Upcoming! Virtual Talk on Cat Behavior

Join us this Tuesday, April 7, 2020 at 6:30 pm (Pacific time) for the second virtual Science Pub from the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry!

From OMSI: Pour a pint (at home!) and follow along as Dr. Kristyn Vitale discusses the purr-suasive science behind cat social cognition, how outdoor cats live socially in colonies, and how to improve communication with your cat in a way that allows it to engage in natural cat behaviors.

How to Tune in?

  • Tuesday April 7, 2020 | 6:30-8:30 pm (Pacific time) | $5 Suggested Donation (https://omsisciencepub.square.site/)
  • Go to OMSI’s main facebook page at 6:15 pm. Found at: https://www.facebook.com/omsi.museum/
  • You DO NOT need to have a Facebook account to watch the live stream
  • If you are unable to join us on Facebook Live, the video will be posted to OMSI’s Facebook Videos the following day.
  • Each event will begin with our 10 question trivia game. Grab a pencil and paper and compete against your family!
  • We will also host Q&A after the lecture. In order to ask a question, all you have to do is comment on Facebook.

Talk Description 

The Science of Cat Social Lives: Improving Cat-Human Relationships with Kristyn Vitale, PhD, Instructor and Researcher in the Human-Animal Interaction Lab at Oregon State University

  • Millions of humans worldwide share their homes with cats. Despite the popularity of companion cats in our homes, relatively little scientific research has been conducted on cat behavior or the human-cat relationship. The lack of research in this field may in part stem from common stereotypes that cats are unsocial or untrainable. Yet, the science that does exist indicates cats have rich and complex social lives with both other cats and humans.
  • In this talk, Dr. Kristyn Vitale of the Oregon State University Human-Animal Interaction Lab will discuss the current science behind cat social cognition. She will explore the behavior of outdoor cats living socially in colonies as well as the socio-cognitive abilities of pet cats including their ability to respond to human behavior or bond with their owners. She will also describe how to improve communication with your cat through training and enrichment opportunities that allow cats to engage in natural behaviors.

Attachment bonds between domestic cats and humans

Our research on cat-human attachment bonds was recently published in Current Biology. We found that cats display distinct attachment styles toward their owners. These styles are the same styles that human infants and dogs display toward their caregivers. As seen in this video, secure cats use their owner as a source of security and comfort and are able to freely explore the room while the owner is present. Insecure cats do not use their owner as a secure base and instead either cling to their owner’s side or avoid the owner. Similar to findings with infants and dogs, the majority of kittens and cats (~65%) were securely attached to their caregiver. Half the kittens also participated in a 6-week training and socialization class, but cat attachment styles did not significantly change after the class. This indicates cat-human attachment may be relatively stable once established.

Vitale, K. R., Behnke, A. C., & Udell, M. A. R. (2019). Attachment bonds between domestic cats and humans. Current Biology29(18), R864–R865.  DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2019.08.036

 

FULL TEXT AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD AT THIS LINK

 

Participate in Survey Exploring Cross-Cultural Perception of the Cat-Human Bond!

I am a researcher studying the cat-human bond. Please feel free to participate and share the following survey offered in both English and Japanese. If you are an adult and either a United States or Japanese citizen you are eligible to participate. You do not need to own a cat to participate. See below for links to the English and Japanese versions of the survey!

Link to English Survey

 

Link to Japanese Survey

Cross-Cultural Comparison of Cat-Human Bond

2017 was an amazing year! Thank you to all the owners and cats who participated in our research and cat training and socialization classes! I am excited for what 2018 will bring! In less than a week I will be leaving to conduct cat behavior research at Kyoto University in Japan for 3 months!

Please follow maueyes on Instagram for plenty of photos and subscribe to maueyes on YouTube for cat videos.

Happy new year everyone!  明けましておめでとうございます!

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