency intermittent than to sounds characterized as low frequency continuous. Respondents appeared to underestimate their dogs’ fearfulness, and the majority of humans in the videos responded to their dogs’ behaviors with amusement; welfare concerns were rarely expressed.

While these videos cannot be used to calculate actual prevalence of these issues, our data support that some owners are underestimating fearfulness in their dogs in response to household noises, and responding inappropriately to dogs’ expressions of fear and anxiety. Better education is required for dog owners to accurately interpret canine body language, to both safeguard dogs’ welfare and minimize development of anxiety-related behavior problems.

“Socio-spatial Cognition in Cats: Mentally Mapping Owner’s Location from Voice”, Takagi et al 2021

“Socio-spatial cognition in cats: Mentally mapping owner’s location from voice”⁠, Saho Takagi, Hitomi Chijiiwa, Minori Arahori, Atsuko Saito, Kazuo Fujita, Hika Kuroshima (2021-09-06; similar):

Many animals probably hold mental representations about the whereabouts of others; this is a form of socio-spatial cognition. We tested whether cats mentally map the spatial position of their owner or a familiar cat to the source of the owner’s or familiar cat’s vocalization. In Experiment 1, we placed one speaker outside a familiar room (speaker (1) and another (speaker (2) inside the room, as far as possible from speaker 1, then we left the subject alone in the room. In the habituation phase, the cat heard its owner’s voice calling its name 5× from speaker 1. In the test phase, shortly after the 5th habituation phase vocalization, one of the two speakers played either the owner’s voice or a stranger’s voice calling the cat’s name once. There were four test combinations of speaker location and sound: SamesoundSamelocation, SamesoundDifflocation, DiffsoundSamelocation, DiffsoundDifflocation. In line with our prediction, cats showed most surprise in the SamesoundDifflocation condition, where the owner suddenly seemed to be in a new place. This reaction disappeared when we used cat vocalizations (Experiment 2) or non-vocal sounds (Experiment 3) as the auditory stimuli. Our results suggest that cats have mental representations about their out-of-sight owner linked to hearing the owner’s voice, indicating a previously unidentified socio-spatial cognitive ability.

“Domestic Cats (Felis Catus) Prefer Freely Available Food over Food That Requires Effort”, Delgado et al 2021

“Domestic cats (Felis catus) prefer freely available food over food that requires effort”⁠, Mikel M. Delgado, Brandon Sang Gyuc Han, Melissa J. Bain (2021-07-26; backlinks; similar):

Contrafreeloading is the willingness of animals to work for food when equivalent food is freely available. This behavior is observed in laboratory, domesticated, and captive animals. However, previous research found that 6 laboratory cats failed to contrafreeload.

We hypothesized that cats would contrafreeload in the home environment when given a choice between a food puzzle and a tray of similar size and shape. We also hypothesized that more active cats would be more likely to contrafreeload. We assessed the behavior of 17 neutered, indoor domestic cats (Felis catus) when presented with both a food puzzle and a tray across 10 30-min trials. Each cat wore an activity tracker, and all sessions were video recorded.

Cats ate more food from the free feed tray than the puzzle (t (16) = 6.77, p < 0.001). Cats made more first choices to approach and eat from the tray. There was no relationship between activity and contrafreeloading, and there was no effect of sex, age, or previous food puzzle experience on contrafreeloading. Our results suggest that cats do not show strong tendencies to contrafreeload in the home environment, although some cats (n = 4) ate most food offered in the puzzle or showed weak contrafreeloading tendencies (n = 5). 8 cats did not contrafreeload. Cats who consumed more food from the puzzle, consumed more food in general, suggesting a relationship between hunger and effort.

Further research is required to understand why domestic cats, unlike other tested species, do not show a strong preference to work for food.

“If I Fits I Sits: A Citizen Science Investigation into Illusory Contour Susceptibility in Domestic Cats (Felis Silvestris Catus)”, Smith et al 2021

2021-smith.pdf: “If I fits I sits: A citizen science investigation into illusory contour susceptibility in domestic cats (Felis silvestris catus)”⁠, Gabriella E. Smith, Philippe A. Chouinard, Sarah-Elizabeth Byosiere (2021-07; backlinks):

  • Domestic cats treat the Kanizsa contour illusion as they do real square contours by spontaneously sitting or standing inside. [“If I fits, I sits”—is this the real reason cats love to sit down on your book or magazine when you’re trying to read‽ But why do they like to lay or sleep in squares in the first place? It is presumably evolved from their desert ancestor⁠, but for what? Finding shade to sleep in during the hot day? Protection in mini-caves? (“Her birthing den is a sheltered place like dense grass, a burrow or hollow tree…”)]
  • Utilizing cats’ natural behaviors is effective for the study of cat behavior and cognition.
  • The citizen science paradigm is successful at conducting ecologically valid research into the cognition of domestic cats.

A well-known phenomenon to cat owners is the tendency of their cats to sit in enclosed spaces such as boxes, laundry baskets, and even shape outlines taped on the floor. This investigative study asks whether domestic cats (Felis silvestris catus) are also susceptible to sitting in enclosures that are illusory in nature, utilizing cats’ attraction to box-like spaces to assess their perception of the Kanizsa square visual illusion.

Carried out during the COVID-19 pandemic, this study randomly assigned citizen science participants Booklets of 6 randomized, counterbalanced daily stimuli to print out, prepare, and place on the floor in pairs. Owners observed and video-recorded their cats’ behavior with the stimuli and reported findings from home over the course of the 6 daily trials. This study ultimately reached over 500 pet cats and cat owners, and of those, 30 completed all the study’s trials. Of these, 9 cat subjects selected at least one stimulus by sitting within the contours (illusory or otherwise) with all limbs for at least 3 seconds. This study revealed that cats selected the Kanizsa illusion just as often as the square and more often than the control, indicating that domestic cats may treat the subjective Kanizsa contours as they do real contours. Given the drawbacks of citizen science projects such as participant attrition, future research would benefit from replicating this study in controlled settings.

To the best of our knowledge, this investigation is the first of its kind in 3 regards: a citizen science study of cat cognition; a formal examination into cats’ attraction to 2D rather than 3D enclosures; and study into cats’ susceptibility to illusory contours in an ecologically relevant paradigm. This study demonstrates the potential of more ecologically valid study of pet cats, and more broadly provides an interesting new perspective into cat visual perception research.

[Keywords: cat, behavior, vision, cognition, Kanizsa illusion]

…Previous research reveals that cats are, indeed, susceptible to certain visual illusions. De Weerd et al 1990 found that domestic cats could discriminate illusory contour orientation via contour-inducing semicircles. In 2019, Szenczi et al revealed that cats are susceptible to the size distorting Delboeuf illusion⁠. Further, 2 studies found that both lions (Panthera leo) (Regaiolli et al 2019) and domestic cats (Bååth et al 2014) are susceptible to the Rotating Snake illusion⁠, comprising a “moving” image caused by peripheral drift eliciting hunting-related behavior.

Perhaps most relevant, a study by Bravo et al 1988 examined domestic cats’ susceptibility to subjective contours via operant response to the Kanizsa square illusion. 2 young, female cats were trained to indicate where they viewed a subjective contour on an array of sectored disks in various orientations. The researchers controlled for other potential cues like luminance, temporal changes, and local patterns by introducing and modifying variables like motion and duration of stimuli exposure. They found that the cats demonstrated susceptibility to the Kanizsa illusion, indicating that cats likely perceive subjective contours as humans do (see Table 1 for a summary for illusion studies in cat species)…The present study supplements the results of Bravo et al 1988’s experiment with the addition of an increased sample size and a more inclusive sex and age range, in pet, rather than laboratory, cats. Moreover, rather than using standard operant conditioning procedures, the current study utilizes a more ecologically valid, real-world setting in which to evaluate spontaneous behavior. As cats transferred to novel environments can exhibit stress-related behaviors and thus not behave naturally (Amat et al 2015), this study also offers an at-home environment to explore domestic cats’ susceptibility to Kanizsa square contours in a natural setting.

Figure 4: Video Screenshots of Participant Cats’ Stimuli Selections.

“The Family Dog Is in Sync With Your Kids: Dogs Orient and Move in Synchrony With Family Members, Which May Have Implications for the Emotional Development of People and Pets”, Reynolds 2021

“The Family Dog Is in Sync With Your Kids: Dogs orient and move in synchrony with family members, which may have implications for the emotional development of people and pets”⁠, Gretchen Reynolds (2021-03-17; ; backlinks; similar):

Family dogs match their movements to those of the children they live with, according to a poignant new study of young people and their pets. In the study, pet dogs moved when their accompanying children did and remained still when they stopped, a physical synchrony that often signals emotional bonding. The family canines also tended to stay close by and to orient themselves in the same directions as the kids, a further indication of social engagement and attentiveness that could have implications for the emotional development of both dogs and youngsters, as well as for the safety of the interactions between them…This study was very small and short-term, though. Dr. Udell hopes to enroll more dogs and children and follow them during service-animal training, watching to see if, for instance, children start to orient themselves to the actions of their dogs, as well as vice versa, and if there are differences in synchrony according to a child’s age or dog’s breed.

She and her colleagues also are interested in studying the bonding and interwoven movements of people and other types of pets, particularly cats. “We’ve done a little work with cats and, so far, they blow everything out of the water in terms of being socially responsive to their owners’ behavior”, she says. No experiments currently are planned, however, to test the synchrony of cats and dogs.

“Provision of High Meat Content Food and Object Play Reduce Predation of Wild Animals by Domestic Cats Felis Catus”, Cecchetti et al 2021

“Provision of High Meat Content Food and Object Play Reduce Predation of Wild Animals by Domestic Cats Felis catus⁠, Martina Cecchetti, Sarah L. Crowley, Cecily E. D. Goodwin, Robbie A. McDonald (2021-02-11; backlinks; similar):

Highlights:

  • Predation by domestic cats can be a threat to biodiversity and is a social problem
  • Providing high-meat-protein food and object play both reduce predation by cats
  • Rather than impeding hunting, these non-invasive measures reduce tendency to hunt
  • Cat owners might engage more with measures that benefit cats as well as wildlife

Predation by domestic cats Felis catus can be a threat to biodiversity conservation, but its mitigation is controversial. Confinement and collar-mounted devices can impede cat hunting success and reduce numbers of animals killed, but some owners do not wish to inhibit what they see as natural behavior, perceive safety risks associated with collars, or are concerned about device loss and ineffectiveness.

In a controlled and replicated trial, we tested novel, non-invasive interventions that aim to make positive contributions to cat husbandry, alongside existing devices that impede hunting. Households where a high meat protein, grain-free food was provided, and households where 5–10 min of daily object play was introduced, recorded decreases of −36% and −25%, respectively, in numbers of animals captured and brought home by cats, relative to controls and the pre-treatment period. Introduction of puzzle feeders increased numbers by +33%. Fitting [brightly-colored] Birdsbesafe collar covers reduced the numbers of birds captured and brought home by −42% but had no discernible effect on mammals. Cat bells had no discernible effect. [Cats have such poor color vision—they know bells making noise are bad, but can they even see the clown collar to realize?]

Reductions in predation can be made by non-invasive, positive contributions to cat nutrition and behavior that reduce their tendency to hunt, rather than impede their hunting. These measures are likely to find support among cat owners who are concerned about the welfare implications of other interventions.

“Exploratory Study of Cat Adoption in Families of Children With Autism: Impact on Children's Social Skills and Anxiety”, Carlisle et al 2020

2021-carlisle.pdf: “Exploratory study of cat adoption in families of children with autism: Impact on children's social skills and anxiety”⁠, Gretchen K. Carlisle, Rebecca A. Johnson, Ze Wang, Jessica Bibbo, Nancy Cheak-Zamora, Leslie A. Lyons et al (2020-12-06; ):

Highlights:

  • First randomized controlled trial of cat adoption in families of children with ASD⁠.
  • Adoption of temperament screened shelter cat may benefit children with ASD.
  • Positive exploratory findings indicate need for study with larger sample.

