2014-montague.pdf: “Comparative analysis of the domestic cat genome reveals genetic signatures underlying feline biology and domestication”, (2014-10-03; ):
Little is known about the genetic changes that distinguish domesticpopulations from their wild progenitors. Here we describe a high-quality reference genome assembly and comparative inferences made with other breeds, wildcats, and other mammals. Based upon these comparisons, we identified positively selected genes enriched for genes involved in lipid metabolism that underpin adaptations to a hypercarnivorous diet. We also found positive selection signals within genes underlying sensory processes, especially those affecting vision and hearing in the carnivore lineage. We observed an evolutionary tradeoff between functional olfactory and vomeronasal receptor gene repertoires in the and dog genomes, with an expansion of the feline chemosensory system for detecting pheromones at the expense of odorant detection. Genomic regions harboring signatures of natural selection that distinguish from their wild congeners are enriched in neural crest-related genes associated with behavior and reward in mouse models, as predicted by the domestication syndrome hypothesis. Our description of a previously unidentified allele for the gloving pigmentation pattern found in the Birman breed supports the hypothesis that breeds experienced strong selection on specific mutations drawn from random bred populations. Collectively, these findings provide insight into how the process of domestication altered the ancestral wildcat genome and build a resource for future disease mapping and phylogenomic studies across all members of the Felidae.
2017-ottoni.pdf: “The palaeogenetics of cat dispersal in the ancient world”, (2017-06-19; ):
The anthropogenic dispersal. Here we show, using ancient DNA analysis of geographically and temporally widespread archaeological cat remains, that both the Near Eastern and Egyptian populations of Felis silvestris lybica contributed to the gene pool of the domestic at different historical times. While the cat’s worldwide conquest began during the Neolithic period in the Near East, its dispersal gained momentum during the Classical period, when the Egyptian successfully spread throughout the Old World. The expansion patterns and ranges suggest dispersal along human maritime and terrestrial routes of trade and connectivity. A coat-colour variant was found at high frequency only after the Middle Ages, suggesting that directed breeding of occurred later than with most other domesticated animals.has long been important to human societies as a pest-control agent, object of symbolic value and companion animal, but little is known about its domestication process and early
Knowledge on the genetic epidemiology of disorders in the dog population has implications for both veterinary medicine and sustainable breeding. Limited data on frequencies of genetic disease variants across breeds exists, and the disease heritage of mixed breed dogs remains poorly explored to date. Advances in genetic screening technologies now enable comprehensive investigations of the canine disease heritage, and generate health-related big data that can be turned into action.
We pursued population screening of genetic variants implicated in Mendelian disorders in the largest canine study sample examined to date by examining over 83,000 mixed breed and 18,000 purebred dogs representing 330 breeds for 152 known variants using a custom-designed beadchip microarray. We further announce the creation of MyBreedData, an online updated inherited disorder prevalence resource with its foundation in the generated data.
We identified the most prevalent, and rare, disease susceptibility variants across the general dog population while providing the first extensive snapshot of the mixed breed disease heritage. Approximately two in five dogs carried at least one copy of a tested disease variant. Most disease variants are shared by both mixed breeds and purebreds, while breed-specificity or line-specificity of others is strongly suggested. Mixed breed dogs were more likely to carry a common recessive disease, whereas purebreds were more likely to be genetically affected with one, providing DNA-based evidence for hybrid vigor. We discovered genetic presence of 22 disease variants in at least one additional breed in which they were previously undescribed. Some mutations likely manifest similarly independently of breed background; however, we emphasize the need for follow up investigations in each case and provide a suggested validation protocol for broader consideration. In conclusion, our study provides unique insight into genetic epidemiology of canine disease risk variants, and their relevance for veterinary medicine, breeding programs and animal welfare.
Like any human, dogs may suffer from or pass on a variety of inherited disorders. Knowledge of how likely a typical dog is to carry an inherited disorder in its genome, and which disorders are the most common and relevant ones across dog breeds, is valuable for both veterinary care and breeding of healthy dogs.
We have explored the largest global dog study sample collected to date, consisting of more than 100,000 mixed breed and purebred dogs, to advance research on this subject. We found that mixed breed dogs and purebred dogs potentially suffer from many of the same inherited disorders, and that around two in five dogs carried at least one of the conditions that we screened for. A dog carrying an inherited disorder is not a “bad dog”—but we humans responsible for breeding selections do need to make sustainable decisions avoiding inbreeding, ie. mating of dogs that are close relatives. The disease prevalence information we generated during this study is made available online (www.mybreeddata.com [now defunct?]), as a free tool for breed and kennel clubs, breeders, as well as the veterinary and scientific community.
