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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Evaluation of the addition of in-cage hiding structures and toys and timing of administration of behavioral assessments with newly relinquished shelter cats

  • Author(s): Moore, AM
  • Bain, MJ
  • et al.

Most cats entering shelters are euthanized. This study used behavioral assessments to determine how quickly a cat acclimated to its new environment and whether enrichment eased this transition. Twenty-five cats at 2 municipal shelters were evaluated with 2 separate standardized behavioral assessments at 3separate times, beginning the day after entering the shelter. One behavioral assessment included an in-cage evaluation, whereas the other assessment involved a stepwise combined in- and out-of-cage evaluation. Eleven of the cats were given a cardboard box to hide in and a toy in the cage, whereas 14cats were not given these objects. Our results suggest that cats need 72hours to achieve optimum behavioral scores and a decrease in stress levels based on the 2 separate evaluations. The tests were correlated in their outcomes. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.

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