Purpose: The diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) occurs in one in 54 children and companion animals (CA) are common in families of children with ASD. Despite evidence of CA ownership benefits for children with ASD, little is known about cats. The purpose was to explore the impact of shelter cat adoption by families of children with ASD.

Design and methods: This was the first randomized controlled trial of adoption of a temperament screened cat by families of children with ASD. Families assigned to the treatment group adopted a cat and were followed for 18 weeks. Families assigned to the control group were followed for 18 weeks without intervention, then converted to treatment, by adopting a cat and were followed another 18 weeks. Adopted cats were screened using the Feline Temperament Profile to identify a calm temperament. Surveys measured children’s social skills and anxiety and parent/​child cat bonding.

Results: Our study (n = 11) found cat adoption was associated with greater Empathy and less Separation Anxiety for children with ASD, along with fewer problem behaviors including Externalizing, Bullying and Hyperactivity/​Inattention. Parents and children reported strong bonds to the cats.

Conclusion: This exploratory study found introduction of a cat into the home may have a positive impact on children with ASD and their parents. Based on this initial finding, future studies with larger sample sizes are recommended.

Practice implications: If parents of children with ASD are considering cat adoption, health care providers might consider recommending adoption of a cat screened for calm temperament.

[Keywords: children with autism spectrum disorder, companion animals, cats, social skills, pets]

“Toxoplasmosis: Recent Advances in Understanding the Link Between Infection and Host Behavior”, Johnson & Johnson 2020

2021-johnson.pdf: “Toxoplasmosis: Recent Advances in Understanding the Link Between Infection and Host Behavior”⁠, Stefanie K. Johnson, Pieter T. J. Johnson (2020-11-02; ):

Humans, wildlife, and domestic animals are intimately linked through shared infections. Many parasites and pathogens use multiple host species, either opportunistically or sequentially, such that managing disease risk frequently requires a broader understanding of the ecological community. The coccidian protozoan Toxoplasma gondii infects more than one hundred species of vertebrates, ranging from bats to beluga whales. In humans, acute toxoplasmosis can have serious health consequences for immunocompromised individuals. Even amongst asymptomatic patients, however, toxoplasmosis has been linked to a range of behavioral alterations and conditions, such as changes in risk tolerance, neuroticism, mental illness, suicide, and accident proneness. Whether such links are causal or simply correlational has been the subject of intense study and debate; from an evolutionary standpoint, selection may favor parasite-induced alterations in host behavior that increase the likelihood a host is consumed by the definitive host—in this case a domestic or wild felid. Here, we examine current evidence for parasite-induced manipulations of host behavior, in both humans and other animals. We critically evaluate proposed mechanisms through which infection might influence host behavior, which range from inflammation in the brain to changes in hormones or neurotransmitters. Considering estimates that T. gondii may infect up to 1⁄3rd of the global human population, we conclude by examining the implications of these changes for human behavior, individual fitness, and emergent cultural properties.

“The Role of Cat Eye Narrowing Movements in Cat-human Communication”, Humphrey et al 2020

“The role of cat eye narrowing movements in cat-human communication”⁠, Tasmin Humphrey, Leanne Proops, Jemma Forman, Rebecca Spooner, Karen McComb (2020-10-05; backlinks; similar):

Domestic animals are sensitive to human cues that facilitate inter-specific communication, including cues to emotional state. The eyes are important in signalling emotions, with the act of narrowing the eyes appearing to be associated with positive emotional communication in a range of species. This study examines the communicatory importance of a widely reported cat behaviour that involves eye narrowing, referred to as the slow blink sequence. Slow blink sequences typically involve a series of half-blinks followed by either a prolonged eye narrow or an eye closure.

Our first experiment revealed that cat half-blinks and eye narrowing occurred more frequently in response to owners’ slow blink stimuli towards their cats (compared to no owner-cat interaction). In a second experiment, this time where an experimenter provided the slow blink stimulus, cats had a higher propensity to approach the experimenter after a slow blink interaction than when they had adopted a neutral expression.

Collectively, our results suggest that slow blink sequences may function as a form of positive emotional communication between cats and humans.

[…Dr Leanne Proops from the University of Portsmouth’s Department of Psychology co-supervised the work. She said: “It’s definitely not easy to study natural cat behaviour so these results provide a rare insight in to the world of cat-human communication.”

The team, led by Dr Tasmin Humphrey and Professor Karen McComb, animal behaviour scientists at the University of Sussex, undertook 2 experiments. The first revealed that cats are more likely to slow blink at their owners after their owners have slow blinked at them, compared to when they don’t interact at all. The second experiment, this time with a researcher from the psychology team, rather than the owner, found that the cats were more likely to approach the experimenter’s outstretched hand after they’d slow blinked at the cat, compared to when they had adopted a neutral expression. Taken together, the study shows that this slow blinking technique can provide a form of positive communication between cats and humans.

…Professor Karen McComb, from the School of Psychology at the University of Sussex, who supervised the work, said: “As someone who has both studied animal behaviour and is a cat owner, it’s great to be able to show that cats and humans can communicate in this way. It’s something that many cat owners had already suspected, so it’s exciting to have found evidence for it.

“This study is the first to experimentally investigate the role of slow blinking in cat-human communication. And it is something you can try yourself with your own cat at home, or with cats you meet in the street. It’s a great way of enhancing the bond you have with cats. Try narrowing your eyes at them as you would in a relaxed smile, followed by closing your eyes for a couple of seconds. You’ll find they respond in the same way themselves and you can start a sort of conversation.”

Dr Tasmin Humphrey, first author of the study, said: “Understanding positive ways in which cats and humans interact can enhance public understanding of cats, improve feline welfare, and tell us more about the socio-cognitive abilities of this under-studied species.

“Our findings could potentially be used to assess the welfare of cats in a variety of settings, including veterinary practices and shelters.

“In terms of why cats behave in this way, it could be argued that cats developed the slow blink behaviours because humans perceived slow blinking as positive. Cats may have learned that humans reward them for responding to slow blinking. It is also possible that slow blinking in cats began as a way to interrupt an unbroken stare, which is potentially threatening in social interaction.”]

“Did We Find a Copycat? ‘Do As I Do’ in a Domestic Cat (Felis Catus)”, Fugazza et al 2020

“Did we find a copycat? ‘Do as I Do’ in a domestic cat (Felis catus)”⁠, Claudia Fugazza, Andrea Sommese, Ákos Pogány, Ádám Miklósi (2020-09-18; backlinks; similar):

This study shows evidence of a domestic cat (Felis catus) being able to successfully learn to reproduce human-demonstrated actions based on the ‘Do as I Do’ paradigm. The subject was trained to reproduce a small set of familiar actions on command “Do it!” before the study began. To test feature-contingent behavioural similarity and control for stimulus enhancement, our test consisted of a modified version of the two-action procedure, combined with the ‘Do as I Do’ paradigm. Instead of showing two different actions on an object to different subjects, we applied a within-subject design and showed the two actions to the same subject in separate trials. We show evidence that a well-socialized companion cat was able to reproduce actions demonstrated by a human model by reproducing two different actions that were demonstrated on the same object. Our experiment provides the first evidence that the ‘Do as I Do’ paradigm can be applied to cats, suggesting that the ability to recognize behavioural similarity may fall within the range of the socio-cognitive skills of this species. The ability of reproducing the actions of a heterospecific human model in well-socialized cats may pave the way for future studies addressing cats’ imitative skills.

“The Daytime Feeding Frequency Affects Appetite-regulating Hormones, Amino Acids, Physical Activity, and Respiratory Quotient, but Not Energy Expenditure, in Adult Cats Fed Regimens for 21 Days”, Camara et al 2020

“The daytime feeding frequency affects appetite-regulating hormones, amino acids, physical activity, and respiratory quotient, but not energy expenditure, in adult cats fed regimens for 21 days”⁠, Alexandra Camara, Adronie Verbrugghe, Cara Cargo-Froom, Kylie Hogan, Trevor J. DeVries, Andrea Sanchez et al (2020-08-18; ; backlinks; similar):

The effects of feeding frequency on postprandial response of circulating appetite-regulating hormones, insulin, glucose and amino acids, and on physical activity, energy expenditure, and respiratory quotient were studied in healthy adult cats. Two experiments were designed as a 2×3 replicated incomplete Latin square design. Eight cats, with an average body weight (BW) of 4.34 kg ± 0.04 and body condition score (BCS) of 5.4 ± 1.4 (9 point scale), were fed isocaloric amounts of a commercial adult maintenance canned cat food either once (0800 h) or four times daily (0800 h, 1130 h, 1500 h, 1830 h). Study 1 consisted of three 21-d periods. On day 14, two fasted and 11 postprandial blood samples were collected over 24 hours to measure plasma concentrations of ghrelin, GLP-1, GIP, leptin, PYY, insulin and amino acids, and whole blood glucose. Physical activity was monitored from day 15 to 21 of each period. In Study 2 indirect calorimetry was performed on the last day of each period. Body weight was measured weekly and feed intake recorded daily in both experiments. No effect of feeding regimen on BW was detected. Cats eating four times daily had lesser plasma concentrations of GIP and GLP-1 (p < 0.05) and tended to have lesser plasma PYY concentrations (p < 0.1). Plasma leptin and whole blood glucose concentrations did not differ between regimens (p > 0.1). Cats fed once daily had a greater postprandial plasma amino acid response, and greater plasma ghrelin and insulin concentrations (p < 0.05). Physical activity was greater in cats fed four times (p < 0.05), though energy expenditure was similar between treatments at fasting and in postprandial phases. Finally, cats eating one meal had a lower fasting respiratory quotient (p < 0.05). Overall, these data indicate that feeding once a day may be a beneficial feeding management strategy for indoor cats to promote satiation and lean body mass.

“The Small Home Ranges and Large Local Ecological Impacts of Pet Cats”, Kays et al 2020

2020-kays.pdf: “The small home ranges and large local ecological impacts of pet cats”⁠, R. Kays, R. R. Dunn, A. W. Parsons, B. Mcdonald, T. Perkins, S. A. Powers, L. Shell, J. L. McDonald, H. Cole et al (2020-03-11; backlinks):

Domestic cats (Felis catus) are a conservation concern because they kill billions of native prey each year, but without spatial context the ecological importance of pets as predators remains uncertain.

We worked with citizen scientists to track 925 pet cats from 6 countries, finding remarkably small home ranges (3.6 ± 5.6 ha). Only 3 cats ranged >1 km2 and we found no relationship between home range size and the presence of larger native predators (ie. coyotes, Canis latrans). Most (75%) cats used primarily (90%) disturbed habitats.

Owners reported that their pets killed an average of 3.5 prey items/​month, leading to an estimated ecological impact per cat of 14.2–38.9 prey ha−1 yr−1. This is similar or higher than the per-animal ecological impact of wild carnivores but the effect is amplified by the high density of cats in neighborhoods.

As a result, pet cats around the world have an ecological impact greater than native predators but concentrated within ~100m of their homes.

“Where There Are Girls, There Are Cats”, Li et al 2020

2020-li.pdf: “Where there are girls, there are cats”⁠, Yuhang Li, Yue Wan, Yigui Zhang, Zhaomei Gong, Zhongqiu Li (2020-02-10; backlinks):

The growing population of outdoor free-ranging cats poses an increasingly serious threat to biodiversity. Identifying the strategies that outdoor free-ranging cats apply to live with humans is an interesting research topic.

In this study, we provided robust estimates of free-ranging cat density in 30 universities in Nanjing⁠, Jiangsu Province⁠, China.

We found that the population density of free-ranging cats is linearly related to the proportion of female students in the university. An online questionnaire confirmed that human females were more concerned about the living conditions of free-ranging cats than human males in China. By contrast, a socialization test on 27 free-ranging cats suggests that the cats may have the ability to distinguish human sex and adopt a sociable skill to human females.

This study leaves an interesting coevolution story between humans and cats and suggests that human sex may be an important factor to consider in cat population managements and wildlife conservation.

