New Research: Shelter Cat Foster Program Outcomes

Our new research indicates that adult shelter cats are not at a disadvantage when placed in the home of a foster caregiver for either 1-night or 1-week. Cats were likely to be highly social at both the shelter and foster home and cats did not display increased fear or stress in the foster home. These results support the idea that adult shelter cats can be placed into foster homes with little welfare concern. This research was made possible by a grant from Maddie’s Fund®, #ThanksToMaddie.


Full-text available at the link below!

Vitale, K. R., Frank, D. H., Conroy, J., & Udell, M. A. R. (2022). Cat Foster Program Outcomes: Behavior, Stress, and Cat–Human Interaction. Animals, 12(17), 2166.

Upcoming Documentary: Inside the Mind of a Cat

My research will be featured in an upcoming documentary called Inside the Mind of a Cat. The trailer is now available! The documentary will be released August 18th on Netflix. It is produced by Red Rock Films. The work of Dr. Saho Takagi, which I have posted about previously, will also be featured in the documentary. If you are interested in the current state of cat research then make sure to check out this film!


Learn more at the links below!

Trailer for Inside the Mind of a Cat 

 Learn more about Red Rock Films Here 


New Research: Cats Recognize their Companion Cats’ Names and Faces!

New research published in the journal Scientific Reports has found that cats recognize the names of companion cats in the same household and can match their companions’ names up with their faces!

Learn more at the links below!

Takagi et al. (2022). Cats learn the names of their friend cats in their daily lives. Scientific Reports.

Cats can understand feline roommates’ names, recognize faces: Japanese study. The Mainichi. 



Upcoming Presentation! The Science of Cat Training and Behavior: Current Work and Future Directions

On April 24th the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) Foundation will hold an event as part of their Learning Bond Series.
Event description from the IAABC website:Leading-edge researchers and educators Kristyn Vitale and Saho Takagi will host a half-day live event on current work and future directions of cat training and behavior. They’ll discuss how to best apply learning principles to these brilliant, sensitive animals, how to prepare for success in training sessions, how the environment, other pets in the home, and human behavior all affect a cat’s learning, and how best to deal with unwanted or problematic behaviors when they arise. The afternoon will end with a moderated discussion with our presenters and attendees.”

See this link and below for more details!


Presentation 1: How Cats Learn: Training to improve cat welfare 
Kristyn Vitale, PhD

Cats are known to be intelligent and curious animals. Yet, counter to this, many believe cats to be untrainable. In this presentation we will explore the relevant science related to how cats learn from their environment, from other cats, and from the humans in their lives. We will discuss how to apply learning principles for cat training, how to set up training sessions for success, and how human behavior can unintentionally shape the behavior of cats. We will also examine how to deal with behaviors that may be seen as inappropriate or problematic. We will conclude with an examination of how to apply this knowledge to increase the welfare of cats living in our homes.

Presentation 2: Social Cognition in Cats: Review of recent studies and my current works
Saho Takagi, PhD

Cats, along with dogs, are the most widely kept companion animals in the world. However, some have been skeptical about their ability to read human social signals, partly because their ancestral species was solitary. In recent years, an increasing number of cats’ social cognition studies have shown that cats are able to read human signals better than previously thought. In this talk, I will introduce the social cognitive abilities of cats that have been revealed in recent years and my current research on the extent to which cats understand human language.

Followed by a Moderated Discussion with Speakers and Attendees

Please join us! Click here for additional details on pricing and registration. 

CatSci Podcast Awarded the Fear Free Pets Award!

CatSci Podcast is happy to announce that this October we were awarded the Fear Free Pets Award as part of the 2020 Cat Writers’ Association (CWA) Communications Contest! This was awarded to Kristyn Vitale and Tori Peterson of CatSci Podcast and our guest speaker, Tabitha Kucera. Thank you for the award, we are very grateful!

According to the CWA, the Fear Free Pets Award is given to the media piece that best educates about how to decrease cat fear, stress, and anxiety before, during, and after veterinary visits and how veterinary staff and clients can utilize Fear Free concepts to promote cat wellbeing.

This is the second time the amazing Tabitha Kucera has won the Fear Free Pets Award (winning in 2019 as well) and it is truly deserved. Tabitha is a leader in this field and Kristyn and Tori are extremely appreciative that Tabitha was able to speak with us and share her award-winning knowledge!



Learn more about our winning episode below!


CatSci Ep. 8: Tabitha Kucera, Fear Free & Fun: In our winning episode, we are joined by cat professional Tabitha Kucera. Tabitha is the owner of Chirrups and Chatter Cat and Dog behavior consulting in Cleveland, Ohio. She is a certified cat behavior consultant through the International Association of Behavior Consultants, a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner, and an Elite Fear Free and Low Stress Handling Certified Registered Veterinary Technician. She is a Trainer-Mentor for Jackson Galaxy’s Project, Cat Pawsitve, the co- chair of Pet Professional Guild’s Feline Committee, the Vice President of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants and a board member of The Together Initiative for Ohio Community Cats. Listen to our winning episode as we learn more about Tabitha and her experiences working with cats and utilizing Fear Free techniques to increase cat wellbeing.

Listen to the Episode Here!

CatSci Podcast is brought to you by Kristyn Vitale, PhD of maueyes Cat Behavior, Science, & Training ( & Tori Peterson of Space Cat Academy (