Cross-sectional study of characteristics of owners and nonowners surrendering cats to four Australian animal shelters

Zito, Sarah, Morton, John, Paterson, Mandy, Vankan, Dianne, Bennett, Pauleen C., Rand, Jacquie and Phillips, Clive J. C. (2016) Cross-sectional study of characteristics of owners and nonowners surrendering cats to four Australian animal shelters. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, 19 2: 126-143. doi:10.1080/10888705.2015.1121145


Author Zito, Sarah
Morton, John
Paterson, Mandy
Vankan, Dianne
Bennett, Pauleen C.
Rand, Jacquie
Phillips, Clive J. C.
Title Cross-sectional study of characteristics of owners and nonowners surrendering cats to four Australian animal shelters
Journal name Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1532-7604
1088-8705
Publication date 2016-01-08
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/10888705.2015.1121145
Volume 19
Issue 2
Start page 126
End page 143
Total pages 18
Place of publication New York, United States
Publisher Routledge
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Unwanted cats surrendered to nonhuman animal shelters are generally categorized as either “owned” or “stray.” This classification is misleading because “stray” cats may include many “semiowned” cats, for which people provide care but who are not perceived as being owned. This differentiation is important because effective strategies designed to reduce cat admissions to, and euthanasia rates in, shelters rely on accurate information about cat populations contributing to shelter intake; cat semiowners will likely respond to different strategies than people with no relationship with the cats they surrender. People surrendering cats to four Australian animal shelters were surveyed to identify factors associated with perception of ownership. Many self-classified nonowners had fed the cats they surrendered, often for a considerable period of time. The factor most strongly associated with ownership perception was an increasing association time with the cat. These findings confirm that enduring relationships between surrenderers and cats, consistent with cat semiownership, are common for cats surrendered to Australian animal shelters. This finding should be taken into account when planning education messages and cat population management strategies aimed at reducing cat admissions.
Keyword Animal shelter
Animal welfare
Cat
Cat semiownership
Shelter medicine
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
School of Veterinary Science Publications
 
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