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Animals 2015, 5(1), 71-88; doi:10.3390/ani5010071

Modification of the Feline-Ality™ Assessment and the Ability to Predict Adopted Cats’ Behaviors in Their New Homes

1
Shelter Research and Development, Community Outreach, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA®), 3201 Winding Way, Palm City, FL 34990, USA
2
Shelter Research and Development, Community Outreach, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA®), 2340 S. 80th Street, West Allis, WI 53219, USA
3
Shelter Research and Development, Community Outreach, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA®), P.O. Box 4323, Arlington, VA 22204, USA
4
Shelter Research and Development, Community Outreach, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA®), P.O. Box 821075, Kenmore, WA 98028, USA
5
Shelter Research and Development, Community Outreach, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA®), 50 Stone Ridge Drive, Florence, MA 01062, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Pauleen Bennett
Received: 23 October 2014 / Revised: 7 January 2015 / Accepted: 28 January 2015 / Published: 5 February 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Management and Welfare of Shelter Animals)
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Simple Summary

While millions of cats enter animal shelters every year, only 11.5% of pet cats are obtained from a shelter in the United States. Previous research has indicated that unrealistic expectations set by adopters can increase the chances of an adopted cat returning to the shelter. The ASPCA®’s Meet Your Match® Feline-ality™ adoption program was designed to provide adopters with accurate information about an adult cat’s future behavior in the home. This research explored the ability of the modified Feline-ality™ assessment when done one day after the cat entered the shelter. Our modified version was predictive of feline behavior post adoption.

Abstract

It is estimated that 2.5 million cats enter animal shelters in the United States every year and as few as 20% leave the shelter alive. Of those adopted, the greatest risk to post-adoption human animal bond is unrealistic expectations set by the adopter. The ASPCA®’s Meet Your Match® Feline-ality™ adoption program was developed to provide adopters with an accurate assessment of an adult cat’s future behavior in the home. However, the original Feline-ality™ required a three-day hold time to collect cat behaviors on a data card, which was challenging for some shelters. This research involved creating a survey to determine in-home feline behavior post adoption and explored the predictive ability of the in-shelter assessment without the data card. Our results show that the original Feline-ality™ assessment and our modified version were predictive of feline behavior post adoption. Our modified version also decreased hold time for cats to one day. Shelters interested in increasing cat adoptions, decreasing length of stay and improving the adoption experience can now implement the modified version for future feline adoption success. View Full-Text
Keywords: cat; shelter cat; animal shelter; behavior; feline behavior; adoption cat; shelter cat; animal shelter; behavior; feline behavior; adoption
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Weiss, E.; Gramann, S.; Drain, N.; Dolan, E.; Slater, M. Modification of the Feline-Ality™ Assessment and the Ability to Predict Adopted Cats’ Behaviors in Their New Homes. Animals 2015, 5, 71-88.

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