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The Use of Refuges by Communally Housed Cats.

de Oliveira AS, Terçariol CA, Genaro G - Animals (Basel) (2015)

Bottom Line: In a test with vertical environmental enrichment, the animals showed an increased length of stay in refuges located at a height of 0.5 m compared to those on the ground (0.0 m).Both horizontal and vertical environmental enrichment increased the use of available space, demonstrating that box refuges as enrichment are effective in providing a refuge when at a height, or a place to explore at ground level.This information adds to the body of evidence relating to cat enrichment and can be useful in designing cat housing in veterinary clinics, research laboratories, shelters and domestic homes.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Programa de Pós-Graduação em Psicobiologia, Departamento de Psicologia, Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto, Universidade de São Paulo, Av. dos Bandeirantes, 3900, Ribeirão Preto, SP 14040-901, Brazil. adrianasicuto@gmail.com.

ABSTRACT
The increase of domestic animals kept in shelters highlights the need to ensure animal welfare. Environmental enrichment can improve animal welfare in many ways, such as encouraging captive animals to use all the space available to them. The effects of physical environmental enrichment on the spatial distribution and behavioral repertoire of 35 neutered domestic cats housed communally were analyzed. The provision of boxes in the environment increases the use of available space by the cats. We suggest this improves the cats' welfare while in communally-housed rescue shelters. The frequencies of active and especially inactive behaviors also increased in the enriched condition. In a test with vertical environmental enrichment, the animals showed an increased length of stay in refuges located at a height of 0.5 m compared to those on the ground (0.0 m). However, the entry frequency was higher in refuges at 0.0 m. Both horizontal and vertical environmental enrichment increased the use of available space, demonstrating that box refuges as enrichment are effective in providing a refuge when at a height, or a place to explore at ground level. We suggest it enhances the welfare of cats in communally housed shelters. This information adds to the body of evidence relating to cat enrichment and can be useful in designing cat housing in veterinary clinics, research laboratories, shelters and domestic homes.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Mean number of animals observed in the test area ± standard error of the mean (n = 35) during the two hours of video recording in four days for the three categories of results.With enrichment (), no contact with the enrichment () and without enrichment (control) ().*p < 0.05.
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animals-05-00245-f003: Mean number of animals observed in the test area ± standard error of the mean (n = 35) during the two hours of video recording in four days for the three categories of results.With enrichment (), no contact with the enrichment () and without enrichment (control) ().*p < 0.05.

Mentions: From the analysis of the 300 records (four days with 25 records per day for each of the three conditions), the average number of animals in the area was obtained for each sampling time for each of the three conditions: enriched, enriched without interaction and without enrichment. The values of the conditions “enriched” and “enriched without interaction” were compared with those of the condition “without enrichment”, and the highest frequencies of the use of the space were found in the enriched condition. This number differed significantly from that for the condition “without enrichment” (p < 0.05) in 22 of the 25 sample records (Figure 3), which corresponded to 88% of the values. In the condition “enriched without interaction”, in which only animals that were in the area but not interacting with items were recorded, significant differences from the “without enrichment” group were still found, with p < 0.05 for seven of the 25 sampled time points (31.82% of total samples).


The Use of Refuges by Communally Housed Cats.

de Oliveira AS, Terçariol CA, Genaro G - Animals (Basel) (2015)

Mean number of animals observed in the test area ± standard error of the mean (n = 35) during the two hours of video recording in four days for the three categories of results.With enrichment (), no contact with the enrichment () and without enrichment (control) ().*p < 0.05.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4494404&req=5

animals-05-00245-f003: Mean number of animals observed in the test area ± standard error of the mean (n = 35) during the two hours of video recording in four days for the three categories of results.With enrichment (), no contact with the enrichment () and without enrichment (control) ().*p < 0.05.
Mentions: From the analysis of the 300 records (four days with 25 records per day for each of the three conditions), the average number of animals in the area was obtained for each sampling time for each of the three conditions: enriched, enriched without interaction and without enrichment. The values of the conditions “enriched” and “enriched without interaction” were compared with those of the condition “without enrichment”, and the highest frequencies of the use of the space were found in the enriched condition. This number differed significantly from that for the condition “without enrichment” (p < 0.05) in 22 of the 25 sample records (Figure 3), which corresponded to 88% of the values. In the condition “enriched without interaction”, in which only animals that were in the area but not interacting with items were recorded, significant differences from the “without enrichment” group were still found, with p < 0.05 for seven of the 25 sampled time points (31.82% of total samples).

Bottom Line: In a test with vertical environmental enrichment, the animals showed an increased length of stay in refuges located at a height of 0.5 m compared to those on the ground (0.0 m).Both horizontal and vertical environmental enrichment increased the use of available space, demonstrating that box refuges as enrichment are effective in providing a refuge when at a height, or a place to explore at ground level.This information adds to the body of evidence relating to cat enrichment and can be useful in designing cat housing in veterinary clinics, research laboratories, shelters and domestic homes.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Programa de Pós-Graduação em Psicobiologia, Departamento de Psicologia, Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto, Universidade de São Paulo, Av. dos Bandeirantes, 3900, Ribeirão Preto, SP 14040-901, Brazil. adrianasicuto@gmail.com.

ABSTRACT
The increase of domestic animals kept in shelters highlights the need to ensure animal welfare. Environmental enrichment can improve animal welfare in many ways, such as encouraging captive animals to use all the space available to them. The effects of physical environmental enrichment on the spatial distribution and behavioral repertoire of 35 neutered domestic cats housed communally were analyzed. The provision of boxes in the environment increases the use of available space by the cats. We suggest this improves the cats' welfare while in communally-housed rescue shelters. The frequencies of active and especially inactive behaviors also increased in the enriched condition. In a test with vertical environmental enrichment, the animals showed an increased length of stay in refuges located at a height of 0.5 m compared to those on the ground (0.0 m). However, the entry frequency was higher in refuges at 0.0 m. Both horizontal and vertical environmental enrichment increased the use of available space, demonstrating that box refuges as enrichment are effective in providing a refuge when at a height, or a place to explore at ground level. We suggest it enhances the welfare of cats in communally housed shelters. This information adds to the body of evidence relating to cat enrichment and can be useful in designing cat housing in veterinary clinics, research laboratories, shelters and domestic homes.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus