The restrictive measures implemented to stem the spread of COVID-19 abruptly changed the lives of many cats and their owners. This study explored whether the lockdown in Italy affected the cat–owner relationship, as well as cat behaviour and welfare. A survey that included questions on owner and cat’s demographics, living environment, cat behaviour and a modified version of the Cat/Dog Relationship Scale (C/DORS) was distributed online during the lockdown and was completed by 548 cat owners, mainly women (81.6%). With regard to the C/DORS subscales, both emotional closeness and cat–owner interactions increased during confinement, as opposed to a reduction in perceived costs. The effect of the type of job, family role and owner’s age on the C/DORS scores suggests that the relationship improved for those owners that, due to the lockdown, increased the time spent with their cats. For 58.8% of respondents, their cat’s general behaviour did not change, but when changes occurred, they were mostly positive (20.4%). Attention-seeking and demanding behaviours were the most increased during lockdown (25.7%). Cats with pre-existing problematic behaviours tended to either remain stable or improve during confinement. The overall positive effects of lockdown-related environmental changes on a cat’s behaviour suggest that some aspects of commonly implemented cat management practices should be revised to improve cat welfare in normal circumstances.

Cat–Owner Relationship and Cat Behaviour: Effects of the COVID-19 Confinement and Implications for Feline Management / G. Riggio, C. Borrelli, P. Piotti, A. Grondona, A. Gazzano, F.P. Di Iacovo, J. Fatjó, J.E. Bowen, D. Mota-Rojas, F. Pirrone, C. Mariti. - In: VETERINARY SCIENCES. - ISSN 2306-7381. - 9:7(2022 Jul 18), pp. 369.1-369.14. [10.3390/vetsci9070369]

Cat–Owner Relationship and Cat Behaviour: Effects of the COVID-19 Confinement and Implications for Feline Management

P. Piotti
Formal Analysis
;
F. Pirrone
Penultimo
Formal Analysis
;
2022

Abstract

The restrictive measures implemented to stem the spread of COVID-19 abruptly changed the lives of many cats and their owners. This study explored whether the lockdown in Italy affected the cat–owner relationship, as well as cat behaviour and welfare. A survey that included questions on owner and cat’s demographics, living environment, cat behaviour and a modified version of the Cat/Dog Relationship Scale (C/DORS) was distributed online during the lockdown and was completed by 548 cat owners, mainly women (81.6%). With regard to the C/DORS subscales, both emotional closeness and cat–owner interactions increased during confinement, as opposed to a reduction in perceived costs. The effect of the type of job, family role and owner’s age on the C/DORS scores suggests that the relationship improved for those owners that, due to the lockdown, increased the time spent with their cats. For 58.8% of respondents, their cat’s general behaviour did not change, but when changes occurred, they were mostly positive (20.4%). Attention-seeking and demanding behaviours were the most increased during lockdown (25.7%). Cats with pre-existing problematic behaviours tended to either remain stable or improve during confinement. The overall positive effects of lockdown-related environmental changes on a cat’s behaviour suggest that some aspects of commonly implemented cat management practices should be revised to improve cat welfare in normal circumstances.
cat welfare; cat–owner interactions; cat–owner relationship; COVID-19; lockdown;
Settore VET/02 - Fisiologia Veterinaria
Article (author)
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
vetsci-09-00369.pdf

accesso aperto

Tipologia: Publisher's version/PDF
Dimensione 1.29 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
1.29 MB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri
Pubblicazioni consigliate

Caricamento pubblicazioni consigliate

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/934392
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 0
  • Scopus 0
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 0
social impact