Consumer genomics enables genetic discovery on an unprecedented scale by linking very large databases of personal genomic data with phenotype information voluntarily submitted via web-based surveys. These databases are having a transformative effect on human genomics research, yielding insights on increasingly complex traits, behaviors, and disease by including many thousands of individuals in genome-wide association studies ( ). The promise of consumer genomic data is not limited to human research, however. Genomic tools for dogs are readily available, with hundreds of causal Mendelian variants already characterized, because selection and breeding have led to dramatic phenotypic diversity underlain by a simple genetic structure. Here, we report the results of the first consumer genomics study ever conducted in a non-human model: a of blue eyes based on more than 3,000 customer dogs with validation panels including nearly 3,000 more, the largest canine to date. We discovered a novel association with blue eyes on chromosome 18 (p = 1.3×10−68) and used both sequence coverage and microarray probe intensity data to identify the putative causal variant: a 98.6-kb duplication directly upstream of the Homeobox gene ALX4, which plays an important role in mammalian eye development. This duplication is largely restricted to Siberian Huskies, is strongly associated with the blue-eyed phenotype (chi-square p = 5.2×10−290), and is highly, but not completely, penetrant. These results underscore the power of consumer-data-driven discovery in non-human species, especially dogs, where there is intense owner interest in the personal genomic information of their pets, a high level of engagement with web-based surveys, and an underlying genetic architecture ideal for mapping studies.
Author summary: The genetic underpinnings of many phenotypic traits in domestic dogs remain undiscovered. Although two genetic loci are known to underlie blue eye color in dogs, these do not explain all cases of blue eyes. By examining > 3,000 dogs from the Embark Veterinary, Inc. customer database, representing the first ALX4 gene is strongly associated with blue eye color variation, primarily in Siberian Huskies. We also provide evidence that this duplication is associated with blue eye color in non-merle Australian Shepherds. While beyond the scope of this work, future studies of the functional mechanism underlying this association may lead to discovery of a novel pathway by which blue-eyes develop in mammals. These results highlight the power and promise of consumer-data-driven discovery in non-human species.( ) driven by consumer genomics in dogs and the largest dog cohort to-date, we have shown that a region of canine chromosome 18 carrying a tandem duplication near the
1965-scott-geneticsandthesocialbehaviorofthedog.pdf: “Genetics and the Social Behavior of the Dog [Dog Behavior: The Genetic Basis]”, (1965; ):
Classic study of dog behavior, the authoritative information from 20 years of research at the Jackson Laboratory. The authors synthesize developmental problems and canine genetics, based on study of 470 dogs. Central to the book is the role heredity plays in the development of behavior. Giving puppies an environment designed on the principles of a well-run school, Scott and Fuller tested five breeds representing the major dog groups and carried out a Mendelian experiment with two of the most different breeds: The basenji and the cocker spaniel. They found that heredity affects almost every trait tested; that gender affects aggressiveness and the dominance order, but not trainability and problem-solving; that emotional traits profoundly influence performance; that, although breeds differ widely in emotional and motivational characteristics, none shows distinct superiority in problem solving; and that detailed statistical analyses indicate a highly complex pathway between primary gene action and its final effect on behavior. Includes important information on rearing methods, the origin and history of dog breeds, basic behavior patterns and the psychological and behavioral development of puppies. Their careful scientific work demonstrated the importance and existence of time limited phases in the early life of dogs within which certain experiences need to occur or the dogs may be forever deficient. Their work (with that of Eckhard Hess’s on ducks and geese) demonstrated that these critical or sensitive periods in early development could be scientifically studied in ways compatible with a scientific psychology. This book will always be especially valuable to dog breeders and trainers; its last chapters summarize in very clear terms the particular phases in early development and experiences the dog needs to be adequately socialized. The reader can refer back to earlier chapters to get more information on how the experiments were conducted and the distribution of results. It answers questions on proper age that puppies can be separated from their mothers, what experiences are important to provide at what age, etc. Originally published in 1965. [ISBN: 0-226-74335-7]
1962-todd.pdf: “Inheritance of the catnip response in domestic cats”, (1962; ):
Four behavioral components of the catnip response are described briefly. The analysis of a pedigree indicates that responding is inherited as an autosomal dominant. Other aspects of inheritance of the response are discussed.
An essential oil, nepetalactone, was isolated from the catnip plant ( ) by McElvain et al. 2, 3, 4 and Meinwald 5. McElvain2 demonstrated with lions that the oil is the substance which is responsible for the attraction of to the plant and the only constituent capable of inducing a response. This familiar response has been broken down into four components, viz, 1. sniffing, 2. licking and chewing with head shaking, 3. chin and cheek rubbing and 4. head-over roll and body rubbing. None of these automatisms is unique to , each of them apparently belonging normally to sexual or ingestive behavior1. These components almost invariably appear in the above sequence. In fact, among 58 responding , all tested with dried leaves, only 3 individuals deviated from this sequence and omitted the licking and chewing with head shaking. These animals went immediately into the rolling phase, which seemed to be exceptionally violent. Component four may last from three to six minutes before all response is extinguished. Additional behavior patterns noted occasionally are claw sharpening and washing, both of which occur as displacement activities in the ethological sense in sexual behavior1.
