Behavior Study Wants to Learn More About Cats, and You Can Help

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When I was at the American Association of Feline Practitioners annual conference last month, I heard Theresa DePorter, BS, DVM, DECAWBM, DACVB, a veterinarian at Oakland Veterinary Referral Services in Bloomfield Hills, MI, speak on longterm behavior modification strategies for cats (more on this topic to come soon.) Dr. Porter was one of the veterinarians involved in helping create the new Feliway Multicat pheromone product, which is designed to reduce conflict and tension between cats in the same household.

Dr. DePorter is conducting a new study that is designed to help researchers understand more about cats. “Cats are approaching domestication. Not arrived. There are still so many mysteries about the lives of cats,” writes Dr. DePorter on her Facebook page. “Cats are the number one pet. Many homes include 1,2,3,4 or more feline friends. Some live their entire lives inside our homes and some have a complex lifestyle that includes living in two worlds: inside and outside our homes.”

Take the survey

Dr. DePorter desinged a detailed survey, and the more input she can get for her study, the better off cats everywhere will be. Follow the SurveyMonkey link below for access to the “OVRS Cat Study” for cat lovers (over 18 please.)

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ovrscatsurvey

This is not a short survey, because cats are not simple. It may take between 2 and 60 minutes to complete. If you have more cats, then it will closer to 60 minutes.

Please participate in the study only if you have 1 to 4 cats in the home. Right now the study is for US cats only – even though Dr. DePorter would love to include the entire world, it’s not possible at this time. But even if you live outside the US and you state so in the study, it will give her an idea of how many cat guardians might participate in a future worldwide survey.

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21 Comments on Behavior Study Wants to Learn More About Cats, and You Can Help

  1. Name*
    December 10, 2016 at 11:10 pm (10 months ago)

    Regarding the conflict signs – my cats are brothers from the same litter and they fight like brothers, as well as stalk each other and chase each other, but it is just play, nothing really aggressive.

    Reply
  2. Mike
    December 10, 2016 at 9:35 pm (10 months ago)

    Questions 8 and 9 were identical, at least for me. >Considering all interactions between your cats and family members, how would you rate the overall harmony of relationships between your cats and family members in your home. Please rate on a scale from 1 (difficult) to 5 (harmonious).<

    Reply
  3. G Mathewson
    December 10, 2016 at 5:17 am (10 months ago)

    My three are all different ages, Max being the oldest and has mellowed with age
    Mabel is 5yrs old she a female and was very sick as a kitten I bottle fed her.\
    Toby is the youngest and I recognized some of his behaviour because Max had to be a manly cat at the same age. All three have been rescued cats at a very young age. Toby did not have his eyes open when he came to me, he was also very ill. I realized today that a jealousy factor is involved in their lives.

    Reply
  4. Llacats@hotmail.com
    December 7, 2016 at 6:48 pm (10 months ago)

    Only let me answer first two questions then said I was done.

    Reply
    • Patricia
      December 11, 2016 at 4:46 am (10 months ago)

      Me too.

      Reply
  5. The Island Cats
    December 7, 2016 at 5:41 pm (10 months ago)

    We treated with Dr. DePorter a few years ago. We’ll take the survey when we have time to focuse on it.

    Reply
  6. GS
    December 7, 2016 at 3:54 pm (10 months ago)

    some of the questions confused me because it talked about tail twitching or staring as hostile. My girls sometimes chase each other around the house in a playful manner and that will start with those signs but they are certainly not hostile or harmful to one another

    Reply
    • Sharyl
      December 7, 2016 at 4:06 pm (10 months ago)

      how many questions did it ask you?

      Reply
  7. Sharyl
    December 7, 2016 at 3:06 pm (10 months ago)

    Hi Ingrid,
    I just tried the survey, but it only asked me 2 questions.
    1. do I live in USA or out of country
    2. how many cats do I have
    Then said survey complete. I was looking forward to the survey

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      December 7, 2016 at 5:20 pm (10 months ago)

      If you have more than 4 cats, the survey will only show you those two questions.

      Reply
      • Sharyl
        December 7, 2016 at 7:02 pm (10 months ago)

        That’s very disappointing!

        Thanks for letting me know Ingrid

        Reply
  8. Elizabeth Aven
    December 7, 2016 at 1:12 pm (10 months ago)

    I thought this survey was very good up to the point of asking about the “conflict” behaviors. My cats frequently engage in some of these behaviors, such as stalking, chasing, wrestling. They always have, and I have always understood it to be part of their play. They almost never elevate the behavior to a point where I would call it “conflict” behavior. Because of this, I think the “conflict” portion of the survey is incomplete and misleading.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      December 7, 2016 at 5:19 pm (10 months ago)

      There can be a fine line between play and conflict, Elizabeth. Not every cat guardian can tell the difference.

      Reply
  9. Amy Shojai, CABC
    December 7, 2016 at 12:58 pm (10 months ago)

    I’ll share this, as it’s important to help our cats. I’m a fan of Feliway and as a behavior consultant, have been waiting for the new “multi-cat” version for a long time. Years ago when Feliway first came out I had the honor to interview Dr. Pageat, and at the time he mentioned this product would eventually come to market. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      December 7, 2016 at 5:17 pm (10 months ago)

      Thanks for sharing, Amy!

      Reply
  10. Gayle Brady
    December 7, 2016 at 8:27 am (10 months ago)

    I have used Feliaway with other cats I have had and it worked really well.

    Reply
  11. Brita
    December 7, 2016 at 8:07 am (10 months ago)

    Tried to do the survey, but after the questions about cat’s age and breed, it refused to go further, and said the questions required an answer, even though i did answer them. Hope this gets fixed, and would like to see the results of the study

    Reply
    • JA
      December 7, 2016 at 10:16 am (10 months ago)

      Often this error will occur if you take a survey on a mobile device. There are parts of questions not visible. This may be better to try on a computer.

      Reply
  12. Name*
    December 7, 2016 at 1:29 am (10 months ago)

    I don’t live in the US so they do not want my ‘words of wisdom’ but on the subject of multi-cat households I am something of a mad cat lady (always had loads of cats) I’ve noticed that burning ‘geranium oil’ seems to have an effect (calms and soothes both animals and people) and always ensuring that my cats are aware of the fact that there is not a food shortage to worry about – lots of clean litter trays and lots of love. At the moment sitting in my bed with 5 cats sleeping around me 🙂

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      December 7, 2016 at 6:35 am (10 months ago)

      Sounds like you have a happy household. Be careful with essential oils around cats, not all of them are safe.

      Reply

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