Recent Research on Behaviour Modification for Fearful Cats
Cats entering shelters often experience fear, anxiety, and stress while in shelter care. One particularly at-risk population are fearful cats rescued from animal hoarding environments. Strategies to reduce fear and anxiety in shelter cats commonly include behaviour modification and anxiety-reducing medication, however, limited research informs their use in shelter environments. In this presentation, results from a study that included standardized behaviour modification for cats from hoarding environments will be presented, along with the role of anxiety-reducing medication gabapentin in the cats' in-shelter treatment. Further, instructions and resources for conducting behaviour modification for fearful cats in shelters will be shared, along with a summary of a growing body of research and in-shelter experience demonstrating that many fearful cats from hoarding environments are treatable in shelters and can have positive outcomes in homes.
Bailey Eagan is a PhD Student in Applied Animal Biology at the University of British Columbia, where she continued her studies after completing her MSc. Bailey is interested in applied animal behaviour research and using data science applications to address animal welfare questions. Bailey’s research focuses on understanding and improving companion animal welfare and includes research on medical and behavioural interventions for improving cat and dog welfare, use of technology in animal welfare research, the impact of sound on animal welfare, and improving the environmental sustainability of pet ownership.
Those who attend our Annual General Meeting on Sunday, March 5 via Zoom, can attend this presentation for free!