Among responding animals the response may occasionally be inhibited for obscure reasons, necessitating repeated testing of non-responders before drawing conclusions. Also, the response is not manifested in kittens under 6 to 8 weeks of age and may not develop fully until three months of age. In fact,often produces a distinct avoidance response in young kittens which is gradually replaced by indifference in non-responders and by heightened curiosity in responders. Whether nursing is in any way connected with inhibiting the response has not yet been determined. In one case a 6- to 7-week-old nursing kitten gave a total response, but this seems exceptional. A distressed or enraged animal may still respond, and neutering appears to have no effect on behavior towards .
2011-villani.pdf: “Heritability and Characteristics of Catnip Response in Two Domestic Cat Populations”, (2011; ):
The Gibbs sampling methods are used to explore a mixed model for the trait to determine genetic effects. Heritabilities obtained in the two colonies for the most important response behaviors, the head over roll and cheek rub, were 0.511 and 0.794 using spray and dried respectively. No clear Mendelian mode of inheritance was ascertained in either colony. The variation in response behaviors and intensity seen in the two colonies reflects the complex nature of expression of the catnip response, but there is a clear genetic influence on the feline predisposition to responding.response to is unique in nature as it represents a repeatable, recognizable behavioral response to an olfactory stimulus that appears to have little evolutionary importance. There is clear variation in response between and this has been attributed to genetic factors in the past. These factors are explored in this study using behavioral observation after presenting of to in two different research colonies with different environmental and genetic backgrounds. The response trait is defined and
- Predation by 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 byFelis catus can be a threat to biodiversity conservation, but its mitigation is controversial. Confinement and collar-mounted devices can impede 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 Birdsbesafe collar covers reduced the numbers of birds captured and brought home by −42% but had no discernible effect on mammals. bells had no discernible effect. [ have such poor color vision—they know bells making noise are bad, but can they even see the clown collar to realize?]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 , relative to controls and the pre-treatment period. Introduction of puzzle feeders increased numbers by +33%. Fitting [brightly-colored]
Reductions in predation can be made by non-invasive, positive contributions tonutrition and behavior that reduce their tendency to hunt, rather than impede their hunting. These measures are likely to find support among owners who are concerned about the welfare implications of other interventions.
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 failed to contrafreeload.
We hypothesized thatwould 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 ( ) when presented with both a food puzzle and a tray across 10 30-min trials. Each 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).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 do not show strong tendencies to contrafreeload in the home environment, although some (n = 4) ate most food offered in the puzzle or showed weak contrafreeloading tendencies (n = 5). 8 did not contrafreeload. 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, unlike other tested species, do not show a strong preference to work for food.
1996-huffman.pdf: “Leaf-Swallowing by Chimpanzees: A Behavioral Adaptation for the Control of Strongyle Nematode Infections”, (1996-08-01; ):
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.
2001-huffman.pdf: “Self-induced Increase of Gut Motility and the Control of Parasitic Infections in Wild Chimpanzees”, (2001-06-01; ):
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.
2008-sueda.pdf: “Characterisation of plant eating in dogs”, (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 3340 surveys returned, 1571 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]
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”, (2008-12-01; ):
[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 forare 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.]
2019-hart.pdf: “Characterization of plant eating in cats”, (2019-08-05; ):
[Conference abstract reporting dogs. Cats are frequently seen eating plants (only 11% never), usually appear healthy, vomit semi-frequently afterwards, and do so more frequently when younger.]owner survey (n = 1021) about plant-eating & health, with similar results as
…71% of prior to eating plants, 91% of respondents said their was almost always appeared normal, beforehand. Vomiting was a bit more common—27% reported the 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 , 3 years of age or less, 39% engaged in daily plant eating compared to 27% of 4 years or older (p < 0.01). While percentage of younger showing no signs of illness plant eating was similar to older , just 11% of the younger were observed to frequently vomit after eating plants compared to a statistically-significantly higher 30% of older (p < 0.001).had been seen eating plants at least 6 times, 61% over 10 times, and 11% never eating plants. Comparing 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 in the household. Of seen eating plants at least 10 times, 67% were estimated to eat plants daily or weekly. When asked about how their seemed to feel
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.
Although most felids have an exclusive carnivore diet, the presence of plant matter in scat has been reported among various species. This indicates that there may be an adaptive importance to the conservation of plant-eating behavior in felid evolution. Some studies have hypothesized that felids consume plants for self-medication or as a source of nutrition. In addition, it is thought that plant intake helps them to excrete hairballs, however, no scientific work has confirmed these effects. Thus, the objective of this study is to investigate the relationship between plant intake and hair evacuation in felid species. We selected snow leopards (Panthera uncia) as the study species because they have longer and denser hair than other felids. The behavior of 11 captive snow leopards was observed and scat samples from 8 of them and 2 other captive individuals were analyzed. Snow leopards evacuate hair possibly by vomiting and excreting in scats. The frequency of plant-eating and vomiting and the amount of hair and plant in scat were evaluated. We found that the frequency of vomiting was much lower than the frequency of plant-eating. In addition, there was no statistically-significant relationship between the amount of plant matter contained in scats and the amount of hair in scats. Contrary to the common assumption, our results indicate that plant intake has little effect on hair evacuation in felid species.