[Keywords: Free-ranging cat, Feral cat, Human sex ratio, Socialization test]

“Cats, Once YouTube Stars, Are Now an ‘Emerging Audience’: They're Addicted to Channels like Little Kitty & Family, Handsome Nature, and Videos for Your Cat—provided Their Owners Switch on the IPad First”, Lazzaro 2020

“Cats, Once YouTube Stars, Are Now an ‘Emerging Audience’: They're addicted to channels like Little Kitty & Family, Handsome Nature, and Videos for Your Cat—provided their owners switch on the iPad first”⁠, Sage Lazzaro (2020-01-22; ; backlinks; similar):

Whenever Courtney Cirone grabs her iPad, her cat Cooper runs over as though a bag of treats had just been shaken. He wants to watch YouTube⁠, specifically videos of squirrels and tiny birds scurrying about. “His eyes get super big, and he moves his head back and forth following the animals”, Cirone says. “He ducks his head down low like he’s hiding. One time he looked at me, meowing, like, ‘HELP ME CATCH THIS BASTARD.’” Cooper paws relentlessly at the screen, sometimes lunging at it head-first in an attempt to catch his digital prey. He loves these videos (along with clips of Dr. Phil). He’s so obsessed that Cirone limits his viewing to three times per week, because he sits very close and she’s cautious about protecting his eyes. When she turns her iPad off, he even sulks. If this sounds strange, it is and it’s not: Cats, famously the subjects of online videos, now sit on the other side, watching…Now she puts cat-targeted YouTube videos on for Jasper a few times weekly. He loves them so much that he’ll sit in front of the TV or in between Gall and her laptop to signal that he wants to watch.

Beyond all the content for humans, there’s a growing world on YouTube specifically for our feline friends. Loved by certain cat owners and occasionally championed by veterinarians and animal scientists, these videos tap into cats’ instincts to stalk, chase, and hunt. Cat-targeted footage of small animals is particularly popular on the platform, posted by channels like Little Kitty & Family⁠, Handsome Nature⁠, and Videos for Your Cat⁠. One of the most prolific creators, Paul Dinning, has posted hundreds of videos for cats, including an eight-hour “Bird Bonanza” that’s amassed almost 7 million views. According to YouTube’s Trends and Insights team, Dinning created eight of the 10 most-viewed videos for cats in 2019…In 2019, videos containing the phrase “videos for cats” were viewed over 55 million on the platform, up 41% from 2018. “We now have this world where cats are an emerging audience”, Pettie says, “and movies for cats are an emerging trend.”…According to YouTube, videos targeted at dogs garnered only 6 million views last year.

…Cat Games creator Max Gomboev, a motion designer from Russia, first started making these videos as a tribute to his late cat. After seeing how much other cat owners liked them and the experience they provided over cat-targeted mobile apps, like Cat Fishing 2, which offer much less variety, he started making videos more regularly. “It’s easier than installing an app, and you can show my videos on a TV”, Gomboev says. “Usually, I create a new video every 10 days. Cats like to watch something new.”.

“Facial Expressions of Pain in Cats: the Development and Validation of a Feline Grimace Scale”, Evangelista et al 2019

“Facial expressions of pain in cats: the development and validation of a Feline Grimace Scale”⁠, Marina C. Evangelista, Ryota Watanabe, Vivian S. Y. Leung, Beatriz P. Monteiro, Elizabeth O’Toole, Daniel S. J. Pang. Paulo V. Steagall et al (2019-12-13; backlinks; similar):

Grimace scales have been used for pain assessment in different species. This study aimed to develop and validate the Feline Grimace Scale (FGS) to detect naturally-occurring acute pain. Thirty-five client-owned and twenty control cats were video-recorded undisturbed in their cages in a prospective, case-control study. Painful cats received analgesic treatment and videos were repeated one hour later. Five action units (AU) were identified: ear position, orbital tightening, muzzle tension, whiskers change and head position. Four observers independently scored (0–2 for each AU) 110 images of control and painful cats. The FGS scores were higher in painful than in control cats; a very strong correlation with another validated instrument for pain assessment in cats was observed (rho = 0.86, p < 0.001) as well as good overall inter-rater reliability [ICC = 0.89 (95% CI: 0.85–0.92)], excellent intra-rater reliability (ICC > 0.91), and excellent internal consistency (Cronbach’s alpha = 0.89). The FGS detected response to analgesic treatment (scores after analgesia were lower than before) and a cut-off score was determined (total pain score > 0.39 out of 1.0). The FGS is a valid and reliable tool for acute pain assessment in cats.

“The Scavenging Patterns of Feral Cats on Human Remains in an Outdoor Setting”, Garcia et al 2019

2019-garcia.pdf: “The Scavenging Patterns of Feral Cats on Human Remains in an Outdoor Setting”⁠, Sara Garcia, Alexander Smith, Christiane Baigent, Melissa Connor (2019-11-08; backlinks):

2 cases of feral cat (Felis catus) scavenging were documented at the Forensic Investigation Research Station in Whitewater, Colorado. Human remains at the facility are placed outside, observed daily, documented with field notes, and photographed; decomposition is scored on a Likert scale. Scavenger activity is monitored with game cameras.

The cases documented included: preferential scavenging of the soft tissue of the shoulder and arm, differential consumption of tissue layers, superficial defects, and no macroscopic skeletal defects. This pattern more closely parallels the documented pattern of bobcat (Lynx rufus) scavenging than that of domestic cats. Scavenging among felids is relatively rare, as felids typically prefer to hunt. Such cases studied in detail are relatively few, spatially relative, and lack statistical robustness.

While only 2 examples are reported here, these cases are rare overall, and this documentation may help field investigators understand the place of feral cats within a local scavenger guild.

[For a UK case of scavenging a dead owner, see Rossi et al 1994⁠; and a Thai case⁠.]

“Why Cats Love Earwax”, Branwen 2019

Earwax: “Why Cats Love Earwax”⁠, Gwern Branwen (2019-11-05; ⁠, ; backlinks; similar):

While petting cats⁠, I accidentally discovered cats are fascinated by the smell & taste of earwax⁠, particularly that of humans, and this interest can last indefinitely. Dogs & humans, for comparison, are not. A number of anecdotes have reported this over the years, but no formal research appears to have been done on this. What makes earwax attractive to cats? Pheromones? Some nutrient?

The best candidate to date is valeric acid⁠, which is present in both human earwax & the cat attractant plant Valerian⁠.

“Humans Can Identify Cats’ Affective States from Subtle Facial Expressions”, Dawson et al 2019

“Humans can identify cats’ affective states from subtle facial expressions”⁠, L. C. Dawson, J. Cheal, L. Niel, G. Mason (2019-11; backlinks; similar):

Although cats’ popularity as pets rivals that of dogs, cats are little studied, and people’s abilities to read this apparently ‘inscrutable’ species have attracted negligible research. To determine whether people can identify feline emotions from cats’ faces, participants (n = 6,329) each viewed 20 video clips of cats in carefully operationalised positively (n = 10) or negatively valenced states (n = 10) (cross-factored with low and high activity levels). Obvious cues (eg. open mouths or fully retracted ears) were eliminated. Participants’ average scores were low (11.85/​20 correct), but overall above chance; furthermore, 13% of participants were individually statistically-significantly successful at identifying the valence of cats’ states (scoring ≥ 15⁄20 correct). Women were more successful at this task than men, and younger participants more successful than older, as were participants with professional feline (eg. veterinary) experience. In contrast, personal contact with cats (eg. pet-owning) had little effect. Cats in positive states were most likely to be correctly identified, particularly if active rather than inactive. People can thus infer cats’ affective states from subtle aspects of their facial expressions (although most find this challenging); and some individuals are very good at doing so. Understanding where such abilities come from, and precisely how cats’ expressions change with affective state, could potentially help pet owners, animal care staff and veterinarians optimize feline care and welfare.

“Attachment Bonds between Domestic Cats and Humans”, Vitale et al 2019

“Attachment bonds between domestic cats and humans”⁠, Kristyn R. Vitale, Alexandra C. Behnke, Monique A. R. Udell (2019-09-23; backlinks; similar):

Worldwide, domestic cats (Felis silvestris catus) outnumber domestic dogs (Canis familiaris). Despite cats’ success in human environments, dog social cognition has received considerably more scientific attention over the last several decades.

A key aspect of what has been said to make dogs unique is their proclivity for forming attachment bonds, including secure attachments to humans, which could provide scaffolding for the development of human-like socio-cognitive abilities and contribute to success in human environments. Cats, like dogs, can be found living in social groups or solitary, depending on early developmental factors, resource distribution, and lifetime experiences such as human interaction. Despite fewer studies, research suggests we may be underestimating cats’ socio-cognitive abilities.

Here we report evidence, using behavioral criteria established in the human infant literature, that cats display distinct attachment styles toward human caregivers. Evidence that cats share social traits once attributed to dogs and humans alone would suggest that broader non-canine-specific mechanisms may be needed to explain cross-species attachment and socio-cognitive abilities.

In our study, cats and owners participated in a Secure Base Test (SBT), an abbreviated strange situation test used to evaluate attachment security in primates and dogs. During this test, the subject spends 2 minutes in a novel room with their caregiver, followed by a 2-minute alone phase, and then a 2-minute reunion phase (see Supplemental Information for details). Cats were classified into attachment styles by expert attachment coders using the same criteria used in the human infant and dog literature. Upon the caregiver’s return from a brief absence, individuals with secure attachment display a reduced stress response and contact-exploration balance with the caretaker (the Secure Base Effect), whereas individuals with an insecure attachment remain stressed and engage in behaviors such as excessive proximity-seeking (ambivalent attachment), avoidance behavior (avoidant attachment), or approach/​avoidance conflict (disorganized attachment).

The SBT was conducted with kittens aged 3–8 months. 70 kittens were classified into an attachment style (see Supplemental Information) and 9 kittens were unclassifiable. Of the classifiable kittens, 64.3% were categorized as securely attached and 35.7% were categorized as insecurely attached (Figure 1).

“Characterization of Plant Eating in Cats”, Hart et al 2019

2019-hart.pdf: “Characterization of plant eating in cats”⁠, Benjamin L. Hart, Lynette A. Hart, Abigail P. Thigpen (2019-08-05; backlinks):

[Conference abstract reporting cat owner survey (n = 1021) about plant-eating & health, with similar results as dogs⁠. Cats are frequently seen eating plants (only 11% never), usually appear healthy, vomit semi-frequently afterwards, and do so more frequently when younger.]

…71% of cats had been seen eating plants at least 6 times, 61% over 10 times, and 11% never eating plants. Comparing cats seen eating plants at least 10 times with those never seen eating plants, there were no differences in age range, neuter status, source or number of cats in the household. Of cats seen eating plants at least 10 times, 67% were estimated to eat plants daily or weekly. When asked about how their cat seemed to feel prior to eating plants, 91% of respondents said their cat was almost always appeared normal, beforehand. Vomiting was a bit more common—27% reported the cat frequently vomiting after eating plants. The prior study on plant eating by dogs had very similar findings with regard to frequency of plant eating, appearing normal beforehand, and vomiting 20–30% of the time afterwards. Among young cats, 3 years of age or less, 39% engaged in daily plant eating compared to 27% of cats 4 years or older (p < 0.01). While percentage of younger cats showing no signs of illness prior plant eating was similar to older cats, just 11% of the younger cats were observed to frequently vomit after eating plants compared to a statistically-significantly higher 30% of older cats (p < 0.001).

“Breed Differences of Heritable Behaviour Traits in Cats”, Salonen et al 2019

“Breed differences of heritable behaviour traits in cats”⁠, Milla Salonen, Katariina Vapalahti, Katriina Tiira, Asko Mäki-Tanila, Hannes Lohi (2019-05-28; ⁠, ; backlinks; similar):

Cat domestication and selective breeding have resulted in tens of breeds with major morphological differences. These breeds may also show distinctive behaviour differences; which, however, have been poorly studied. To improve the understanding of feline behaviour, we examined whether behavioural differences exist among cat breeds and whether behaviour is heritable. For these aims, we utilized our extensive health and behaviour questionnaire directed to cat owners and collected a survey data of 5726 cats. Firstly, for studying breed differences, we utilized logistic regression models with multiple environmental factors and discovered behaviour differences in 19 breeds and breed groups in ten different behaviour traits. Secondly, the studied cat breeds grouped into four clusters, with the Turkish Van and Angora cats alone forming one of them. These findings indicate that cat breeds have diverged not only morphologically but also behaviourally. Thirdly, we estimated heritability in three breeds and obtained moderate heritability estimates in seven studied traits, varying from 0.4 to 0.53, as well as phenotypic and genetic correlations for several trait pairs. Our results show that it is possible to partition the observed variation in behaviour traits into genetic and environmental components, and that substantial genetic variation exists within breed populations.

