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An Ethogram for Behavioural Studies of the Domestic Cat (Felis silvestris catus L.)

Series: Animal Welfare Research Report Volume: 8

By: UK Cat Behaviour Working Group

30 pages, 23 b/w line drawings, 1 table

Universities Federation for Animal Welfare

Unbound | Dec 1995 | #81738 | ISBN: 0900767901
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £5.95 $7/€7 approx

About this book

From the preface:

"This document arose from the co-operative efforts of ethologists from three British universities, Cambridge, Oxford and Southampton, and the Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition, all of whom wished to provide a standard set of descriptions of domestic cat behaviour for their own use, and for those who might study this species in the future.

The primary focus of many, but not all, of those ethologists was the recording of social behaviour, and this is undoubtedly reflected in the degree of "splitting" and "lumping" of behaviour categories of different kinds. Many of the descriptions are extremely broad, and some could even form the basis for ethograms of their own, for example those concerned with play and with feeding behaviour. None of the group who drew up this document is likely to use it without modification, nor should any future user feel that the categories cannot be moulded to suit the objectives of a particular study. The list is intended only to be a common starting point, but as such should help to alleviate the problems that can be caused by research workers using the same words to indicate different behaviour, and vice versa.

The task of categorisation is, of course, left to the individual researcher. However, we have subdivided the full list of behaviour into either "SOLITARY", where the behaviour does not generally involve another cat, or "SOCIAL", where the behavioural act involves at least two individuals being present at the same time, or is observed only in a "social" context.

The authors of this document are all those who participated in the workshops which were held on October 25th and November 30th 1990 and on July 24th 1993. All are (or have been until recently) actively involved in the study of cat behaviour and ecology, observing cats in environments ranging from artificially restricted areas, such as cages in animal shelters, through the whole range of cat-human associations, to the more natural free-ranging setting. However, it is acknowledged that the basis for many of the descriptions comes from Gillian Kerby’s D.Phil. thesis (University of Oxford, 1987)."

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