2011-volk.pdf: “Executive summary of phase 2 of the Bayer veterinary care usage study”, (2011-11-15; ):
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 theirto the veterinarian because the 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 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 approximately 13% more than dogs in the United States. Yet respondents indicated that dogs represented 59% of their patients and 39%. 70% of respondents agreed that 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 and their care, only 33% said they provided instructions to 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, owners said that getting the into the carrier and taking it to the clinic were the greatest obstacles to visiting the veterinarian.1
2014-volk.pdf: “Executive summary of phase 3 of the Bayer veterinary care usage study”, (2014-04-01; ):
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 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 owners in taking their pet to the veterinarian.2
To probe more deeply into why 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 owners and veterinarians.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
…Four major reasonsowners did not take their 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, mostwere 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 owners surveyed had taken their 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 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, owners were asked to make collages demonstrating what taking their 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 owners surveyed said they had received any instruction from their veterinarian on how to make bringing the to the hospital less stressful.
Once the owner dealt with getting theto 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 , 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,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 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 as low-cost pets.
…Many veterinarians recognized that transportingto 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 theowner survey agreed with the statement that “I didn’t necessarily find the , the found me.”
…In focus group discussions,owners were generally incredulous when told that their could be sick without them knowing it because are adept at hiding signs of illness. In the quantitative survey, only 70% of 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 health.
“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”, (2020-01-22):
Whenever Courtney Cirone grabs her iPad, her 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: , famously the subjects of online videos, now sit on the other side, watching…Now she puts -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.Cooper runs over as though a bag of treats had just been shaken. 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. Little Kitty & Family, Handsome Nature, and Videos for Your Cat. One of the most prolific creators, Paul Dinning, has posted hundreds of videos for , 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 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 are an emerging audience”, Pettie says, “and movies for are an emerging trend.”…According to YouTube, videos targeted at dogs garnered only 6 million views last year.-targeted footage of small animals is particularly popular on the platform, posted by channels like
…Cat Games creator Max Gomboev, a motion designer from Russia, first started making these videos as a tribute to his late. After seeing how much other owners liked them and the experience they provided over -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. like to watch something new.”.
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, Laura Owen
1968-smithers.pdf#page=6: “Cat of the Pharaohs: The African Wild , Reay H. N. Smithers from Past to Present”
“Early Canid Domestication: The Farm-Fox Experiment: Foxes bred for tamability in a 40-year experiment exhibit remarkable transformations that suggest an interplay between behavioral genetics and development”, (1999-03):
[Popular review of the domesticated red fox by the lead researcher. Trut gives the history of Belyaev’s founding of the experiment in 1959, and how the results gradually proved his theory about ‘domestication syndrome’: that domestication produces multiple simultaneous effects like floppy ears despite the foxes being bred solely for being willing to approach a strange human, suggesting an underlying common genetic mechanism]
Forty years into our unique lifelong experiment, we believe that Dmitry Belyaev would be pleased with its progress. By intense selective breeding, we have compressed into a few decades an ancient process that originally unfolded over thousands of years. Before our eyes, “the Beast” has turned into “Beauty”, as the aggressive behavior of our herd’s wild progenitors entirely disappeared. We have watched new morphological traits emerge, a process previously known only from archaeological evidence. Now we know that these changes can burst into a population early in domestication, triggered by the stresses of captivity, and that many of them result from changes in the timing of developmental processes. In some cases the changes in timing, such as earlier sexual maturity or retarded growth of somatic characters, resemble pedomorphosis. Some long-standing puzzles remain. We believed at the start that foxes could be made to reproduce twice a year and all year round, like dogs. We would like to understand why this has turned out not to be quite so. We are also curious about how the vocal repertoire of foxes changes under domestication. Some of the calls of our adult foxes resemble those of dogs and, like those of dogs, appear to be holdovers from puppyhood, but only further study will reveal the details. The biggest unanswered question is just how much further our selective-breeding experiment can go. The domestic fox is not a domestic dog, but we believe that it has the genetic potential to become more and more doglike.
2019-jones.pdf: “Black Cat Bias: Prevalence and Predictors”, (2019-04-29; ):
There is anecdotal and empirical evidence for blackbias, the phenomenon where (Felis silvestris catus) with black coats are viewed more negatively, adopted less often, and euthanized more often than lighter colored . Despite the anecdotal claims, there is scarce empirical evidence for black bias. Using evaluations of 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 bias. Finally, the researchers explored whether black bias was related to difficulties people had in reading the emotions of black compared to non-black . This study provided evidence of black bias in the sample. People exhibiting higher degrees of black bias had higher levels of superstition, but not religiosity or racial prejudice. Additionally, people who had difficulty reading the emotions of black tended to exhibit a stronger bias against adopting black .
1975-clark.pdf: “The effects of selection and human preference on coat colour gene frequencies in urban cats”, J. M. Clark
2019-huck.pdf: “The use of animal–borne cameras to video–track the behaviour of domestic cats”, (2019-08-01; ):
- Animal-born mini-cameras allow video-tracking of free-ranging domestic animals.