“A Review of the Development and Functions of Cat Play, With Future Research Considerations”, Delgado & Hecht 2019

2019-delgado.pdf: “A review of the development and functions of cat play, with future research considerations”⁠, Mikel Delgado, Julie Hecht (2019-05-01; backlinks):

  • We provide an extensive review of the cat play empirical literature to date.
  • Play is highly influenced by biological factors, social context, and stimuli features.
  • Predation likely develops via multiple experiential routes, not only from play.
  • We propose several future research directions related to cat play.
  • Clear, consistent definitions of play behaviors are recommended for future research.

Although attention to domestic cat (Felis silvestris catus) behavior and cognition has increased in recent years, numerous questions remain regarding their play. Few studies have included play as a variable of interest, and to the best of our knowledge no behavioral studies focusing on cat play have been published in the last 15 years, and there is no recent review of our current understanding of its development, behavioral components, function, or outstanding research questions. This is despite the accessibility of the cat as a convenient model for more difficult to study members of the Carnivora, as recognized by pioneering studies of cat play in the 1970s and 1980s.

We address this gap by reviewing and synthesizing the existing literature on play development, identifying and discussing eliciting factors and possible functions of play in cats. Additionally, we conducted an extensive review of the literature to identify how play has been operationalized in peer-reviewed publications (n = 46).

We identified 138 behaviors measured in these studies, with 84 of them unique behavioral labels. Our findings demonstrate the diversity—and sometimes commonalities—of descriptions of play behavior across these studies, while highlighting the challenge of inconsistent operationalization of cat play in the literature. We conclude by proposing and exploring several open questions and offering suggestions for future research, particularly related to pet cats.

[Keywords: play behavior, play functions, domestic cat, Felidae, predatory behavior, ethogram]

“Black Cat Bias: Prevalence and Predictors”, Jones & Hart 2019

2019-jones.pdf: “Black Cat Bias: Prevalence and Predictors”⁠, Haylie D. Jones, Christian L. Hart (2019-04-29; backlinks):

There is anecdotal and empirical evidence for black cat bias, the phenomenon where cats (Felis silvestris catus) with black coats are viewed more negatively, adopted less often, and euthanized more often than lighter colored cats. Despite the anecdotal claims, there is scarce empirical evidence for black cat bias.

Using evaluations of cat photos, the researchers examined differences in people’s attitudes toward black and non-black cats of various colorations on measures of perceived aggression, perceived friendliness, and willingness to adopt. The researchers also explored whether participants’ levels of religiosity, superstitious beliefs, and prejudicial racial attitudes were related to black cat bias. Finally, the researchers explored whether black cat bias was related to difficulties people had in reading the emotions of black cats compared to non-black cats.

This study provided evidence of black cat bias in the sample. People exhibiting higher degrees of black cat bias had higher levels of superstition, but not religiosity or racial prejudice. Additionally, people who had difficulty reading the emotions of black cats tended to exhibit a stronger bias against adopting black cats.

“Dogs Have Masters, Cats Have Staff: Consumers' Psychological Ownership and Their Economic Valuation of Pets”, Kirk 2019

2019-kirk.pdf: “Dogs have masters, cats have staff: Consumers' psychological ownership and their economic valuation of pets”⁠, Colleen P. Kirk (2019-01-01; backlinks)

“Intestinal Delta-6-desaturase Activity Determines Host Range for Toxoplasma Sexual Reproduction”, Genova et al 2019

“Intestinal delta-6-desaturase activity determines host range for Toxoplasma sexual reproduction”⁠, Bruno Martorelli Di Genova, Sarah K. Wilson, J. P Dubey, Laura J. Knoll (2019; ):

Many eukaryotic microbes have complex life cycles that include both sexual and asexual phases with strict species specificity. Whereas the asexual cycle of the protistan parasite Toxoplasma gondii can occur in any warm-blooded mammal, the sexual cycle is restricted to the feline intestine. The molecular determinants that identify cats as the definitive host for T. gondii are unknown. Here, we defined the mechanism of species specificity for T. gondii sexual development and break the species barrier to allow the sexual cycle to occur in mice. We determined that T. gondii sexual development occurs when cultured feline intestinal epithelial cells are supplemented with linoleic acid. Felines are the only mammals that lack delta-6-desaturase activity in their intestines, which is required for linoleic acid metabolism, resulting in systemic excess of linoleic acid. We found that inhibition of murine delta-6-desaturase and supplementation of their diet with linoleic acid allowed T. gondii sexual development in mice. This mechanism of species specificity is the first defined for a parasite sexual cycle. This work highlights how host diet and metabolism shape coevolution with microbes. The key to unlocking the species boundaries for other eukaryotic microbes may also rely on the lipid composition of their environments as we see increasing evidence for the importance of host lipid metabolism during parasitic lifecycles. Pregnant women are advised against handling cat litter, as maternal infection with T. gondii can be transmitted to the fetus with potentially lethal outcomes. Knowing the molecular components that create a conducive environment for T. gondii sexual reproduction will allow for development of therapeutics that prevent shedding of T. gondii parasites. Finally, given the current reliance on companion animals to study T. gondii sexual development, this work will allow the T. gondii field to use of alternative models in future studies.

“Cat Psychology & Domestication: Are We Good Owners?”, Branwen 2018

Cat-Sense: “Cat Psychology & Domestication: Are We Good Owners?”⁠, Gwern Branwen (2018-11-03; ⁠, ⁠, ⁠, ⁠, ⁠, ⁠, ; backlinks; similar):

Extended book review of Bradshaw 2013 (Cat Sense) on the connections between cat psychology, evolution/​genetics, history of domestication or lack thereof, & possible dysgenics, highlighting modern maladaptivity of cat psychology, with fulltext bibliography of key references.

I review John Bradshaw’s book on domestic cat psychology, Cat Sense, after difficulties dealing with my own cat. Bradshaw reviews the history of domestic cats from their apparent Middle Eastern origins as a small solitary desert predator to their domestication in Ancient Egypt where breeding millions of cats for sacrifice may have played a critical role (as opposed to any unique role as a vermin exterminator) through to the modern day and psychological studies of the learning abilities and personalities of cats, with particular emphasis on cat social skills in “cat colonies” & plasticity in kittenhood. As Bradshaw diagnoses it, these are responsible for what ability they have to modern pet life, even though they are not bred for this like dogs; every tame cat still has the feral cat in them, and are in many ways unsuited for contemporary living, with disturbing hints that human lack of selective breeding plus recent large-scale spay/​neuter population control efforts may be producing a subtle dysgenic effect on domestication, and this double neglect & backfire may be responsible for disturbingly high rates of cat maladaptation & chronic stress diseases.

“How Mammals Stay Healthy in Nature: the Evolution of Behaviours to Avoid Parasites and Pathogens”, Hart & Hart 2018

“How mammals stay healthy in nature: the evolution of behaviours to avoid parasites and pathogens”⁠, Benjamin L. Hart, Lynette A. Hart (2018-06-04; backlinks; similar):

Mammals live and thrive in environments presenting ongoing threats from parasites in the form of biting flies, ticks and intestinal worms and from pathogens as wound contaminants and agents of infectious disease. Several strategies have evolved that enable animals to deal with parasites and pathogens, including eliminating away from the sleeping-resting areas, use of an array of grooming techniques, use of saliva in licking, and consuming medicinal plant-based compounds. These strategies all are species-specific and reflect the particular environment that the animal inhabits.

“Marijuana Intoxication in a Cat”, Janeczek et al 2018

“Marijuana intoxication in a cat”⁠, Agnieszka Janeczek, Marcin Zawadzki, Pawel Szpot, Artur Niedzwiedz (2018; ⁠, ; similar):

Background: Cannabis from hemp (Cannabis sativa and C. indica) is one of the most common illegal drugs used by drug abusers. Indian cannabis contains around 70 alkaloids, and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-9-THC) is the most psychoactive substance. Animal intoxications occur rarely and are mostly accidental. According to the US Animal Poison Control Center, cannabis intoxication mostly affects dogs (96%). The most common cause of such intoxication is unintentional ingestion of a cannabis product, but it may also occur after the exposure to marijuana smoke.

Case Presentation: A 6-year-old Persian cat was brought to the veterinary clinic due to strong psychomotor agitation turning into aggression. During hospitalisation for 14 days, the cat behaved normally and had no further attacks of unwanted behaviour. It was returned to its home but shortly after it developed neurological signs again and was re-hospitalized. On presentation, the patient showed no neurological abnormalities except for symmetric mydriasis and scleral congestion. During the examination, the behaviour of the cat changed dramatically. It developed alternate states of agitation and apathy, each lasting several minutes. On interview it turned out that the cat had been exposed to marijuana smoke. Blood toxicology tests by gas chromatography tandem mass spectrometry revealed the presence of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) at 5.5 ng/​mL, 11-hydroxy-delta-9-THC at 1.2 ng/​mL, and 11-carboxy-delta-9-THC at 13.8 ng/​mL. The cat was given an isotonic solution of NaCl 2.5 and 2.5% glucose at a dose of 40 mL/​kg/​day parenterally and was hospitalized. After complete recovery, the cat was returned to it’s owner and future isolation of the animal from marijuana smoke was advised.

Conclusions: This is the first case of a delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol intoxication in a cat with both description of the clinical findings and the blood concentration of delta-9-THC and its main metabolites.

“Perception of the Delboeuf Illusion by the Adult Domestic Cat (Felis Silvestris Catus) in Comparison With Other Mammals”, Szenczi et al 2018

2018-szenczi.pdf: “Perception of the Delboeuf illusion by the adult domestic cat (Felis silvestris catus) in comparison with other mammals”⁠, Péter Szenczi, Zyanya I. Velázquez-López, Andrea Urrutia, Robyn Hudson, Oxána Bánszegi (2018; backlinks):

The comparative study of the perception of visual illusions between different species is increasingly recognized as an useful noninvasive tool to better understand visual perception and its underlying mechanisms and evolution. The aim of the present study was to test whether the domestic cat is susceptible to the Delboeuf illusion in a manner similar to other mammalian species studied to date.

For comparative reasons, we followed the methods used to test other mammals in which the animals were tested in a 2-way choice task between same-size food stimuli presented on different-size plates. In 2 different control conditions, overall the 18 cats tested spontaneously chose more often the larger amount of food, although at the individual level, they showed interindividual differences. In the Delboeuf illusion condition, where 2 equal amounts of food were presented on different-size plates, all cats chose the food presented on the smaller plate more often than on the larger one, suggesting that they were susceptible to the illusion at the group level, although at the individual level none of them performed statistically-significantly above chance.

As we found no correlation between the cats’ overall performance in the control conditions and their performance in the illusion condition, we propose that the mechanisms underlying spontaneous size discrimination and illusion perception might be different. In the discussion, we compare the results of the present study with the results for other previously tested mammals and highlight some possible reasons for their similarities and differences.

[Keywords: Felis silvestris catus, quantity discrimination, spontaneous 2-way choice test, visual illusion, visual perception]

“Postmortem Scavenging of Human Remains by Domestic Cats”, Suntirukpong et al 2017

2017-suntirukpong.pdf: “Postmortem Scavenging of Human Remains by Domestic Cats”⁠, Ananya Suntirukpong, Robert W. Mann, John R. DeFreytas (2017-12-20; backlinks):

Objective: Crime scene investigators, forensic medicine doctors and pathologists, and forensic anthropologists frequently encounter postmortem scavenging of human remains by household pets.

