The Cat Socialization Continuum

With Guest Chatter, Margaret R. Slater, DVM, Ph.D., Senior Director, Veterinary Epidemiology, the ASPCA


Much attention has been devoted to developing evaluation procedures for dogs in animal shelters.  Much less attention has been focused on cat evaluations.  One of the things shelters are concerned about is differentiating between a feral cat and a frightened, scared, or panicked one.

Looking at the issue that way has led to circular terminology discussions about how to define feral, unsocialized, stray and more.  NOW, recent research has reframed the question.  Dr. Margaret Slater, Senior Director, Veterinary Epidemiology, the ASPCA has identified methods to determine which cats are accustomed to being near people, and which ones are not.  Her findings will likely surprise you.  Join us and Dr. Slater as she presents her findings about how cats behave when in the stressful confines of an animal shelter.

In this webinar you’ll learn

  • what behaviors to look for that reliably identify a more socialized cat - and which do NOT
  • how to best elicit interactions from fearful cats
  • the simple behavior procedure that reduced upper respiratory infection
  • and MUCH MORE

The Replay is posted below. Attendees loved it!  See what they had to say-

“It was very educational and enjoyable to listen to.  Great job!  I loved it!  Thank You!” Heather B.
[What I liked best was the] “Focus on the subject. It allowed us to go deep into a single subject. Great info! Thanks”  Jaqueline M.
”Way too much shelter behavior work is done with dogs, really happy to see work being done for the cats too!” Trish L.
“Great!” Manette K.

If you weren’t able to attend live,  you can purchase the recorded replay for only $18.00 with the add to cart button below.   Members of Behavior Education Network have access to ALL recorded CAAB Chats as a Member Benefit.

We have so few opportunities to share good scientific research about cat behavior, so we are very excited to welcome Dr. Slater.  Dr. Hetts first worked with Dr. Slater back in 1998 on the Council for Pet Population Study and Policy’s research about reasons for surrender to animal shelters.

Here are links to the research that Dr. Slater discussed:

Assessing the Cat Socialization Spectrum

Reliability and Validity of a Survey of Cat Caregivers

Physical and Behavioral Measures that Predict Cat Socialization

Here is the reference that Dr. Slater talked about with regard to repeated stroking of shelter cats and effects on behavior and health.
Gourkow, N., Hamon, S.C. & Phillips, C.J.C. 2014. Effect of gentle stroking and vocalization on behaviour, mucosal immunity and upper respiratory disease in anxious shelter cats. Preventive Veterinary Medicine, 117, 266-275.

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