Behaviors and Attitudes towards Semi-Owned Cats

Authors: Toukhsati, Samia R.; Bennett, Pauleen C.; Coleman, Grahame J.

Source: Anthrozoos: A Multidisciplinary Journal of The Interactions of People & Animals, 1 June 2007, vol. 20, no. 2, pp. 131-142(12)


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The intentional provision of food, medical treatment and shelter by humans for a cat that is not considered to be owned by the individual is defined as "semi-ownership." The aim of this study was to explore the prevalence of such behaviors and the attitudes held by individuals who engage in them. The sample, comprising 424 residents from rural and non-rural Victoria, Australia, were surveyed in relation to their ownership status, practices, and attitudes towards companion animals. The findings revealed that 22% of the sample engaged in one or more cat semi-ownership behaviors; primarily feeding. Cat semi-ownership was associated with positive feelings towards cats, and the belief that cats are independent. Opportunities to engage cat semi-owners in education programs that promote responsible companion animal ownership behaviors were evident.


Document Type: Review Article


Publication date: June 1, 2007

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