- Video-tracking allows reliable behavioural data collection without observer effects.
- A comprehensive ethogram is validated for -camera footage.
- Video-tracking could be used for conservation and animal welfare studies.
- Suggested applications include the study of predation behaviour of .
Free roaming domestic animals can have a profound effect on wildlife. To better understand and mitigate any impact, it is important to understand the behaviour patterns of the domestic animals, and how other variables might influence their behaviour.
Direct observation is not always feasible and bears the potential risk of observer effects. The use of animal-borne small video-cameras provides the opportunity to study behaviour from the animal’s point of view. While video-tracking has been used previously to study specific aspects of the behaviour of a species, it has not been used so far to determine detailed time-budgets.
The aim of this study was to provide and validate an ethogram based on-camera footage collected from 16 (Felis catus). The methodology was validated comparing films recorded simultaneously, from both collar-mounted video recorders and hand-held video recorders. Additionally, the inter-observer reliability of scorers was measured. Continuous and instantaneous recording regimes were compared, and behavioural accumulation curves were evaluated to provide further technique recommendations for video-tracking .
Video-tracking allows scoring of behaviour as reliably as direct observation (: t < 0.001, p = 0.99; df = 14 in 7 ; Cohen’s κ = 0.88). Furthermore, inter-observer reliability was high (Cohen’s κ = 0.72) and was not statistically-significantly different from 0.8 (one-sample t-test: t = 1.15. df = 5, p = 0.30), indicating that the method is not subject to bias in observers. Recommendations are given for the most efficient scoring protocol to reliably record feline behaviour.
While the validation was concerned withbehaviour, the approach can be easily adapted for a variety of domestic species, as well as some captive animals. Video-tracking offers a new avenue to investigate both general time-budgets and more specific behaviours such as foraging or space use from the animal’s point of view and in its normal environment, without restrictions to movement. Insights gained through video-tracking will be relevant to various conservation and animal welfare issues.
2020-kays.pdf: “The small home ranges and large local ecological impacts of pet cats”, (2020-03-11; ):
Domestic(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 six countries, finding remarkably small home ranges (3.6 ± 5.6 ha). Only three 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 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 in neighborhoods. As a result, pet around the world have an ecological impact greater than native predators but concentrated within ~100 m of their homes.
2019-kirk.pdf: “Dogs have masters, , Colleen P. Kirk have staff_ Consumers' psychological ownership and their economic valuation of pets”
1999-bradshaw.pdf: “Feral cats: their role in the population dynamics of Felis catus”, (1999-12; ):
The so-calledoccupies a unique position within the truly domestic animals since it freely interbreeds with feral populations, and there is considerable gene flow in both directions. This is possible because the likelihood of an individual forming a relationship with people is strongly affected by its experiences during the socialisation period (3–8 weeks of age), although this does not preclude differences between owned and feral populations in the relative frequencies of alleles which affect social behaviour towards humans.
We suggest a hitherto unconsidered reason why a separate domesticated population of(apart from pedigree breeds) has not yet emerged: the unusual and stringent nutrient requirements of the may historically have militated against successful breeding on a completely human-provided diet, and led to the retention of the ability to achieve a nutritionally complete diet by scavenging and/or hunting. More recently, the widespread availability of nutritionally complete manufactured foods and veterinary care in western countries appears to be leading towards a rapid change in the population dynamics and population genetics of both owned and feral .
[Keywords: domestication, feral populations, population dynamics,]
In many countries where companion dogs are popular, owners are strongly encouraged to neuter their dogs. Consequently, millions of dogs are neutered each year. In recent times considerable attention has been paid to the possible effects of such procedures on canine health and welfare. Less scrutinized are the potential ramifications of widespread neutering on the breeding of dogs and their continued success as human companions. This paper summarizes research investigating factors influencing the breeding and rearing of dogs most suited to companionship roles in contemporary, typically high-density, communities, and briefly reviews current breeder practices. It then argues that a fundamental shift to promote inclusion of “proven” companion dogs in the gene pool, as opposed to dogs meeting conformation or working/sporting standards, is required to successfully meet the needs of modern urban dog owners. A new model is proposed, whereby responsible owners and breeders work together to produce dogs most suited for life as human companions.
…The demonstrated importance of genetics and early environment in determining behavioral predispositions makes it imperative to consider where companion dogs come from.to the widespread introduction of neutering practices, dogs often bred indiscriminately, and people typically obtained their dogs for free from neighbors whose bitch had produced a litter (47). While this was problematic in terms of creating dog overpopulation, it meant that most of the dogs who produced offspring were well suited to the demands of the lives they were expected to lead. Those who weren’t well-suited were disposed of. Today, strong demand for companion dogs, coupled with rapid urbanization, increased concern regarding the welfare of animals, particularly companion dogs, and high neutering rates, has resulted in a multimillion-dollar industry involving the selective breeding and selling of puppies (48). Widespread neutering means that humans intentionally control nearly all dog breeding in developed countries…As described previously, in many developed countries, neutering companion dogs is considered an important aspect of responsible ownership. Hence, the very best companion dogs in the general community, those owned by responsible citizens who choose their dogs carefully and ensure they are reared correctly, are almost certainly those most likely to be neutered. Conversely, it is those companion dog owners who fail to perform the “responsible” behavior of neutering their dog who are perhaps most likely to breed. These “breeders” may also choose not to perform other “responsible” behaviors, such as selecting their dog carefully, testing it for genetic disorders, or evaluating the dog’s suitability as a companion to allowing it to reproduce. In other words, they may not thoroughly consider the genetic and environmental factors known to be critical to optimal puppy development.
