Learn about your dog or cat’s behavior! Research participation opportunity in Oregon!


The Oregon State University Human-Animal Interaction Lab is
is seeking participants for a research opportunity in Corvallis, OR!

How Has the Pandemic Impacted Your Pets? Help us understand pet behavior and human-animal bonds were impacted by the events of this past year. 

This study will take place on the Oregon State University Corvallis campus (Withycombe Hall) and include a short survey and two behavioral attachment tests with your dog or cat (taking approximately 20-30 minutes per pet; you can schedule multiple pets for back to back sessions or on separate days if desired). 

Current study needs: 

Dogs or cats that have previously visited our lab: If you have had a pet participate in attachment bond research in our lab previously (dog, cat or both) any or all are eligible to participate. Given the changes to daily routine that many of us our experiencing during the pandemic, we are in special need of returning participants to help us understand how the unusual events of this past year have impacted dog/cat behavior and the human-animal bond.  If this is a second visit for one or more of your pets, we ask that the same human caretaker accompany the animal, as we are interested in comparing behavioral responses in the presence of the same person.

New dog or cat participants acquired during the pandemic (March 2020- present): If you have acquired a pet during this period, or know someone who has, they are also eligible to participate. 

 Other dogs and cats: If you have additional dogs or cats that do not fall into the above categories, you are welcome to enroll them too! We will be looking at first-time testing of animals adopted pre-pandemic for comparison. 

To participate, pets must be in good health, current on vaccinations (for their age) and not be on medication that would be expected to significantly alter their behavior. 

If you wish to participate, please contact us to schedule, and we will provide you with the information you need prior to participation. 

Please contact Hallie Shean to schedule testing times: sheanh [at] oregonstate.edu 
  
You can also email the study PI with any questions: Monique.udell [at] oregonstate.edu

Learn more about the Human-Animal Interaction Lab: www.thehumananimalbond.com 

Upcoming! Virtual Talk on Cat Behavior

The event has ended but can be viewed here.

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.

If you think cats are antisocial, maybe it’s you, scientists find

New media mention about our cat sociability research!

Washington Post
By Karin Brulliard
January 16, 2019

Dogs may have stolen the Internet from cats, but cat memes endure — and many center on one theme: Cats are aloof jerks.

The primary ambassador of this notion, naturally, is Grumpy Cat. But cats of all sorts, these memes tell us, desire to be left alone with their coffee, or demand darkness, or prefer ankle attacks to head scratches.

Okay, maybe you know cats that fit the bill. But it is not the case that “cats skew toward independency,” in the words of a new study on cat social behavior. In fact, researchers at Oregon State University found, many pet and shelter cats are pretty eager to interact with humans — particularly people who seek out kitty caresses…..

Read the full article online at Washington Post!

Social Lives of Cats in Japan: Memories

Memories of Japan (懐かしい)

Kurama-dera (鞍馬寺): Temple in the northern mountains of Kyoto.
Tashirojima (田代島): Cat island in Ishinomaki, near Sendai.
Philosopher’s Path (哲学の道): Walking path in Kyoto.