Upcoming talk! Cat Behavior and Cognition- Using science to increase cat welfare and strengthen the human-cat bond

KristynHeadshotSpeaker: Kristyn Vitale 
When:
September 19, 2017
Time: 8:00 PM EDT (Midnight UTC)
Cost: $25.00
Where: Online Webinar, Register at: www.e-trainingfordogs.com

In this cat behavior and cognition webinar, Kristyn Vitale will discuss the current science behind cat behavior and ways to utilize this knowledge in applied settings to improve cat welfare and strengthen the human-cat bond. Even though domestic cats are one of the world’s most popular companion animals, coexisting with humans for thousands of years, many questions remain unanswered about cat behavior, cognition, and the human-cat bond. Although science has much more to learn about cats, several applied benefits exist from future research in this area. Currently, pet cats outnumber dogs by almost 10 million in the US alone and millions of cats live in shelters or are free-roaming outdoors. Over 3.4 million cats enter already crowded shelters each year and of those surrendered by owners, approximately 27% are surrendered due to behavioral issues or incompatibility between cat and owner.

The talk will cover a variety of topics including:

  • the importance of scent in cat behavior
  • how to run cat preference assessments
  • free-roaming cat social behavior
  • the human-cat relationship
  • cat socialization & training
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New Publication! Chemical Signals & Cat Social Behavior

Vitale Shreve, K.R., Udell, M.A.R. (2016) Stress, security, and scent: The influence of chemical signals on the social lives of domestic cats and implications for applied settings. Applied Animal Behaviour Science. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.applanim.2016.11.011 

Highlights

• Olfaction is an important perceptual sense, yet the role of chemical signals in cat behavior is not fully understood.
• Many aspects of cat social behavior are influenced by chemical signals.
• Chemical cues appear to play a role in stress and anxiety reduction, allowing cats to feel secure in their environment.
• Understanding chemical signals can help inform cat behavioral problems.
• Future research may yield new methods of addressing feline behavioral issues and strengthen the human-cat bond.

Abstract

Although millions of cats live among humans worldwide the scientific community sniffknows relatively little about cat behavior and cognition. Olfaction is an important perceptual sense for many members of Carnivora, however the role of chemical signals in cat social relationships is not fully understood. Research indicates chemical signals play an important role in many areas of cat behavior including mother-offspring and conspecific interactions and exploration of their environment. Chemical cues appear to play a role in stress and anxiety reduction, allowing cats to feel secure in their environment. A better understanding of cat chemical signals, especially as it relates to within and between species communication, may lead to an increase in cat wellbeing as humans can utilize this knowledge in applied settings. Therefore, the purpose of this review is to investigate how cats process and use chemical signals in social contexts and identify ways this information can be applied to address cat behavioral issues, such as inappropriate litter box and scratching behavior, and improve cat welfare, including species-appropriate ways of reinforcing the human-cat bond.

Contact: maueyes.catresearch [at] gmail.com

Upcoming talk! Improving the human-cat bond through a better understanding of cat behavior, training, and enrichment

KristynHeadshotSpeaker: Kristyn Vitale 
When:
Thursday 9/22/2016 @ 6:00 PM
Where: SafeHaven Training Center, Tangent, OR
Cost: Suggested donation of $5 at the door per guest.

Click here and select “Improving the human-cat bond…”  below “Guest Speaker” to register for the lecture! 

Although domestic cats are one of the most popular companion animals, outnumbering even dogs by almost 10 million in the US alone, relatively little scientific research has been conducted with cats. Many questions regarding cat behavior, especially their social behavior with humans, remain unanswered. With over 3.4 million cats entering already crowded shelters each year, many applied benefits exist from research into the human-cat bond. This talk will cover our scientific understanding of cat behavior and provide enrichment and training tips to help improve cat welfare and strengthen the human-cat bond.

Oregon State researcher proves cats can be trained

New Media Mention: OSU Stories, June 2016
Link to full story

kristynkitten1It’s a Friday evening in the Oldfield Animal Teaching hospital, and while most of the faculty has checked out for the weekend, Ph.D. research fellow Kristyn Vitale Shreve finds herself in the classroom with a few students. Some are sitting nicely in chairs, but others are jumping on desks, wandering the room or sniffing each other. These “students” are kittens between four and eight months old, accompanied by their owners to Shreve’s six-week training and socialization course….

To read the rest of the article click here!

 

Webinar! The Social Lives of Cats

The social lives of cats: What science says about cat behavior and the human-cat bond

Although domestic cats and humans have lived with one another for thousands of years, relatively little scientific research has been conducted with cats- especially when compared to the body of research on the domestic dog. Many questions regarding cat behavior, especially their social behavior with humans, remain unanswered. Currently, pet cats outnumber dogs by almost 10 million in the US alone and millions of cats live in shelters or are free-roaming outdoors. Over 3.4 million cats enter already crowded shelters each year and of those surrendered by owners, approximately 27% are surrendered due to behavioral issues or incompatibility between cat and owner. Therefore, there are many applied benefits from future research in this area. This talk will cover our scientific understanding of various aspects of cat behavior and cognition and current research being conducted in this area. We will also discuss ways to utilize this knowledge to improve cat welfare and strengthen the human-cat bond.

KristynHeadshot2_ETrainingSpeaker: Kristyn Vitale Shreve
When:
Live Webinar August 9th, 2016, 8:00 PM EDT, Midnight UTC/GMT
Cost: $25.00
Click here to register for the lecture! 

Building the Bond Between Cats and People

New Media Mention: Kym Pokorny, Oregon’s Agricultural Progress, Summer 2016
Link to full story

hatcatsShreve is a National Science Foundation graduate fellow pursuing a Ph.D. in animal sciences at Oregon State University. As part of Monique Udell’s Human-Animal Interaction lab, Shreve’s research focuses on cat behavior, cognition, and human-cat interactions. She’s had her share of people wonder why—or even if—cats can be trained and socialized……

To read the rest of the article click here!