Second, we advocate that all dogs should be independently tested for suitability before being bred—much as breeders now advertise that their puppies’ parents are successful show dogs, or that they are free from known genetic disorders, so they should be encouraged to advertise that independent testing has shown their breeding dogs to be well-suited behaviourally to life as human companions. We anticipate that responsible breeders would be willing to pay for this independent certification, much as they presently pay for genetic tests, eye screening and tests for hip dysplasia. Several behavioral tests exist to measure specific traits, such as the Socially Acceptable Behavior test (64), which measures aggression, or the Dog Mentality Assessment test (65), which examines levels of playfulness, curiosity, aggression, sociability, and chase-proneness. In the USA, the Canine Good Citizen program, administered by the American Kennel Club, takes <30 min to administer and is designed to identify dogs that meet ten objectives consistent with being a good companion dog. Any one of these tests could be used as a basis for developing an assessment suited to breeding dogs—dogs that are not themselves good companions are less likely to produce puppies able to excel at this role.
1999-braastad.pdf: “Frequencies of behaviour problems and heritability of behaviour traits in breeds of domestic cat”, Bjarne O. Braastad, I. Westbye, Morton Bakken
2009-driscoll.pdf: “The Taming of the Cat”
1990-yurko.pdf: “The , Frank J. Yurko and Ancient Egypt”
2011-detry.pdf: “The Emirate of COrdoba (756-929 AD) and the introduction of the Egyptian mongoose (Herpestes ichneumon) in Iberia: the remains from Muge, Portugal”, Cleia Detry, Nuno Bicho, Hermenegildo Fernandes, Carlos Fernandes
1977-todd.pdf: “Cats and Commerce”, Neil B. Todd
1999-bradshaw-2.pdf: “Affiliative behaviour of related and unrelated pairs of cats in catteries: a preliminary report”, (1999-04-23; ):
Social ties between free-rangingare largely confined to related females, yet multicat households often contain unrelated cats. We have investigated whether unrelated pairs of 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 . The most likely explanation for this difference is that ties are established between individual during the socialisation period (3–8 weeks), and persist throughout life if the continue to live together.
[Keywords:kinship, social behaviour, socialisation, spacing behaviour]
“Predators Are Attracted to the Olfactory Signals of Prey”, (2010-09-04):
Predator attraction to prey social signals can force prey to trade-off the social imperatives to communicate against the profound effect of predation on their future fitness. These tradeoffs underlie theories on the design and evolution of conspecific signalling systems and have received much attention in visual and acoustic signalling modes. Yet while most territorial mammals communicate using olfactory signals and olfactory hunting is widespread in predators, evidence for the attraction of predators to prey olfactory signals under field conditions is lacking.
To redress this fundamental issue, we examined the attraction of free-roaming predators to discrete patches of scents collected from groups of two and six adult, male house mice, Mus domesticus, which primarily communicate through olfaction. Olfactorily-hunting predators were rapidly attracted to mouse scent signals, visiting mouse scented locations sooner, and in greater number, than control locations. There were no effects of signal concentration on predator attraction to their prey’s signals.
This implies that communication will be costly if conspecific receivers and eavesdropping predators are simultaneously attracted to a signal. Significantly, our results also suggest that receivers may be at greater risk of predation when communicating than signallers, as receivers must visit risky patches of scent to perform their half of the communication equation, while signallers need not.
“The vomeronasal organ of the cat”, (1996):
The vomeronasal organ of thewas studied macroscopically, by light microscopy and by immunohistochemical techniques. Special attention was paid to the general distribution of the various soft tissue components of this organ (duct, glands, connective tissue, blood vessels and nerves.) Examination of series of transverse sections showed that the wall of the vomeronasal duct bears 44 different types of epithelium: simple columnar in the caudal part of the duct, respiratory and receptor respectively on the lateral and medial walls of the middle part of the duct, and stratified squamous rostrally. The pattern of distribution of other soft tissue components was closely associated with that of epithelium types. In areas where the duct wall was lined with receptor epithelium, nerves and connective tissue were present between the epithelium and the medial sheet of the vomeronasal cartilage. Most glands and blood vessels were located lateral to those areas of the duct wall lined with respiratory epithelium. Numerous basal cells were present in the sensory epithelium. Understanding of the distribution of the soft tissue components of this organ may shed light on its function.