Case presentation: The authors present a case report of a partially skeletonized adult male found dead after more than 3 months in his apartment in Thailand. The body was in an advanced stage of decomposition with nearly complete skeletonization of the head, neck, hands, and feet. The presence of maggots and necrophagous (“flesh eating”) beetles on the body confirmed that insects had consumed much of the soft tissues. Examination of the hand and foot bones revealed canine tooth puncture marks. Evidence of chewing indicated that one or more of the decedent’s 3 house cats had fed on the body after death. Recognizing and identifying carnivore and rodent activity on the soft flesh and bones of human remains is important in interpreting and reconstructing postmortem damage. Thorough analysis may help explain why skeletal elements are missing, damaged, or out of anatomical position.

Conclusion: This report presents a multi-disciplinary approach combining forensic anthropology and forensic medicine in examining and interpreting human remains.

[Keywords: postmortem scavenging, human remains, human skeleton, domestic cat]

…This case is unusual because it serves as an example of the postmortem scattering of human hand and foot bones by cats. 2 of the cats were found dead and the third cat was near death. The cats were not examined for evidence of consuming human remains. [see also Rossi et al 1994 for a UK case, and Garcia et al 2019 for feral cats eating humans]

“Effects of Latent Toxoplasmosis on Olfactory Functions of Men and Women”, Flegr et al 2017

“Effects of latent Toxoplasmosis on olfactory functions of men and women”⁠, Jaroslav Flegr, Manfred Milinski, Šárka Kaňková, Martin Hůla, Jana Hlaváčová, Kateřina Sýkorová (2017-12-10; ⁠, ; similar):

The prevalence of Toxoplasmosis is higher in schizophrenics than in the general population. It has been suggested that certain symptoms of schizophrenia, including changes in olfactory functions, are in fact symptoms of Toxoplasmosis that can be easily detected in schizophrenics only due to the increased prevalence of Toxoplasmosis in this population. Schizophrenics have impaired identification of odors and lower sensitivity of odor detection. Here we searched for differences in olfactory functions between 62 infected and 61 non infected non-schizophrenic subjects. The infected men scored better in the standard odor-identification test. The infected women rated all smells as more intensive while the infected men rated nearly all smells as less intensive. Infected women rated the pleasantness of the smell of undiluted cat urine as higher than the non-infected women and the opposite was true for the men (the opposite direction shifts in men and women were described earlier for highly diluted cat urine). Toxoplasmosis had no effect on the rated pleasantness of the smell of other stimuli. Our results suggest that latent Toxoplasmosis is associated with changes in the olfactory functions in humans; however, the observed changes differ from those observed in schizophrenics.

Key findings

Infected men but not women show better odor identification ability than the non-infected controls.

The infected women rated all smells as more and men as less intensive than the controls.

The infected women rated smell of cat urine as more and men as less pleasurable than the controls.

Toxoplasmosis had no effect on the rated pleasantness of the smell of other stimuli.

We found no new evidence for the Toxoplasmosis hypothesis of schizophrenia.

“We Went to NASA to Float on the World’s Flattest Floor: In a Warehouse in Alabama Is What May Be the Flattest Floor in the World—one That Can, in a Sense, Simulate Space. BBC Future—and Some Cats—give It a Test Drive”, Hollingham 2016

“We went to NASA to float on the world’s flattest floor: In a warehouse in Alabama is what may be the flattest floor in the world—one that can, in a sense, simulate space. BBC Future—and some cats—give it a test drive”⁠, Richard Hollingham (2016-04-07; backlinks; similar):

I am sitting on a sofa, floating through the void. Above me, a massive silver sheet billows in a gentle breeze. The chair drifts on through the blackness, with nothing to stop it carrying on forever. The peculiar sensation of flying through space on a cushioned bench is extremely relaxing—disorientating but not dizzying. The smoothness of travel means that my companion on the sofa—a NASA spacecraft engineer—is sitting with her legs crossed and eyes shut in an apparent zen-like trance as we spin gently through the dark.

…Although the experience of the ride felt as if we were flying through space, NASA’s space sofa was actually floating only a fraction of a millimetre above a black polished, perfectly flat, floor on tiny columns of compressed air. Imagine a giant air hockey table but with the puck, rather than the floor, producing the jet of air. The Flat Floor is said to be the flattest floor in the world. Made of black epoxy resin, it covers the base of a 26-metre-long warehouse. Objects can be moved across it on a frictionless cushion of air. This means that once something starts moving, it stays moving (until you hit something)—just as it would in space.

…“The biggest problem we’ve ever had here was caused by cats”, admits Bryan, pointing out lines of blotchy spots crossing part of the floor. “These are cat prints—they used to live down in the tunnels of the building and use this as a playroom at night.” “Their little paw prints caused the epoxy to expand”, he explains. “We’ve put up walls to stop them coming in but we still have a permanent memory of their little paw prints.”

“Chapter 11: Housing Cats in the Veterinary Practice”, Rodan & Cannon 2016

2016-rodan.pdf: “Chapter 11: Housing Cats in the Veterinary Practice”⁠, Ilona Rodan, Martha Cannon (2016):

A period of hospitalization is essential at some point for many cats, but keeping cats in an unfamiliar environment and away from their families can negatively impact their welfare and recovery. A veterinary practice’s goals for hygiene and patient monitoring often conflict with the hospitalized patient’s ability to cope in an unfamiliar environment. Additionally, clients are often anxious about their cats and how they will do away from home. When these stressors are understood, steps can be taken to reduce both feline and client stress and ensure staff safety.

Most cages used to house cats do not meet essential feline needs; they are often too small for the cat to stretch, sleep in a comfortable position, and move around, and most caging setups do not allow cats to hide. Hiding is an important coping strategy for cats in an unfamiliar environment, and they also need a place to perch so they can “monitor” their environment. Consistency in routine, smells, sounds, and handlers is also important in the unfamiliar veterinary practice environment. This chapter provides practical advice for adapting cages and developing standard operating procedures for staff to address these important feline requirements.

Although caging for cats in shelters and catteries is beyond the scope of this chapter, the points discussed here will enhance cat care in those environments as well. These potentially long-term conditions make meeting the needs of cats even more important.

Food and Water: Feeding the cat its regular diet during hospitalization or boarding helps with familiarity, as well as with prevention of food aversion by not introducing a new diet in a stressful environment. The client can be asked to bring the cat’s favorite food and treats to help entice the cat to eat. If a dietary change is needed, it is ideal to start introducing it gradually once the cat has gone home. It is rare for a cat to need an immediate dietary change; it can usually wait until discharge. However, there are certain situations when a dietary change should be made during hospitalization, such as if the cat’s normal diet has made it sick or if the cat has developed a food aversion because it became nauseous or sick when it ate that food.

In order to find out what food the cat is most likely to accept, questions should be asked about the cat’s preferred diets, brands, and flavors, as well as its preference for dry and/​or canned food. Providing frequent, small offerings of food allows for more normal feeding behavior and also prevents the food from becoming stale or dried. Flat food dishes with low sides are often easier for caged cats to eat from. If dry food is fed, it can be placed in feeding balls or toys to increase the cat’s normal hunting behavior.

Many cats prefer warmed canned food. Microwaving the food for a few seconds on high can increase its palatability, but care must be taken to stir the food after heating in this way to avoid hot spots. This is especially true if the food was refrigerated. As cats are individuals, some do not prefer warmed food but do like food from a newly opened can, and some even want refrigerated food. This is often seen in nauseous cats or in cats whose nausea has not been effectively controlled; the intense smell of warmed canned food makes these cats more nauseous.

If the cat has always eaten dry food, it is unlikely that its diet can be changed to canned food. Adding tepid water to dry food may be more acceptable to the cat if it needs increased liquids.

If the cat displays signs of possible food aversion (eg. getting as far away as possible from the food, attempting to bury it, lip smacking or drooling), the food should be removed immediately. It is important to then wait before adding a different food.

If the cat is not nauseous, or if the nausea has been controlled but the cat is still inappetant, appetite stimulants can be helpful. Mirtazapine is an excellent appetite stimulant in cats. It is also an antiemetic, so it can be particularly helpful in these cats.

“The Relationship Between Coat Color and Aggressive Behaviors in the Domestic Cat”, Stelow et al 2015

2016-stelow.pdf: “The Relationship Between Coat Color and Aggressive Behaviors in the Domestic Cat”⁠, Elizabeth A. Stelow, Melissa J. Bain, Philip H. Kass (2015-10-14; ; backlinks):

The authors explored a possible relationship between coat color and aggressive behaviors in the domestic cat.

This study used an Internet-based survey to collect information on coat color, affiliative behaviors toward cats/​humans, agonistic behaviors toward cats/​humans, other “problem” behaviors, and cat and guardian demographic data. A total of 1,432 cat guardians completed the online survey; after exclusions based on study protocol, data analysis included 1,274 completed surveys.

Guardians reported sex-linked orange female (tortoiseshells⁠, calicos⁠, and “torbies”), black-and-white, and gray-and-white cats to be more frequently aggressive toward humans in 3 settings: during everyday interactions, during handling, and during veterinary visits. Kruskal-Wallis 1-way analysis of variance was used to compare possible differences between the 2 sexes and among different coat colors. Analyses of aggression due to handling, as well as aggression displayed during veterinarian visits, showed little difference among coat colors in these settings.

[Keywords: feline aggression, coat color]

“Stress in Owned Cats: Behavioural Changes & Welfare Implications”, Amat et al 2015

2015-amat.pdf: “Stress in owned cats: behavioural changes & welfare implications”⁠, Marta Amat, Tomàs Camps, Xavier Manteca (2015-06-22; backlinks):

Domestic cats are exposed to a variety of stressful stimuli, which may have a negative effect on the cats’ welfare and trigger a number of behavioural changes.

Some of the stressors most commonly encountered by cats include changes in environment, inter-cat conflict, a poor human-cat relationship and the cat’s inability to perform highly motivated behaviour patterns. Stress is very likely to reduce feed intake, and stress-related anorexia may contribute to the development of potentially serious medical conditions. Stress also increases the risk of cats showing urine marking and some forms of aggression, including redirected aggression. A number of compulsive disorders such as over-grooming may also develop as a consequence of stressful environments.

Some of the main strategies to prevent or reduce stress-related behavioural problems in cats are environmental enrichment, appropriate management techniques to introduce unfamiliar cats to each other and the use of the synthetic analogue of the feline facial pheromone⁠. As the stress response in cats depends, to a large extent, on the temperament of the animal, breeding and husbandry strategies that contribute to the cat developing a well-balanced temperament are also very useful.

“Audiogenic Reflex Seizures in Cats”, Lowrie et al 2015

“Audiogenic reflex seizures in cats”⁠, Mark Lowrie, Claire Bessant, Robert J. Harvey, Andrew Sparkes, Laurent Garosi (2015-04-27; backlinks; similar):

Objectives: This study aimed to characterise feline audiogenic reflex seizures (FARS).

Methods: An online questionnaire was developed to capture information from owners with cats suffering from FARS. This was collated with the medical records from the primary veterinarian. 96 cats were included.

Results: Myoclonic seizures were one of the cardinal signs of this syndrome (90⁄96), frequently occurring prior to generalised tonic-clonic seizures (GTCSs) in this population. Other features include a late onset (median 15 years) and absence seizures (6⁄96), with most seizures triggered by high-frequency sounds amid occasional spontaneous seizures (up to 20%). Half the population (48⁄96) had hearing impairment or were deaf. One-third of cats (35⁄96) had concurrent diseases, most likely reflecting the age distribution. Birmans were strongly represented (30⁄96). Levetiracetam gave good seizure control. The course of the epilepsy was non-progressive in the majority (68⁄96), with an improvement over time in some (23⁄96). Only 33⁄96 and 11⁄90 owners, respectively, felt the GTCSs and myoclonic seizures affected their cat’s quality of life (QoL). Despite this, many owners (50⁄96) reported a slow decline in their cat’s health, becoming less responsive (43⁄50), not jumping (41⁄50), becoming uncoordinated or weak in the pelvic limbs (24⁄50) and exhibiting dramatic weight loss (39⁄50). These signs were exclusively reported in cats experiencing seizures for >2 years, with 42⁄50 owners stating these signs affected their cat’s QoL.

