Les hommes ont oublié cette vérité. Mais tu ne dois pas l'oublier, dit le renard. Tu deviens responsable pour toujours de ce que tu as apprivoisé.
Le Petit Prince, chap. 21

Monday, 2 September 2013

Feral cat definition and management strategies

Gosling, L., Stavisky, J., & Dean, R. (2013). What is a feral cat? Variation in definitions may be associated with different management strategies. Journal of feline medicine and surgery, 15(9), 759-764.

Study rationale: The definition of a true feral cat is an area of much contention, with many variations used worldwide. In this study, opinions were gathered from feral cat rescue workers and veterinary surgeons working in the United Kingdom to identify a practical definition of a feral cat, suitable for use in the field, education and research.

Protocol: A mixed methods approach, using questionnaires and focus groups, was used to collect data from feral cat workers and veterinary surgeons.

Findings: Conflicts in opinion on the implications of taming feral cats exist. The rescue workers typically felt that most cats could be tamed, whereas the veterinary surgeons felt this was generally inappropriate, except in the case of young kittens. A consistent definition of feral cats would enable better communication regarding the welfare and management of these animals, and would be useful for further research and education of the public.

Proposed definition: A feral cat is proposed by this study to be a cat that is unapproachable in its free-roaming environment and is capable of surviving with or without direct human intervention, and may additionally show fearful or defensive behaviour on human contact.

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