Showing posts from February, 2016

Most Owners Say Cats Are Part Of The Family

Most cat owners are confident in their ability to look after their pet, but feline welfare could be better in some respects. By Zazie Todd, PhD New research by Tiffani Howell   ( La Trobe University ) et al investigates how people care for their cats. A representative survey of pet owners in the Australian state of Victoria included questions from feeding and sleeping arrangements to how much cats cost over their lifetime. “ In general, Victorian cat owners appear to be meeting their cat’s welfare needs, with a few areas for improvement,” says Dr. Tiffani Howell. “For instance, nearly half of owners allow their cat to roam free outdoors, which could lead to injuries.  “Female owners report higher levels of satisfaction with their cat’s behaviour, and fewer behavioural problems, than male owners. Older owners were less likely to have irretrievably lost a cat than younger owners, but they report more behavioural problems.” There are some fascinating facts in the

Homeless Youth With Pets Are Less Depressed Than Those Without

A survey of homeless youth finds that pets bring benefits – and difficulties. Photo: Brad Steels/Shutterstock By Zazie Todd, PhD 23% of homeless youth have pets, according to research by Harmony Rhoades et al ( University of Southern California ). The team surveyed 398 homeless youth at two drop-in centres in Los Angeles. While previous studies have shown that pets can be very important to homeless young people , this is the first quantitative study to look at pet ownership, mental health, and the use of services amongst this group. 88% of the young people in the study had attended the drop-in for food during the previous month. Other services they had used included clothes (69%), job help (52%), housing (49%) and health services (47%). Of those with pets, dogs were most common (53%) followed by cats (22%). Other pets included a hamster, rat, chinchilla and iguana.  “Companion animals provide emotional support and represent important, loving relationships in th