Associations of behaviour with secretory immunoglobulin A and cortisol in domestic cats during their first week in an animal shelter

Gourkow, Nadine, LaVoy, Alora, Dean, Gregg A. and Phillips, Clive J. C. (2014) Associations of behaviour with secretory immunoglobulin A and cortisol in domestic cats during their first week in an animal shelter. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 150 55-64. doi:10.1016/j.applanim.2013.11.006


Author Gourkow, Nadine
LaVoy, Alora
Dean, Gregg A.
Phillips, Clive J. C.
Title Associations of behaviour with secretory immunoglobulin A and cortisol in domestic cats during their first week in an animal shelter
Journal name Applied Animal Behaviour Science   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0168-1591
1872-9045
Publication date 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.applanim.2013.11.006
Open Access Status
Volume 150
Start page 55
End page 64
Total pages 10
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Abstract We tested the hypothesis that during their first week in an animal shelter, cats exhibit groups of behaviours that are connected to mucosal immune and adrenal responses. The behaviour of 34 cats was observed from admission to day 5 and immunoglobulin A (S-IgA) and cortisol were quantified from faeces. A multidimensional model constructed by Principal Component Analysis indicated the presence of three distinct behavioural dimensions. Behaviours forming dimension 1 were hiding, flat postures, freeze, startle, crawl and retreat from humans. These were significantly contrasted (R -0.6 to -0.4) to dimension 3 behaviours which included normal patterns of feeding, grooming, sleeping and locomotion, sitting at the front of the cage while calmly observing activities, sleeping or resting while lying on their side, rubbing on cage items and friendly behaviour towards humans. Dimension 2 behaviours included persistent meowing, scanning, pacing and pushing, together with bouts of destructive behaviour, attempts to escape and redirected aggression. Dimension 2 was not significantly contrasted to dimension 3 (R<-0.4 except for sleep=0.6) or dimension 1 (R≤-0.2). S-IgA values were greater (P<0.001) for cats clustered in dimension 3 (mean 7.1±0.5logeμg/g), compared to dimensions 1 and 2 which were not significantly different ((1) 5.6±0.6; (2) 5.6±0.7logeμg/g). Cortisol values were similar for the three dimensions. Despite the difficulty in generalising the results to the shelter cat population due to small sample size, our findings suggest that behaviour is a good indicator of mucosal immune function in shelter cats. This may be of clinical significance for the management of upper respiratory disease in animal shelters.
Keyword Behaviour
Cat
Cortisol
Immunoglobulin A
Shelter
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
School of Veterinary Science Publications
 
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