Conclusions and relevance: In gathering data on audiogenic seizures in cats, we have identified a new epilepsy syndrome named FARS with a geriatric onset. Further studies are warranted to investigate potential genetic predispositions to this condition.

“Executive Summary of Phase 3 of the Bayer Veterinary Care Usage Study”, Volk et al 2014

2014-volk.pdf: “Executive summary of phase 3 of the Bayer veterinary care usage study”⁠, John O. Volk, James G. Thomas, Elizabeth J. Colleran, Colin W. Siren (2014-04-01; ; backlinks):

The annual number of feline visits to veterinarians decreased 14% from 2001 to 2011, according to the 2012 US Pet Ownership and Demographics Sourcebook published by the AVMA, despite an increase in the cat population during that period.1 Earlier research conducted by Bayer Healthcare Animal Health in cooperation with Brakke Consulting Inc and the National Commission on Veterinary Economic Issues (NCVEI) showed that feline resistance to carriers and transportation was a formidable obstacle for many cat owners in taking their pet to the veterinarian.2

To probe more deeply into why cats are not taken to the veterinarian more often and to determine what veterinarians can do to improve feline medical care, Bayer and Brakke collaborated with the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) to examine the issue more closely. Bayer, Brakke, and the AAFP conducted focus group sessions as well as nationally representative surveys with cat owners and veterinarians.

…Four major reasons cat owners did not take their cats to the veterinarian for routine annual examinations were identified: lack of knowledge, feline resistance to pet carriers and travel, stressful experiences in the veterinary hospital, and cost.

Unlike the situation for dogs, most cats were acquired for free and without forethought. Many were gifts from family or friends or simply strays that showed up on the doorstep. Consequently, most cat owners received little or no initial instruction on proper veterinary care for their new pet. Only 48% of cat owners surveyed had taken their cat to the veterinarian within the preceding year. Many (37%) did not recall their veterinarian ever recommending annual examinations. Further, owners perceived that indoor cats were less likely to get sick and were unaware that cats are adept at hiding signs of illness or injury. The first phase of the Bayer veterinary care usage study2 established that feline resistance to pet carriers and travel was a major obstacle to veterinary visits. During focus group sessions conducted for the present phase of the study, cat owners were asked to make collages demonstrating what taking their cat to the veterinarian is like. Most of the collages used pictures from horror films and other sources that reflected a terrible and stressful experience for the cat and owner. Yet, only 18% of cat owners surveyed said they had received any instruction from their veterinarian on how to make bringing the cat to the hospital less stressful.

Once the owner dealt with getting the cat to the veterinary practice, the stress did not end there. More than half of cat owners (57%) were less than completely satisfied with waiting room comfort for their cats, and nearly the same percentage were less than completely satisfied with waiting room comfort for themselves. It was clear from the focus group sessions that for most owners, a veterinary visit was something to be dreaded and endured.

Finally, when asked how satisfied they were with their veterinary experience, cat owners were least satisfied with the value obtained for the money they spent, with 59% rating this factor lowest in satisfaction. When asked which items on a list of 16 concepts would motivate them to take their cat to the veterinarian more often, the top 3 items were cost related: a coupon for 50% off the cost of a veterinary visit (50% of respondents), a low-cost preventive care plan paid monthly (40%), and a 20% discount for multiple pets if brought in within a 30-day period (30%). The cost issue was all the more important because many owners indicated during focus group sessions that they had cats primarily because they perceived cats as low-cost pets.

…Many veterinarians recognized that transporting cats to the veterinary hospital was a major obstacle; however, most had not taken action to address the issue. Only 24% of respondents to the veterinary survey said they always (3%) or often (21%) provided specific instructions to clients on making the visit less stressful. However, 41% of veterinarians said they had made changes to reduce feline stress within their practice, and 70% had conducted some type of staff training.

…59% of respondents to the cat owner survey agreed with the statement that “I didn’t necessarily find the cat, the cat found me.”

…In focus group discussions, cat owners were generally incredulous when told that their cat could be sick without them knowing it because cats are adept at hiding signs of illness. In the quantitative survey, only 70% of cat owners said they believed the following statement: “Cats have the ability to endure pain and suffering without any outward signs and could be sick without your knowing about it unless it has periodic checkups at the veterinarian.” Interestingly, this statement scored the lowest (in terms of percentage of owners who believed the statement) of 6 truthful statements about cat health.

“Escape Behaviour of Birds Provides Evidence of Predation Being Involved in Urbanization”, Moslashller et al 2012

2012-moller.pdf: “Escape behaviour of birds provides evidence of predation being involved in urbanization”⁠, A. P. Moslashller, J. D. IbANez-Alamo, J. D. Ibáñez-Álamo (2012-01-01; backlinks)

“Chapter 8: Social Behaviour (The Behaviour of the Domestic Cat, Second Edition)”, Bradshaw et al 2012

2012-bradshaw-behaviourdomesticcat-ch8-socialbehaviour.pdf: “Chapter 8: Social Behaviour (The Behaviour of the Domestic Cat, second edition)”⁠, John W. S. Bradshaw, Rachel A. Casey, Sarah L. Brown (2012-01-01; backlinks)

“Chapter 3: Mechanisms of Behaviour (The Behaviour of the Domestic Cat, Second Edition)”, Bradshaw et al 2012

2012-bradshaw-behaviourdomesticcat-ch3-mechanismsbehaviour.pdf: “Chapter 3: Mechanisms of Behaviour (The Behaviour of the Domestic Cat, second edition)”⁠, John W. S. Bradshaw, Rachel A. Casey, Sarah L. Brown (2012-01-01; backlinks)

“Chapter 12: Physiological and Pathological Causes of Behavioural Change (The Behaviour of the Domestic Cat, Second Edition)”, Bradshaw et al 2012

2012-bradshaw-behaviourdomesticcat-ch12-causesbehavioralchange.pdf: “Chapter 12: Physiological and Pathological Causes of Behavioural Change (The Behaviour of the Domestic Cat, second edition)”⁠, John W. S. Bradshaw, Rachel A. Casey, Sarah L. Brown (2012-01-01; backlinks)

“Chapter 11: Undesired Behaviour in the Domestic Cat (The Behaviour of the Domestic Cat, Second Edition)”, Bradshaw et al 2012

2012-bradshaw-behaviourdomesticcat-ch11-undesiredbehavior.pdf: “Chapter 11: Undesired Behaviour in the Domestic Cat (The Behaviour of the Domestic Cat, second edition)”⁠, John W. S. Bradshaw, Rachel A. Casey, Sarah L. Brown (2012-01-01; backlinks)

“Executive Summary of Phase 2 of the Bayer Veterinary Care Usage Study”, Volk et al 2011

2011-volk.pdf: “Executive summary of phase 2 of the Bayer veterinary care usage study”⁠, John O. Volk, Karen E. Felsted, James G. Thomas, Colin W. Siren (2011-11-15; ⁠, ; backlinks):

Research conducted by Bayer Animal Health in cooperation with Brakke Consulting Incorporated and the National Commission on Veterinary Economic Issues and published earlier this year1 identified 6 key factors that have contributed to a 10-year-long decline in patient visits to veterinary practices. The 6 factors were fragmentation of veterinary services, with more points of care and a wider variety of veterinary services available to pet owners; increased use of the Web by pet owners to obtain information regarding pet health issues, rather than calling or visiting a veterinarian; the negative impact of the economic recession of 2007 to 2009 on spending for veterinary services, which exacerbated an existing issue; inadequate understanding of the need for routine examinations on the part of pet owners; the cost of veterinary care; and feline resistance (ie. many cat owners have deferred taking their cat to the veterinarian because the cat aggressively resisted being put in a carrier for transport to the veterinary clinic and showed signs of stress during veterinary visits). The findings were based on interviews with pet owners and veterinarians and a national online survey of 2,188 US dog and cat owners.

The second phase of the Bayer veterinary care usage study was a national study of companion animal practice owners. The objectives were to measure visit trends and their impact at the practice level, confirm the findings of the first phase, measure current use or interest in use by veterinarians of certain service concepts identified in the first phase of the study that could potentially motivate pet owners to visit their veterinarian more often, identify factors common to practices that had had an increase in the number of pet visits, and identify opportunities for building patient traffic.

Feline resistance—According to the AVMA,2 there are ~13% more cats than dogs in the United States. Yet respondents indicated that dogs represented 59% of their patients and cats 39%. 70% of respondents agreed that cat owners seemed more reluctant than dog owners to schedule visits to the practice. Although most (84%) respondents said that they provided training to all staff members on cats and their care, only 33% said they provided instructions to cat owners on how to make travel to the clinic less stressful. In the first phase of the study, 58% of cat owners said their pet “hated” going to the veterinarian, and during interviews, cat owners said that getting the cat into the carrier and taking it to the clinic were the greatest obstacles to visiting the veterinarian.1

“Breed Differences in Behavioural Response to Challenging Situations in Kittens”, Marchei et al 2011

2011-marchei.pdf: “Breed differences in behavioural response to challenging situations in kittens”⁠, P. Marchei, S. Diverio, N. Falocci, J. Fatjó, J. L. Ruiz-de-la-Torre, X. Manteca (2011-01-01; ; backlinks)

“The Cry Embedded within the Purr”, McComb et al 2009

“The cry embedded within the purr”⁠, Karen McComb, Anna M. Taylor, Christian Wilson, Benjamin D. Charlton (2009-07-24; backlinks; similar):

Despite widespread interest in inter-specific communication, few studies have examined the abilities of companion animals to communicate with humans in what has become their natural environment—the human home 1, 2. Here we report how domestic cats make subtle use of one of their most characteristic vocalisations—purring—to solicit food from their human hosts, apparently exploiting sensory biases that humans have for providing care. When humans were played purrs recorded while cats were actively seeking food at equal amplitude to purrs recorded in non-solicitation contexts, even individuals with no experience of owning cats judged the ‘solicitation’ purrs to be more urgent and less pleasant. Embedded within the naturally low-pitched purr, we found a high frequency voiced component, reminiscent of a cry or meow, that was crucial in determining urgency and pleasantness ratings. Moreover, when we re-synthesised solicitation purrs to remove only the voiced component, paired presentations revealed that these purrs were perceived as being statistically-significantly less urgent. We discuss how the structure of solicitation purrs may be exploiting an inherent mammalian sensitivity to acoustic cues relevant in the context of nurturing offspring.

“The Taming of the Cat”

2009-driscoll.pdf: “The Taming of the Cat” (2009-01-01; ; backlinks)

“Why Do Dogs and Cats Eat Grass? (A) They Are Sick and Need to Vomit. (B) They Have a Dietary Deficiency. (C) Studies Point to a Third Option That May May Well Be the Correct Answer to This Often-asked Client Question”, Hart 2008

2008-hart.pdf: “Why do dogs and cats eat grass? (A) They are sick and need to vomit. (B) They have a dietary deficiency. (C) Studies point to a third option that may may well be the correct answer to this often-asked client question”⁠, Benjamin L. Hart (2008-12-01; ⁠, ; backlinks; similar):

[2-page popular summary of Sueda et al 2008: a survey of dog owners about plant-eating found that it was common, usually didn’t seem related to illness, occasionally triggered vomiting, younger dogs did it more, and no diet appeared correlated with plant-eating. Similar preliminary results for cats are mentioned.

Hart interprets these results as support for his theory that plant-eating is an evolved behavior intended to help control intestinal parasites, mechanically through fiber going through the intestines but also partially through vomiting.]

“The Influence of Visual Stimulation on the Behaviour of Cats Housed in a Rescue Shelter”, Ellis & Wells 2008

2008-ellis.pdf: “The influence of visual stimulation on the behaviour of cats housed in a rescue shelter”⁠, Sarah L. H. Ellis, Deborah L. Wells (2008-09-01):

This study explored the influence of 5 types of visual stimulation (1 control condition [no visual stimulation] and 4 experimental conditions [blank television screen; and, televised images depicting humans, inanimate movement, animate movement]) on the behaviour of 125 cats housed in a rescue shelter. 25 cats were randomly assigned to one of the five conditions of visual stimulation for 3 h a day for 3 days. Each cat’s behaviour was recorded every 5 min throughout each day of exposure to the visual stimuli.

