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Welfare Assessment: Domestic Cat Comparing Welfare of a House Cat and a Barn Cat © 2011 Animal Behavior and Welfare Group, Michigan State University.

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Presentation on theme: "Welfare Assessment: Domestic Cat Comparing Welfare of a House Cat and a Barn Cat © 2011 Animal Behavior and Welfare Group, Michigan State University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Welfare Assessment: Domestic Cat Comparing Welfare of a House Cat and a Barn Cat © 2011 Animal Behavior and Welfare Group, Michigan State University

2 Background House Cat Eight year old female domestic long hair  Purchased from a pet store at 10 weeks of age Lives with 26 year old female Owner gone 10 h/day Owner often camps on weekends  Leaves cat alone with adequate food and water Barn Cat Eight year old female domestic long hair  Adopted from shelter at 4 months with male littermate Lives with family of 4 including 2 girls (ages 8 and 10) Father works 9 h/day, mother works 4 h/day and kids are at school 7 h/day

3 Housing House Cat Lives in two bedroom townhouse (275m 2 (900 ft 2 )) in northern borough of Seattle, Washington  Has window seat perches and cat beds in bedroom and living room  Cat is given novel toys 1-2x/month  Cat gets treats and catnip 1- 2x/week  Cat does not have outdoor access Barn Cat Lives in barn on 40 hectare (100 acre) farm in northwest Washington  Cat has access to blankets in tack stall and hay/straw in loft of barn  Cat has the run of the farm and barn during the day  Cat is shut in barn at night  Cat has regular access to pieces of twine, feed bags, and small prey (e.g., insects, rodents and birds)  A cat was recently killed on the road going past the farm

4 Housing House CatBarn Cat

5 In terms of welfare assessment, which housing situation ranks higher?

6 Litter House Cat Townhouse has one litter box  Litter is scooped once every 1-2 days  Box is fully cleaned every 3-4 weeks Barn Cat No specific cat litter boxes are provided  Woodchip bedding in horse stalls is frequently used for elimination by all cats on farm  Stalls are cleaned each morning

7 In terms of welfare assessment, which litter situation ranks higher? Please answer the questions for this section (shown in bold above) in the accompanying quiz for the Domestic Cat.

8 Nutrition House Cat Free access to ad libitum dry food Given 2 spoonfuls of wet food in separate dish twice daily Barn Cat Fed dry food in a pan in barn once daily Occasionally given scraps from farmhouse kitchen Evidence of supplemental feeding (e.g., dead mice and birds found on porch or in barn)

9 Veterinary Care and History House Cat Spayed and declawed at 8 months of age Received analgesic for 3 days following declaw Goes to veterinarian yearly for general check up and dental exam and cleaning Barn Cat Spayed at shelter at 3 months of age prior to adoption Goes to veterinarian as needed for vaccinations

10 Veterinary Care and History House Cat Vaccinated  FIV, FeLv, Rabies, RCPC (feline rhinotracheitis- Calici-panleukopenia- Chlamydia) Regularly screened for heartworm, internal parasites, FIV, and FeLv Maintained on year round heartworm and flea and tick preventative Barn Cat Vaccinated against:  Rabies and RCPC (feline rhinotracheitis-Calici- panleukopenia-Chlamydia) Treated yearly for internal parasites Given oral flea and tick preventative

11 In terms of welfare assessment, which nutrition & veterinary care rank higher?

12 Social Interactions House Cat No other animals in the townhouse Cat has visual access to birds, squirrels and cats outside Cat hisses and meows at other cats and chatters at birds and squirrels Barn Cat Lives with 3 other cats (1 female and 2 males) Other animals on farm include 2 dogs (1 chases cats but has never injured one, the other ignores them), 3 horses, chickens, and 5 cows Cat often sleeps near her brother

13 Human Interactions House Cat Owner plays with cat about minutes/day Owner brushes cat and checks for fleas twice weekly Usually sleeps with owner at night Barn Cat Girls come out to play in the yard and barn after school and on weekends  Cat is seen on 95% of visits to barn Cats are often involved in playing house Mother occasionally grooms cat and trims hair that is tangled

14 In terms of welfare assessment, which interactions rank higher?

15 Behavioral Problems House Cat Cat regularly inappropriately eliminates/ marks  Cat urine marks under window after it has seen other cats outside  Cat sometimes eliminates in owners suitcase when she is packing for trips Owner scolds cat and cleans up mess  Cat reacts by hissing when scolded by owner Barn Cat One or more of the barn cats marks the barn doors with urine Spray marks are seldom noticed and owners do not know which cats are marking  Owners do not punish cats or clean up spray Cat is sometimes victim of aggression by other female cat  1-2 fights occur a month  Fight ends with cat fleeing

16 Activity Budgets

17 In terms of welfare assessment, which behavioral situation ranks higher?

18 In terms of welfare assessment, which overall situation ranks higher?

19 Acknowledgements/ Disclaimer This material is based upon work supported by the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under Agreement Nox and , and Michigan State University through the Office of the Provost, and the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, the Department of Animal Science and the College of Veterinary Medicine Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or Michigan State University


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