Think you know your cat? A California lab needs volunteers
If you're a cat owner and live in the U.S., you might want to participate in an adorable study that will survey your pet's behaviors and how much you know about training your furry yet weird friend. We can all agree that cats are weird, right?
Researchers from the Animal Welfare Epidemiology Lab at the University of California Davis are looking for cat owners to observe the socialization of cats through their owners, Gizmodo reported.
“Socialization here refers to the introduction of the animal to new people, places, and objects. This includes everything from kitten socialization programs (often called “kitten kindergarten”) to adult cats going on adventures with their owner,” Jennifer Link, a Ph.D. student at the lab, told Gizmodo.
The research team is hoping to collect about 2,500 survey results to be able to reveal their findings within the next 12 to 18 months.
Last year, scientists at the University of California Davis and The University of British Columbia were looking for the owners of two adult cats to examine their ability to correctly interpret their cats' behavior. The pet owners were to watch ten videos that included cats having different interactions and were asked to rate them on a scale from extremely positive to extremely negative. Then, they were surveyed about their own cats and asked to reveal how often they showed similar behaviors, another Gizmodo report revealed.
“Once we’ve collected all the responses, we can share our findings with shelters, cat behaviorists, and the public, so as to hopefully make cat and kitten socialization more accessible to all those who want to get to it,” Link added.
Domestic cats are hard to observe in terms of their connection with humans and other cats, unlike dogs who actually enjoy being outside and playing fetch with humans. And in most cases, cats just like to stay home in their safe zones unless they're one of those rare ones who love going on regular walks.
“In short: a well-socialized kitten becomes a well-adjusted adult, and we’d like to do whatever we can to ensure the creation of more well-socialized kittens. We hope that our study will be a good first step in that process,” Link said.
You can sign up here if you'd like to participate.
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