If you have a cat, scientists want to hear from you

If you have a cat, scientists want to hear from you
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If you own a cat, scientists want to hear from you

Image: Shutterstock (Shutterstock)

That’s what scientists in California are asking USA volunteers living with cats to attend new research project. The The study will survey owners on their knowledge of pet behavior and training methods. The team’s larger goal is to help cats, especially cats, and humans build better relationships with each other.

Job It is conducted by scientists at the Animal Welfare Epidemiology Laboratory at the University of California, Davis. Last fall, the team was hired volunteers with exactly two cats Watching cat videos online as part of a project to learn how owners can better read cats’ body language. They were especially interested in knowing when their owners could tell were cats is about to lash out at his furry roommates.

That project is still ongoing, but the lab is now starting work on a new study. This timethey want to explore cat socialization through the lens of their owners, as well as how much importance location of owners about various aspects of cat socialization.

“Socialization here means that the animal gets acquainted with new people, places and objects. This includes everything from kitten socialization programs (often called ‘kitten nurseries’) to adult cats going on adventures with their owners,” project researcher Jennifer Link, a PhD student at the lab, told Gizmodo.

Newly adopted dogs and their owners regularly participate in special socialization programs, Link notes. But the same cannot be said for families with cats. Some of the reasons for this discrepancy may be that cat owners are not interested in these programs; that they cannot pay or access them; or simply that they don’t know exists primarily. Another main focus of the project is to understand why so few families go to kindergarten.

“Once we collect all the answers, we can share our findings with shelters, cat behaviorists and the public. I hope to make cat and cat socialization more accessible to all who want to get it,” she said.


Cheddar “Chiz” Cara, the world’s worst lab subject.
Image: Ed Cara

Perhaps unsurprisingly, studying cats and their interactions with humans is not as easy as it is with dogs. For example, cats can become very anxious outside of their normal environment, meaning that their behavior in the laboratory may differ significantly from their normal behavior.. So, requests and citizen-science projects can fill these gaps in research that can be done at home. In particular, this research could help scientists like Link find the best ways to improve cat-human bonds from an early age.

“In short: well-a socialized cat becomes a good oneare adapted adults and we would like to do our best to ensure that they are created bettersocialized cats. We hope that our research will be a good first step in this process,” said Link.

The team is looking to get around 2,500 survey responses in total to have something to show the public over the next 12-18 months. Eligible volunteers (current cat owners in the US) may register hereand filling out the survey should take no more than 10-15 minutes.

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