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Owner and cat features influence the quality of life of the cat

S. Adamelli, L. Marinelli, S. Normando and G. Bono

Revue : Applied Animal Behaviour Science

Dipartimento di Scienze Sperimentali Veterinarie, University of Padua, Agripolis, Viale dell?Università 16, 35020 Legnaro (PD), Italy

This study analysed the cat?human relationship paying attention to the quality of life (QoL) of 62 cats. QoL was assessed as being low, medium and high, using: (1) four questionnaires which investigated care, cat behaviour, cat and owner features, (2) a simple physical examination of the cat and (3) the Lexington attachment to pets scale (LAPS) test. The investigation revealed a medium QoL for about 87.2% of the pets. Although most of the cats received a good quality of care and were in good physical condition, only 16.1% did not show abnormal behaviour. The level of QoL results to be influenced by the cohabitation with conspecifics. The level of care given to the cat is greatly influenced by the gender, the education, the previous experience, the real ownership, the number of friends and of emotional bonds of the owner to people and by the gonadectomy (P < 0.05). The cat behaviour depends mainly on the features of the owner (age; gender; number of family members and of friends; who looks after the cat, P < 0.05; presence of children, P < 0.01) and less of the cat (gonadectomy, P < 0.05; cohabitation with other cats, P < 0.01). Also the physical condition results influenced by gonadectomy (P < 0.01). Finally the attachment level of the owner to the cat depends on the number of the owner emotional bonds and on the age of adoption of the cat (P < 0.05).
All the condition analysed result to be influenced more by the owner's features than by the cat's ones. Moreover the significant cat's features are those which strictly depend on the owner's choices and wills, such as gonadectomy, age of adoption and cohabitation with other cats.
Keywords: Cat; Human?animal interactions; Quality of life; Behavioural problems

Corresponding author. Tel.: +39 049 8272651; fax: +39 049 8272669.

Applied Animal Behaviour Science. Octobre 2005

 

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