Cats spent relatively little of the total observation time (6.10%) looking at the television monitors. Animals exposed to the programmes depicting animate and inanimate forms of movement spent statistically-significantly more of their time looking at the monitors than those exposed to the moving images of humans or the blank screen. The amount of attention that the cats directed towards the television monitors decreased statistically-significantly across their 3 h of daily presentation, suggesting habituation. Certain components of the cats’ behaviour were influenced by visual stimulation. Animals in the animate movement condition spent statistically-significantly less time sleeping, and displayed a non-significant trend to spend more time resting, and in the exercise area of their pens, than those in the other conditions of visual stimulation.

Overall, the results from this study suggest that visual stimulation in the form of two-dimensional video-tape sequences, notably that combining elements of prey items and linear movement, may hold some enrichment potential for domestic cats housed in rescue shelters. Such animals, however, may not benefit from this type of enrichment to the same degree as species with more well-developed visual systems, such as primates.

[Keywords: behaviour, cats, enrichment, rescue shelters, television, visual stimulation, welfare]

“Characterisation of Plant Eating in Dogs”, Sueda et al 2008

2008-sueda.pdf: “Characterisation of plant eating in dogs”⁠, Karen Lynn Chieko Sueda, Benjamin Leslie Hart, Kelly Davis Cliff (2008-05-01; ):

Grass or plant eating is a widely recognized behaviour amongst domestic dogs.

We first estimated the prevalence of plant eating by administering a written survey to owners of healthy dogs visiting the outpatient service of a veterinary medical teaching hospital for routine health maintenance procedures.

Of 47 owners systematically surveyed whose dogs had daily exposure to plants, 79% reported that their dog had eaten grass or other plants.

Using an internet survey targeting owners of plant-eating dogs, we then acquired information regarding the frequency and type of plants eaten, frequency with which dogs appeared ill before eating plants and frequency with which vomiting was seen afterwards.

Of 3,340 surveys returned, 1,571 met enrollment criteria. Overall, 68% of dogs were reported to eat plants on a daily or weekly basis with the remainder eating plants once a month or less. Grass was the most frequently eaten plant by 79% of dogs. Only 9% were reported to frequently appear ill before eating plants and only 22% were reported to frequently vomit afterwards. While no relationship was found between sex, gonadal status, breed group or diet type with regard to frequency or type of plants eaten, a younger age was statistically-significantly associated with: (1) an increase in frequency of plant eating; (2) an increase in consuming non-grass plants; (3) a decrease in regularly showing signs of illness before eating plants and (4) a decrease in regularly vomiting after consuming plants.

The findings support the perspective that plant eating is a normal behaviour of domestic dogs.

[Keywords: dogs, canids, feeding behaviour, plant eating, grass eating]

“A Case of Recurrent Feline Idiopathic Cystitis: The Control of Clinical Signs With Behavior Therapy”, Seawright et al 2008

2008-seawright.pdf: “A Case of Recurrent Feline Idiopathic Cystitis: The Control of Clinical Signs with Behavior Therapy”⁠, Anne Seawright, Rachel Casey, Jenna Kiddie, Jane Murray, Tim Gruffydd-Jones, Andrea Harvey, Angie Hibbert et al (2008-01-01; backlinks)

“A Comparative Study of the Use of Visual Communicative Signals in Interactions Between Dogs (Canis Familiaris) and Humans and Cats (Felis Catus) and Humans”, Miklosi et al 2005

2005-miklosi.pdf: “A Comparative Study of the Use of Visual Communicative Signals in Interactions Between Dogs (Canis familiaris) and Humans and Cats (Felis catus) and Humans”⁠, Adam Miklosi, Peter Pongracz, Gabriella Lakatos, Josef Topal, Vilmos Csanyi (2005-05-01; ; backlinks):

Dogs’ (Canis familiaris) and cats’ (Felis catus) interspecific communicative behavior toward humans was investigated.

In Experiment 1, the ability of dogs and cats to use human pointing gestures in an object-choice task was compared using 4 types of pointing cues differing in distance between the signaled object and the end of the fingertip and in visibility duration of the given signal.

Using these gestures, both dogs and cats were able to find the hidden food; there was no statistically-significant difference in their performance.

In Experiment 2, the hidden food was made inaccessible to the subjects to determine whether they could indicate the place of the hidden food to a naive owner.

Cats lacked some components of attention-getting behavior compared with dogs.

The results suggest that individual familiarization with pointing gestures ensures high-level performance in the presence of such gestures; however, species-specific differences could cause differences in signaling toward the human.

“Chapter 3: The Human-Cat Relationship”, Bernstein 2005

2005-bernstein.pdf: “Chapter 3: The Human-Cat Relationship”⁠, Penny L. Bernstein (2005-01-01; backlinks)

“Perceptual and Acoustic Evidence for Species-level Differences in Meow Vocalizations by Domestic Cats (Felis Catus) and African Wild Cats (Felis Silvestris Lybica)”, Nicastro 2004

2004-nicastro.pdf: “Perceptual and Acoustic Evidence for Species-level Differences in Meow Vocalizations by Domestic Cats (<em>Felis catus< / em>) and African Wild Cats (<em>Felis silvestris lybica< / em>)”⁠, Nicholas Nicastro (2004-01-01; backlinks)

“Influence of Familiarity and Relatedness on Proximity and Allogrooming in Domestic Cats (Felis Catus)”, Curtis et al 2003

2003-curtis.pdf: “Influence of familiarity and relatedness on proximity and allogrooming in domestic cats (<em>Felis catus< / em>)”⁠, Terry Marie Curtis, Rebecca J. Knowles, Sharon L. Crowell-Davis (2003-01-01; backlinks)

“Validation of a Temperament Test for Domestic Cats”, Siegford et al 2003

2003-siegford.pdf: “Validation of a temperament test for domestic cats”⁠, Janice M. Siegford, Sally O. Walshaw, Petra Brunner, Adroaldo J. Zanell (2003):

Cats are popular companion animals, particularly in Europe and North America, and appear in correspondingly large numbers in animal shelters. Temperament tests are not widely used to assess cats before adoption from shelters. However, cats exhibit a wide range of temperaments as do the families adopting them and ensuring compatibility between the two could increase the rate of successful placement.

Scores on a feline temperament profile (FTP), which measures a cat’s responses to standardized interactions with an unfamiliar person, were compared between cats and over time and related to responses of cats to familiar and unfamiliar persons and to basal salivary cortisol levels. Cats showed statistically-significant differences in FTP scores (p < 0.001). Ranking cats according to FTP scores resulted in three distinct groups of cats. Over eight months, changes in FTP scores were minor, with cats scoring somewhat more acceptably and less questionably following adoption. Acceptable scores on pre-adoption FTPs were positively correlated with (1) positive responses to familiar caretakers in housing rooms (p = 0.01) and (2) average percentages of time spent near either unfamiliar men or women in open field tests in novel rooms (p = 0.01 in both instances). Thus, cats displaying general positive responses to humans did so in both familiar and test environments and with familiar and unfamiliar persons. No correlation was seen between FTP scores and basal salivary cortisol levels (p>0.05), though there were statistically-significant differences in cortisol levels between cats (p = 0.04).

The data indicate that the FTP was relatively stable over time for adult cats, and test scores correlated well with ethological observations of cats’ interactions with humans. The FTP could provide an accurate, consistent assessment of cat temperament, leading to more successful placement of cats.

“Object Play in Adult Domestic Cats: the Roles of Habituation and Disinhibition”, Hall et al 2002

2002-hall.pdf: “Object play in adult domestic cats: the roles of habituation and disinhibition”⁠, Sarah L. Hall, John W. S. Bradshaw, Ian H. Robinson (2002-11; backlinks):

We have investigated the role of habituation and disinhibition in the control of object (predatory) play by adult domestic cats Felis silvestris catus both with and without prior experience of hunting.

We hypothesised that object play is terminated by rapid habituation to the sensory characteristics of the object played with, and therefore should be disinhibited if the sensory characteristics of the object are changed.

Three sequential sessions of play with an unchanging object (a toy) caused almost complete habituation of the play response; replacing the toy with one of contrasting colours in a fourth session elicited intense disinhibited play, suggesting that motivation for play itself had not diminished substantially during the first three sessions. The time interval between sessions affected the extent of disinhibition. After a long delay (25–45 min) between each session play was less intense in the fourth session than in the first; if the interval was 5 min, it was more intense, indicative of post-inhibitory rebound, possibly caused by initial positive feedback of play on its own performance.

We suggest that object play by adult cats is controlled by two mechanisms derived from predatory behaviour: one responds to prey-like stimulus characteristics, such as texture and small size, which elicit play, while the second detects change in the toy. The behavioural default towards any object is initial interest if it possesses relevant stimulus characteristics, followed by rapid habituation unless these stimulus characteristics change.

“Responses of Pet Cats to Being Held by an Unfamiliar Person, from Weaning to Three Years of Age”, Lowe & Bradshaw 2002

2002-lowe.pdf: “Responses of pet cats to being held by an unfamiliar person, from weaning to three years of age”⁠, Sarah E. Lowe, John W. S. Bradshaw (2002; backlinks):

We have determined the extent to which individual responses of domestic cats on being handled by an unfamiliar person are stable between 2 and 33 months of age.

29 household cats from 9 litters were tested at 2, 4, 12, 24 and 33 months of age, by being held for 1 minute by a standard, unfamiliar person.

Between 4 and 33 months of age, individual differences in the number of attempts made by the cat to escape, and in whether or not it showed signs of distress, were stable, with the partial exception of the test at 12 months. There was no consistency between tests in whether or not a particular cat purred. At 2 months of age, the number of escape attempts was highest in cats which had been handled the least in the second month of life, but this trend was reversed in the number of escape attempts made at 4 months. The lack of distress exhibited by all cats in the test at 2 months indicated that all had received at least adequate socialization to people, and that none were therefore comparable with the unsocialized cats used in several previous studies.

We conclude that under normal domestic conditions, the behavior of a cat when handled by an unfamiliar person reflects a stable character trait, and that extensive handling during the socialization period may be subsequently associated with a reduction in inhibited behavior when interacting with an unfamiliar person.

[Keywords: domestic cat, socialization, animal welfare⁠, behavioral ontogeny, animal personality]

“Responses of Cats to Petting by Humans”, Soennichsen & Chamove 2002

2002-soennichsen.pdf: “Responses of cats to petting by humans”⁠, Susan Soennichsen, Arnold S. Chamove (2002; backlinks):

There is evidence that different gland areas in animals of the cat family have different functions.

This study showed that 9 cats gave more positive and fewer negative responses to petting by their owners in the temporal region (between the eyes and ears), the reverse to petting in the caudal region (around the tail), with the perioral (chin and lips) and non-gland areas intermediate.

This suggests that cats prefer being petted in certain body areas.

[Keywords: allomones, Felis catus, interspecific rubbing, pheromones, scent marking glands]

“Self-induced Increase of Gut Motility and the Control of Parasitic Infections in Wild Chimpanzees”, Huffman & Caton 2001

2001-huffman.pdf: “Self-induced Increase of Gut Motility and the Control of Parasitic Infections in Wild Chimpanzees”⁠, M. A. Huffman, J. M. Caton (2001-06-01; ; backlinks; similar):

When physiological adaptation is insufficient, hosts have developed behavioral responses to avoid or limit contact with parasites. One such behavior, leaf-swallowing, occurs widely among the African great apes. This behavior involves the slow and deliberate swallowing without chewing of whole bristly leaves. Folded one at a time between tongue and palate, the leaves pass through the gastro-intestinal (GI) tract visibly unchanged.

