Cat Owners: How they Keep and Care for Their Own Cats and Their Attitudes to Stray and Feral Cats in Germany
Animal and Veterinary Sciences
Volume 7, Issue 1, January 2019, Pages: 24-28
Received: Feb. 21, 2019;
Accepted: Mar. 30, 2019;
Published: Apr. 18, 2019
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Franziska Kuhne, Working Group for Applied Ethology and Animal Behaviour Therapy, Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Justus-Liebig-University Giessen, Giessen, Germany
Kerstin Hoock, Working Group for Applied Ethology and Animal Behaviour Therapy, Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Justus-Liebig-University Giessen, Giessen, Germany
Martin Kramer, Small Animal Clinic – Surgery, Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Justus-Liebig-University Giessen, Giessen, Germany
Hansjoachim Hackbarth, Foundation Institute for Animal Welfare and Farm Animal Behaviour, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Hannover, Germany
Cats are among the most popular pets. A cat can be a feral cat, a stray cat, or a pet cat with variable degrees of free-roaming access to the outdoors. Free-roaming pet cats are the most significant source of cat overpopulation. Furthermore, if free-roaming cats do not wear identification, ownership is difficult to identify. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate 1) how pet cats are kept and cared for in Germany and 2) cat owners’ attitudes to stray and feral cats and compliance with fertility control. The survey was designed as a multiple-choice questionnaire covering information on cat ownership and cat owners’ attitudes to stray and feral cats and cat population management tools. Regression analyses were applied to determine whether the attitudes to stray and feral cats could be predicted from demographic parameters or one’s own cat keeping. Many cat owners know stray and feral cats in their vicinity, but this knowledge has no influence on the spaying and neutering, identification, and registration status of their own cats and on their own cat keeping, e.g., with or without free access to the outdoors. Cat owners are afraid that stray and feral cats may transmit diseases to pet cats. The demographic parameters of the cat owners, e.g., their gender, age, and education level, significantly influenced their attitudes to keeping and caring for their own cat and controlling the cat population. Cat owners would accept the costs of legal requirements to spay or to neuter and to identify their own cat, and the majority would not relinquish their own cat to save the costs. To address the responsibility of cat owners is of utmost importance. It is necessary to spay or neuter and to identify free-roaming pet cats to prevent them from getting lost or pregnant. Each cat population management program’s success depends on cat owners being involved and convinced of its necessity.
Cat Owners: How they Keep and Care for Their Own Cats and Their Attitudes to Stray and Feral Cats in Germany, Animal and Veterinary Sciences.
Vol. 7, No. 1,
2019, pp. 24-28.
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