1969-chesler.pdf: “Maternal Influence in Learning by Observation in Kittens”, Phyllis Chesler
1944-herbert.pdf: “Observational Learning by Cats”, Marvin J. Herbert, Charles M. Harsh
2003-curtis.pdf: “Influence of familiarity and relatedness on proximity and allogrooming in , Terry Marie Curtis, Rebecca J. Knowles, Sharon L. Crowell-Davis ( )”
1998-vandenbos.pdf: “The function of allogrooming in , Ruud Van den Bos (Felis silvestris catus); a study in a group of living in confinement”
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
2005-bernstein.pdf: “Chapter 3: The Human-, Penny L. Bernstein Relationship”
2002-soennichsen.pdf: “Responses of cats to petting by humans”, (2002; ):
There is evidence that different gland areas in animals of the cat family have different functions.
This study showed that 9gave 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 thatprefer being petted in certain body areas.
[Keywords: allomones, Felis catus, interspecific rubbing, pheromones, scent marking glands]
2004-nicastro.pdf: “Perceptual and Acoustic Evidence for Species-level Differences in Meow Vocalizations by Domestic , Nicholas Nicastro ( ) and African Wild (Felis silvestris lybica)”
1999-sandem.pdf: “The social bond between man and cat”, Agnethe-Irén Sandem, Bjarne O. Braastad
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
1996-ledger.pdf: “Factors Influencing the Reactions of , Rebecca Ledger, Valerie O'Farrell to Humans and Novel Objects”
2007-geigy.pdf: “Does a Pleiotropic Gene Explain Deafness and Blue Irises in White , Caroline Geigy, Silvia Heid, Frank Steffen, Kristen Danielson, André Jaggy, Claude Gaillard ?”
2002-lowe.pdf: “Responses of pet , Sarah E. Lowe, John W. S. Bradshaw to being held by an unfamiliar person, from weaning to three years of age”
1992-mellen.pdf: “Effects of early rearing experience on subsequent adult sexual behavior using , Jill D. Mellen ( ) as a model for exotic small felids”
2010-lilith.pdf: “Do Cat Restrictions Lead to Increased Species Diversity or Abundance of Small and Medium-sized Mammals in Remnant Urban Bushland?”, (2010-01-01; ):
We took advantage of KTBA (known-to-be-alive) statistics for Brushtail Possums Trichosurus vulpecula and Southern Brown Bandicoots Isoodon obesulus, the two most abundant medium-sized mammals present, were similar across all sites. The smaller Mardo Antechinus flavipes, which could be regarded as the most susceptible to cat predation of all the native species trapped because of its size, was trapped mostly at an unregulated site. Total mammals trapped at the unregulated sites exceeded those caught at the two sites with restrictions, but these unregulated sites also had significantly denser vegetation and there was a borderline (p = 0.05) rank correlation between vegetation density and mammal captures across all sites. It appears that pet are not the major influence on the species diversity or abundance of small and medium-sized mammals at these sites and that vegetation characteristics may be more important.regulations enacted within differing subdivisions in the City of Armadale, Western Australia, to test the hypotheses that the species diversity (measured by the Shannon-Weiner index) and abundance of small and medium-sized mammals should be higher in native bushland within or adjacent to subdivisions where are restricted compared to similar areas where are not restricted. There were three different regimes of regulation: no- zone (strict prohibition of cat ownership applying in one site), compulsory belling of and night curfew at one site, and unregulated zones (free-roaming cats applying at two sites). Both sets of regulations were in place for approximately 10 years to our survey. We also measured structural and floristic features of the vegetation at each site that might influence the species diversity and abundance of small and medium-sized mammals independently or interactively with activity. No statistically-significant differences in species diversity were found across the sites and
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
1986-childs.pdf: “Size-dependent Predation on Rats (Rattus norvegicus) by House , James Childs ( ) in an Urban Setting”
1982-allaby-thecuriouscat.pdf: “The Curious Cat”, Michael Allaby, Peter Crawford
1968-smithers.pdf: “Cat of the Pharaohs: The African Wild , Reay H. N. Smithers from Past to Present”
2000-mendl.pdf: “Chapter 4: Individuality in the Domestic , Michael Mendl, Robert Harcourt : Origins, Development and Stability (The Domestic : The Biology of Its Behavior)”
2000-bradshaw.pdf: “Chapter 5: The Signalling Repertoire of the Domestic , John W. S. Bradshaw, Charlotte Cameron-Beaumont and Its Undomesticated Relatives (The Domestic : The Biology of Its Behavior)”
2000-liberg.pdf: “Chapter 7: Density, spatial organisation and reproductive tactics in the , Olof Liberg, Mikael Sandell, Dominique Pontier, Eugenia Natoli and other felids (The Domestic : The Biology of Its Behavior)”
2000-turner.pdf: “Chapter 10: The human-, Dennis C. Turner, Eileen Karsh relationship (The Domestic : The Biology of Its Behavior)”
2012-bradshaw-bradshaw-behaviourdomesticcat-ch3-mechanismsbehaviour.pdf: “Chapter 3: Mechanisms of Behaviour (The Behaviour of the Domestic , John W. S. Bradshaw, Rachel A. Casey, Sarah L. Brown , second edition)”
2012-bradshaw-bradshaw-behaviourdomesticcat-ch8-socialbehaviour.pdf: “Chapter 8: Social Behaviour (The Behaviour of the Domestic , John W. S. Bradshaw, Rachel A. Casey, Sarah L. Brown , second edition)”
2012-bradshaw-bradshaw-behaviourdomesticcat-ch11-undesiredbehavior.pdf: “Chapter 11: Undesired Behaviour in the Domestic , John W. S. Bradshaw, Rachel A. Casey, Sarah L. Brown (The Behaviour of the Domestic , second edition)”
2012-bradshaw-bradshaw-behaviourdomesticcat-ch12-causesbehavioralchange.pdf: “Chapter 12: Physiological and Pathological Causes of Behavioural Change (The Behaviour of the Domestic , John W. S. Bradshaw, Rachel A. Casey, Sarah L. Brown , second edition)”
“The cry embedded within the purr”, (2009-07-24):
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 owningjudged 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.
