Special Issue "Cat Behaviour, Physiology and Welfare"

A special issue of Animals (ISSN 2076-2615). This special issue belongs to the section "Companion Animals".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 9 May 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Chiara Mariti, DVM, PhD, EBVS - ECAWBM (AWSEL)
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Guest Editor
Dipartimento di Scienze Veterinarie, Università di Pisa, 56124 Pisa, Italy
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr Jonathan Bowen, MRCVS
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Co-Guest Editor
Royal Veterinary College, Hatfield Hertfordshire AL9 7TA, UK
Interests: Veterinary, behaviour, human-animal bond

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The number of cats sharing space and experiences with people has been increasing in the last decades, playing an important role in human life. However, compared to other species such as the dog, the study of domestic cats has not yet been well developed.

The aim of the current Special Issue is to extend the knowledge of cat behaviour, physiology, and welfare. Topics covered by this Special Issue range from studies with an ethological approach to those more focused on applied ethology, animal welfare, behavioural medicine, etc.

Some examples of fields of research concerning this Special Issue are the following:

  • Cat behavioural, physiological, and endocrine parameters;
  • Cat–human bond;
  • Cat social behaviour;
  • Feline behavioural problems;
  • Cat welfare;
  • Cat cognition;
  • Behaviour and welfare of other felids;

This Special Issue welcomes contributions in literature reviews, empirical research papers, or opinion pieces.

Dr. Chiara Mariti
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Animals is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Coat Color and Cat Outcomes in an Urban U.S. Shelter
Animals 2020, 10(10), 1720; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10101720 - 23 Sep 2020
Abstract
Some nonhuman animal shelters have developed rehoming programs for black cats to remedy what they believe are their higher rates of euthanasia and lower rates of adoption. This study reviews humans’ preferences/aversions to cats of various coat colors and uses contingency tables and [...] Read more.
Some nonhuman animal shelters have developed rehoming programs for black cats to remedy what they believe are their higher rates of euthanasia and lower rates of adoption. This study reviews humans’ preferences/aversions to cats of various coat colors and uses contingency tables and multinomial logistic regression to test possible differences in outcomes (euthanasia, adoption, or transfer) for 7983 cats that entered an urban public shelter in Kentucky, USA from 2010 through 2011. While coat color overall was negligibly associated with cat outcomes in a contingency table, the pairwise difference between black and white cats was significant (p < 0.05) and nontrivial in strength. Specifically, black cats experienced the highest euthanasia and lowest adoption rates, while white cats had the lowest euthanasia and highest adoption rates. Brown, gray, and orange cats experienced similar outcomes, but middling between those of black and white cats. These patterns by color remained weak but significant after controlling for breed and stray status in regression analysis, with the exception of orange and white, which did not differ significantly. A subsample of 1219 entirely black cats was analyzed to assess whether they had different outcomes during the run-up to Halloween; their October percentages of adoption and transfer were comparable to or lower than all other months of the calendar year. Thus, this study did not find that outcomes improved for black cats during October. Overall, this study provides weak support for what has been termed “Black Cat Bias” by others, and hints that black cats in public shelters should receive extra consideration for rehoming, particularly if such efforts do not substantially redirect resources from other initiatives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cat Behaviour, Physiology and Welfare)
Open AccessArticle
Understanding the Relationship between Intention and Cat Containment Behaviour: A Case Study of Kitten and Cat Adopters from RSPCA Queensland
Animals 2020, 10(7), 1214; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10071214 - 16 Jul 2020
Abstract
In Australia, cat owners are encouraged to keep their pet cats contained on their property at all times. This study explores the relationship between the intentions and behaviours of 72 kitten and cat adopters from a RSPCA Queensland animal shelter, to provide a [...] Read more.
In Australia, cat owners are encouraged to keep their pet cats contained on their property at all times. This study explores the relationship between the intentions and behaviours of 72 kitten and cat adopters from a RSPCA Queensland animal shelter, to provide a more in-depth understanding of the factors influencing the adoption of cat containment behaviours. At the time of adoption, 64 participants (89%) indicated they were intending to keep their cat fully contained. Eight weeks after adoption, 63 participants (87%) reported they were doing so (59 who had stated their intention at the time of adoption, and 4 who had not). We found cat owner containment behaviour was moderately correlated with containment intentions. For some of the participants when it came to enacting this behaviour, their intentions and the provided education information was not enough to overcome the more compelling capability, opportunity and motivational factors which presented themselves once they got home. We were able to identify these factors and suggest additional behaviour change strategies that would assist. Although it is important to provide cat adopters with advice about how to contain their cats properly, these results also highlight the importance of focusing attention on other behaviour change strategies that address the particular barriers faced by some cat-owners who are unsuccessful in keeping their cat contained on their property. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cat Behaviour, Physiology and Welfare)
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Open AccessArticle
Prevalence of Blood Types and Alloantibodies of the AB Blood Group System in Non-Pedigree Cats from Northern (Lombardy) and Southern (Sicily) Italy
Animals 2020, 10(7), 1129; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10071129 - 03 Jul 2020
Abstract
The aims of this study were to determine the prevalence of A, B and AB blood types and alloantibodies in non-pedigree cats from two regions, one in Northern and one in Southern Italy (Lombardy and Sicily, respectively). A total of 448 samples (52.0% [...] Read more.
The aims of this study were to determine the prevalence of A, B and AB blood types and alloantibodies in non-pedigree cats from two regions, one in Northern and one in Southern Italy (Lombardy and Sicily, respectively). A total of 448 samples (52.0% from Northern and 48.0% from Southern Italy) were blood typed. The prevalence of A, B and AB blood types in northern and southern cats were 91.0%, 5.2%, 3.8%, and 77.2%, 12.1% and 10.7%, respectively. The prevalence of type-A blood in southern cats was significantly lower (p = 0.0001) than in northern cats, while type-B and AB blood were significantly higher (p = 0.0085 and p = 0.0051, respectively) in Southern compared to Northern Italian cats. Alloantibodies against type-A blood were found in 94.1% of type-B cats, 11.2% of type-A cats had alloantibodies against type-B blood, while no type-AB cats had alloantibodies with no significant difference between the two Italian populations. Type-AB prevalence in non-pedigree cats in Southern Italy was the highest reported in Europe. Italian type-A cats had the lowest worldwide prevalence of alloantibodies against type-B blood. These results highlight the usefulness of regional studies to report different prevalences in feline blood types and reinforce the importance of blood typing cats before transfusions and mating. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cat Behaviour, Physiology and Welfare)
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