Next Article in Journal
Feeding Canola, Camelina, and Carinata Meals to Ruminants
Next Article in Special Issue
Can Responsible Ownership Practices Influence Hunting Behavior of Owned Cats?: Results from a Survey of Cat Owners in Chile
Previous Article in Journal
Olfactory Generalization in Detector Dogs
Previous Article in Special Issue
Change the Humans First: Principles for Improving the Management of Free-Roaming Cats
 
 
Article

Perceptions of Responsible Cat Ownership Behaviors among a Convenience Sample of Australians

1
Anthrozoology Research Group, School of Psychology and Public Health, La Trobe University, Bendigo, VIC 3552, Australia
2
Department of Wildlife Conservation and Science, Zoos Victoria, Elliott Ave, Parkville, VIC 3052, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2019, 9(9), 703; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9090703
Received: 27 June 2019 / Revised: 30 August 2019 / Accepted: 16 September 2019 / Published: 19 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interactions of Free-Roaming Cats and Wildlife)
Cat owners are responsible for keeping their pet cats safe, but some behaviors that keep cats and other animals safe, such as keeping the cat contained, are not supported by all owners. Non-owner attitudes towards responsible cat ownership behaviors are also important because cat owner behavior may be influenced by friends and family who do not own cats. Therefore, we asked owners and non-owners, recruited via social media sites associated with companion animal or wildlife issues, to describe their support for cat containment, microchipping, and neutering. Non-owners were more likely to report that cats should always be contained, but there was no difference in support for keeping cats contained at night. Owners were more likely to agree that cats should be neutered/spayed. In-principle support among owners was often higher than actual compliance with relevant behaviors, particularly for keeping cats indoors at night. This information may be useful for helping design campaigns to increase responsible cat ownership behaviors.
Responsible cat ownership is important for keeping pet cats and wildlife safe. Much research investigating levels of compliance with and attitudes towards responsible cat ownership practices has focused on cat owners. Non-owner attitudes are relevant because their opinions may encourage cat-owning friends and family to engage (or not) in a cat management practice. The aim of this study was to determine levels of compliance with responsible cat ownership practices among cat owners, as well as attitudes towards those behaviors by owners and non-owners alike. An online survey was completed by 6808 people living in Australia who were recruited via companion animal or wildlife interest groups on social media. Frequency data were used to measure owner compliance with responsible cat ownership behaviors and t-tests were used to determine whether owners and non-owners differed in their attitudes towards these behaviors. Owner compliance with responsible practices ranged from 46.5% (complete cat containment all day and night) to 76.9% (cat is de-sexed). Owner attitudes towards these practices were generally more positive than the reported levels of management practices implemented for their own cat. For example, 47.3% of owners agreed or strongly agreed that cats should always be contained and 88.6% agreed that cats should be contained at night. Non-owners were more likely than owners to agree that cats should be contained during the day, but there was no difference for containment at night. Owners were more likely to report that cats should be de-sexed. These results can be used to inform campaigns aimed at increasing compliance with responsible cat ownership behaviors. View Full-Text
Keywords: cat containment; wildlife protection; domestic cat management; desexing; Felis catus cat containment; wildlife protection; domestic cat management; desexing; Felis catus
MDPI and ACS Style

Elliott, A.; Howell, T.J.; McLeod, E.M.; Bennett, P.C. Perceptions of Responsible Cat Ownership Behaviors among a Convenience Sample of Australians. Animals 2019, 9, 703. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9090703

AMA Style

Elliott A, Howell TJ, McLeod EM, Bennett PC. Perceptions of Responsible Cat Ownership Behaviors among a Convenience Sample of Australians. Animals. 2019; 9(9):703. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9090703

Chicago/Turabian Style

Elliott, Alicia, Tiffani J. Howell, Emily M. McLeod, and Pauleen C. Bennett. 2019. "Perceptions of Responsible Cat Ownership Behaviors among a Convenience Sample of Australians" Animals 9, no. 9: 703. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9090703

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Back to TopTop