2019-delgado.pdf: “A review of the development and functions of cat play, with future research considerations”, (2019-05-01; ):
- We provide an extensive review of the 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(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 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 as a convenient model for more difficult to study members of the Carnivora, as recognized by pioneering studies of 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. 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 ofplay in the literature. We conclude by proposing and exploring several open questions and offering suggestions for future research, particularly related to pet .
[Keywords: play behavior, play functions, ethogram], Felidae, predatory behavior,
Although cats’ popularity as pets rivals that of dogs,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 (eg pet-owning) had little effect. 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 optimise feline care and welfare.
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 were video-recorded undisturbed in their cages in a prospective, case-control study. Painful 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 . The FGS scores were higher in painful than in control ; a very strong correlation with another validated instrument for pain assessment in 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.
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 thathalf-blinks and eye narrowing occurred more frequently in response to owners’ slow blink stimuli towards their (compared to no owner-cat interaction). In a second experiment, this time where an experimenter provided the slow blink stimulus, 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.
This study shows evidence of a(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 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 , 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 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”, (2020-08-18):
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 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 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 fed four times (p < 0.05), though energy expenditure was similar between treatments at fasting and in postprandial phases. Finally, 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 to promote satiation and lean body mass.. Two experiments were designed as a 2×3 replicated incomplete Latin square design. Eight , with an average body weight (BW) of
“Attachment bonds between domestic cats and humans”, (2019-09-23):
Worldwide,(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., 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, thatdisplay 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, (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). 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).and owners participated in a Secure Base Test
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).
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. “We’ve done a little work with 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 and dogs.
“Audiogenic reflex seizures in cats”, (2015-04-27):
Objectives: This study aimed to characterise feline audiogenic reflex seizures (FARS).
Methods: An online questionnaire was developed to capture information from owners with suffering from FARS. This was collated with the medical records from the primary veterinarian. 96 were included.
Results: Myoclonic seizures were one of the cardinal signs of this syndrome (90⁄96), frequently occurring 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 (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 experiencing seizures for >2 years, with 42⁄50 owners stating these signs affected their cat’s QoL.to generalised
Conclusions and relevance: In gathering data on audiogenic seizures in epilepsy syndrome named FARS with a geriatric onset. Further studies are warranted to investigate potential genetic predispositions to this condition., we have identified a new
2020-li.pdf: “Where there are girls, there are cats”, (2020-02-10; ):
The growing population of outdoor free-rangingposes an increasingly serious threat to biodiversity. Identifying the strategies that outdoor free-ranging apply to live with humans is an interesting research topic. In this study, we provided robust estimates of free-ranging density in 30 universities in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, China. We found that the population density of free-ranging 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 than human males in China. By contrast, a socialization test on 27 free-ranging cats suggests that the 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 population managements and wildlife conservation.
[Keywords: Free-ranging, Feral , Human sex ratio, Socialization test]
“Against Dog Ownership”, (2020-03-21):
[“A warning against assuming the immense emotional and moral responsibilities that come with caring for a dog. Can an owned animal have a good life?” Imagine that you, a human, were kidnapped by aliens at birth and given an approximation of a dog’s life, and a good dog’s life at that. Ignore the subservience, dependence on a superior life form, and all the other psychological aspects of being owned and just focus on how you would feel about your material conditions. Would you want this life?" (7,700 words)" —The Browser summary
Meditation on pet ownership. What is the morality of keeping a mentally and physically crippled animal, particularly in an urban apartment where it cannot exercise its natural urges or get adequate exercise/stimulation? The ‘cute’ behavior of a dog, so appealing to so many, is, regarded more cynically, indicative of severe pathology and dependency, a Stockholm syndrome; aside from the effects on the slave, what are the effects on the master? At least a cat’s trust and affection has to be earned; what should we think of humans who love the pathetically unconditional love of a dog?]
“Pied Beauty”, (1877):
Glory be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.
All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
“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”, (2016-04-07):
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 areprints—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.”
2002-hall.pdf: “Object play in adult domestic cats: the roles of habituation and disinhibition”, (2002-11; ):
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 withoutexperience 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 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.