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Viruses 2018, 10(7), 353; https://doi.org/10.3390/v10070353

Enrichment Preferences of FIV-Infected and Uninfected Laboratory-Housed Cats

1
Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA
2
Department of Clinical Sciences, North Carolina State College of Veterinary Medicine, Raleigh, NC 27606, USA
3
Department of Statistics, College of Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA
4
Department of Population Health and Pathobiology, North Carolina State College of Veterinary Medicine, Raleigh, NC 27606, USA
5
Department of Neurology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 April 2018 / Revised: 27 June 2018 / Accepted: 28 June 2018 / Published: 3 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nonprimate Lentivirus)
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Abstract

Environmental enrichment is critical for alleviating stress in laboratory felines. However, there is a paucity of information about suitable enrichment for cats. This study aimed to determine preferred enrichment options of individually-housed, castrated male domestic short hair cats (Felis catus) used in a longitudinal study of the effects of chronic feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) infection, and to determine if the FIV status of the cats affected enrichment preferences. Preference testing was performed with two types of grooming brushes, three different interactive play options, including a laser, ball, and petting interaction with a familiar investigator, and two types of toenail conditioning objects. We found that cats elected to be brushed, preferred social interaction and play with the laser to the ball, and preferred to scratch on an inclined-box toenail conditioning object compared to a horizontal, circular toenail conditioning object. There were individual preferences for enrichment opportunities. There were no differences in preferences between FIV-infected and sham-infected cats. These enrichment preferences may be used to advise laboratory animal facilities and researchers about how to best accommodate the behavioral needs of laboratory cats. View Full-Text
Keywords: FIV; enrichment; welfare; feline; laboratory animal FIV; enrichment; welfare; feline; laboratory animal
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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Kennedy, C.J.; Thomson, A.E.; Griffith, E.H.; Fogle, J.; Lascelles, B.D.X.; Meeker, R.B.; Sherman, B.L.; Gruen, M.E. Enrichment Preferences of FIV-Infected and Uninfected Laboratory-Housed Cats. Viruses 2018, 10, 353.

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