Independent studies in two populations of chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii) showed statistically-significant correlations between the swallowing of whole leaves and the expulsion of the nodule worm Oesophagostomum stephanostomum and a species of tapeworm (Bertiella studeri). We integrate behavioral, parasitological and physiological observations pertaining to leaf-swallowing to elucidate the behavioral mechanism responsible for the expulsion and control of nodule worm infections by the ape host.

Physical irritation produced by bristly leaves swallowed on an empty stomach, increases motility and secretion resulting in diarrhea which rapidly moves leaves through the GI tract. In the proximal hindgut, the site of third-stage larvae (L3) cyst formation and adult worm attachment, motility, secretion and the scouring effect of rough leaves is enhanced by haustral contractions and peristalsis-antiperistalsis. Frequently, at the peak of reinfection, a proportion of nonencysted L3 is also predictably vulnerable. These factors should result in the disruption of the life cycle of Oesophagostomum spp. Repeated flushing during peak periods of reinfection is probably responsible for long-run reduction of worm burdens at certain times of the year.

Accordingly, leaf-swallowing can be viewed as a deliberate adaptive behavioral strategy with physiological consequences for the host. The expulsion of worms based on the activation of basic physiological responses in the host is a novel hitherto undescribed form of parasitic control.

“Long-term Follow up of the Effect of a Pheromone Therapy on Feline Spraying Behaviour”, Mills & White 2000

2000-mills.pdf: “Long-term follow up of the effect of a pheromone therapy on feline spraying behaviour”⁠, Daniel S. Mills, J. C. White (2000-12-01):

Long-term follow up of 43 cats originally studied in 1997, examining the efficacy of F3 (feline facial pheromone⁠; Feliway), without behaviour therapy, on chronic urine spraying problems.

Urine spraying was reduced in 91% of cases during the first 4 weeks of treatment.

A telephone interview was conducted with owners ~10 months after completion of the original trial. 6 cats were still not spraying at this time; in the remaining 37 cats, 27 were still spraying at a lower rate than they had at the start of the trial, 7 were still spraying at the same rate and 3 had deteriorated.

21 owners had not used the treatment in the previous 7 months and 13 owners were still using the pheromone treatment in the home. None were using it on a daily basis. 9 owners used it only when the cat sprayed and 4 on an occasional basis between 1 and 3× a week. 11 owners reported that urine spraying had increased slightly between 1 and 2 months after they stopped using the spray and a further 10 reported a similar change some time later than this. None of the 3 owners whose cats were spraying more than at the start of the trial, and 5 of the 7 who reported no change in spraying frequency had continued to use the pheromone spray, the other 2 were using it on an occasional basis.

It is concluded that treatment with F3 analogue spray results in a long-term change in spraying behaviour in some cats.

“Chapter 10: The Human-cat Relationship (The Domestic Cat: The Biology of Its Behavior)”, Turner & Karsh 2000

2000-turner.pdf: “Chapter 10: The human-cat relationship (The Domestic Cat: The Biology of Its Behavior)”⁠, Dennis C. Turner, Eileen Karsh (2000-01-01; backlinks)

“Chapter 7: Density, Spatial Organisation and Reproductive Tactics in the Domestic Cat and Other Felids (The Domestic Cat: The Biology of Its Behavior)”, Liberg et al 2000

2000-liberg.pdf: “Chapter 7: Density, spatial organisation and reproductive tactics in the domestic cat and other felids (The Domestic Cat: The Biology of Its Behavior)”⁠, Olof Liberg, Mikael Sandell, Dominique Pontier, Eugenia Natoli (2000-01-01; backlinks)

“Chapter 5: The Signalling Repertoire of the Domestic Cat and Its Undomesticated Relatives (The Domestic Cat: The Biology of Its Behavior)”, Bradshaw & Cameron-Beaumont 2000

2000-bradshaw.pdf: “Chapter 5: The Signalling Repertoire of the Domestic Cat and Its Undomesticated Relatives (The Domestic Cat: The Biology of Its Behavior)”⁠, John W. S. Bradshaw, Charlotte Cameron-Beaumont (2000-01-01; backlinks)

“Affiliative Behaviour of Related and Unrelated Pairs of Cats in Catteries: a Preliminary Report”, Bradshaw & Hall 1999b

1999-bradshaw-2.pdf: “Affiliative behaviour of related and unrelated pairs of cats in catteries: a preliminary report”⁠, John W. S. Bradshaw, Suzanne L. Hall (1999-04-23; backlinks):

Social ties between free-ranging cats are largely confined to related females, yet multicat households often contain unrelated cats. We have investigated whether unrelated pairs of cats from the same household are less affiliative towards one another than pairs of littermates, by observing their behaviour while confined in catteries. We found that littermates spent more time in physical contact with one another, groomed one another more often, and were more likely to feed close to one another than unrelated cats. The most likely explanation for this difference is that ties are established between individual cats during the socialisation period (3–8 weeks), and persist throughout life if the cats continue to live together.

[Keywords: cat kinship, social behaviour, socialisation, spacing behaviour]

“The Social Bond between Man and Cat”, Sandem & Braastad 1999

1999-sandem.pdf: “The social bond between man and cat”⁠, Agnethe-Irén Sandem, Bjarne O. Braastad (1999-01-01; backlinks)

“The Function of Allogrooming in Domestic Cats (Felis Silvestris Catus); a Study in a Group of Cats Living in Confinement”, Bos 1998

1998-vandenbos.pdf: “The function of allogrooming in domestic cats (<em>Felis silvestris catus< / em>); a study in a group of cats living in confinement”⁠, Ruud Van den Bos (1998-01-01; backlinks)

“Leaf-Swallowing by Chimpanzees: A Behavioral Adaptation for the Control of Strongyle Nematode Infections”, Huffman et al 1996

1996-huffman.pdf: “Leaf-Swallowing by Chimpanzees: A Behavioral Adaptation for the Control of Strongyle Nematode Infections”⁠, Michael A. Huffman, Jonathan E. Page, Michael V. K. Sukhdeo, Shunji Gotoh, Mohamedi S. Kalunde, Thushara Chandrasiri et al (1996-08-01; ; backlinks; similar):

Swallowing whole leaves by chimpanzees and other African apes has been hypothesized to have an anti parasitic or medicinal function, but detailed studies demonstrating this were lacking.

We correlate for the first time quantifiable measures of the health of chimpanzees with observations of leaf-swallowing in Mahale Mountains National Park, Tanzania. We obtained a total of 27 cases involving the use of Aspilia mossambicensis (63%), Lippia plicata (7%), Hibiscus sp. (15%), Trema orientalis (4%), and Aneilema aequinoctiale (11%), 15 cases by direct observation of 12 individuals of the Mahale M group.

At the time of use, we noted behavioral symptoms of illness in the 8 closely observed cases, and detected single or multiple parasitic infections (Strongyloides fulleborni, Trichuris trichiura, Oesophagostomum stephanostomum) in 10 of the 12 individuals. There is a statistically-significant relationship between the presence of whole leaves (range, 1–51) and worms of adult O. stephanostomum (range, 2–21) in the dung. HPLC analysis of leaf samples collected after use showed that thiarubrine A, a compound proposed to act as a potent nematocide in swallowing Aspilia spp., was not present in leaves of A. mossambicensis or the three other species analyzed. Alternative nematocidal or egg-laying inhibition activity was not evident. Worms of O. stephanostomum were recovered live and motile from chimpanzee dung, trapped within the folded leaves and attached to leaf surfaces by trichomes, though some were moving freely within the fecal matter, suggesting that the physical properties of leaves may contribute to the expulsion of parasites.

We review previous hypotheses concerning leaf-swallowing and propose an alternative hypothesis based on physical action.

“Factors Influencing the Reactions of Cats to Humans and Novel Objects”, Ledger & O’Farrell 1996

1996-ledger.pdf: “Factors Influencing the Reactions of Cats to Humans and Novel Objects”⁠, Rebecca Ledger, Valerie O’Farrell (1996-01-01; backlinks)

“Postmortem Injuries by Indoor Pets”, Rossi et al 1994

1994-rossi.pdf: “Postmortem injuries by indoor pets”⁠, M. L. Rossi, A. W. Shahrom, R. C. Chapman, P. Vanezis (1994-06-01; ; backlinks):

4 cases of postmortem injuries caused by indoor pets (three by dogs and one by cats [see also Garcia et al 2019]) are presented.

A pattern which is associated with this phenomenon is described. The important common factors appear to be the presence of free-moving pets inside the house, social isolation of the deceased, and the victim having a predisposing condition causing sudden death.

[Keywords: postmortem injury, dog bites, cat bites, animal attack]

…A literature search through MEDLINE for the years 1966–1993, however, using a variety of key words, showed no reported cases of postmortem injuries caused by indoor pets. We believe such incidents are relatively common but are under-reported. We present 4 cases of postmortem injury by indoor pets. All cases occurred during the winter months of December 1992–March 1993 in London, England.

“Methods of Scent Marking in the Domestic Cat”, Feldman 1994

1994-feldman.pdf: “Methods of scent marking in the domestic cat”⁠, Hilary N. Feldman (1994-01-01)

“Effects of Early Rearing Experience on Subsequent Adult Sexual Behavior Using Domestic Cats (Felis Catus) As a Model for Exotic Small Felids”, Mellen 1992

1992-mellen.pdf: “Effects of early rearing experience on subsequent adult sexual behavior using domestic cats (<em>Felis catus< / em>) as a model for exotic small felids”⁠, Jill D. Mellen (1992-01-01; backlinks)

“Urinary Monitoring of Adrenal Responses to Psychological Stressors in Domestic and Nondomestic Felids”, Carlstead et al 1992

1992-carlstead.pdf: “Urinary monitoring of adrenal responses to psychological stressors in domestic and nondomestic felids”⁠, Kathy Carlstead, Janine L. Brown, Steven L. Monfort, Richard Killens, David E. Wildt (1992-01-01; backlinks)

“Illusory Contour Orientation Discrimination in the Cat”, Weerd et al 1990

1990-deweerd.pdf: “Illusory contour orientation discrimination in the cat”⁠, P. De Weerd, E. Vandenbussche B. De Bruyn, G. A. Orban (1990-06-18; backlinks):

We present the first evidence that a non-human species (the cat) is able to discriminate the orientation of illusory contours.

Following Vogels and Orban, we used 2 types of illusory contours. In one type, the illusory contour was defined by a number of contour-inducing semicircles, of which the endpoints were separated by a gap. In the other pattern, the inducing semicircles were shifted in phase along their diameter and their endpoints were aligned along the contour. Just noticeable differences in orientation were measured (at the 73.5% correct level), using a Wetherill and Levitt staircase procedure⁠.

Values in the order of 11° were obtained when using the first type of illusory contour. Just noticeable differences with the second type were in the order of 17°. Reducing the salience of the illusory contour, whether by scrambling the contour, or by decreasing the number or the contrast of inducing semicircles, systematically increased discrimination thresholds.

“Size-dependent Predation on Rats (Rattus Norvegicus) by House Cats (Felis Catus) in an Urban Setting”, Childs 1986

1986-childs.pdf: “Size-dependent Predation on Rats (<em>Rattus norvegicus< / em>) by House Cats (<em>Felis catus< / em>) in an Urban Setting”⁠, James Childs (1986-01-01; backlinks)

“The Curious Cat”, Allaby & Crawford 1982

1982-allaby-thecuriouscat.pdf: “The Curious Cat”⁠, Michael Allaby, Peter Crawford (1982-01-01; backlinks)

“Maternal Influence in Learning by Observation in Kittens”, Chesler 1969

1969-chesler.pdf: “Maternal Influence in Learning by Observation in Kittens”⁠, Phyllis Chesler (1969-01-01; backlinks)

“Some Factors of Observational Learning in Cats”, Adler 1955

1955-adler.pdf: “Some Factors of Observational Learning in Cats”⁠, Helmut Ernest Adler (1955-01-01)

“Observational Learning by Cats”, Herbert & Harsh 1944

1944-herbert.pdf: “Observational Learning by Cats”⁠, Marvin J. Herbert, Charles M. Harsh (1944-01-01; backlinks)

Miscellaneous