Effects of density and cage size on stress in domestic cats (Felis silvestris catus) housed in animal shelters and boarding catteries

Citation
Mr. Kessler et Dc. Turner, Effects of density and cage size on stress in domestic cats (Felis silvestris catus) housed in animal shelters and boarding catteries, ANIM WELFAR, 8(3), 1999, pp. 259-267
Citations number
18
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Animal Sciences
Journal title
ANIMAL WELFARE
ISSN journal
0962-7286 → ACNP
Volume
8
Issue
3
Year of publication
1999
Pages
259 - 267
Database
ISI
SICI code
0962-7286(199908)8:3<259:EODACS>2.0.ZU;2-E
Abstract
This study investigated the influence of density and floor area on stress a nd the adaptation process of cats in animal shelters and boarding catteries . Sixty-three rescued cats were observed on 113 days in a shelter at group densities of 0.3-0.9 animals m(-2). In addition, 49 rescued cats were obser ved during their first week after being admitted to a control group housed at a density of 0.5 or 0.8 animals m(-2), and 44 boarding cats were observe d in single cages of either 0.7 or 1.0 m(2) floor area during their first w eek in a cattery. Group density was highly correlated with the stress level of animals housed in groups. A stress level of 'weakly tense' was reached when the group den sity reached 0.6 animals m(-2). During the first week of their stay, stress levels among cats which had been newly admitted to groups housed at 0.5 or 0.8 animals m(-2) did not differ significantly. On days 1, 2 and 6 after a dmission, boarding cats housed in single cages with a floor area of 1.0m(2) had significantly lower stress levels than animals in cages with a floor a rea of 0.7m(2). Group density was clearly shown to influence the adaptation process of cats which were housed for several weeks in groups. In order to avoid high stre ss levels, a group density of 0.6 animals m(-2) should not be exceeded. How ever, the minimum spatial requirement for singly housed cats remains unknow n.