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Dogs are from Mars, Cats are from Venus - Maggie Roberts, Cats Protection

Maggie Roberts of Cats Protection ( delivered this presentation to the International Companion Animal Welfare Conference (ICAWC) 2009. It is designed to give basic information about caring for cats and dogs in a shelter environment.

ICAWC is an annual European conference organised by Dogs Trust. See for more details and to download further resources.

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Dogs are from Mars, Cats are from Venus - Maggie Roberts, Cats Protection

  1. 1. Dogs are from Mars – Cats areDogs are from Mars – Cats are from Venusfrom Venus Maggie Roberts BVM&S MRCVSMaggie Roberts BVM&S MRCVS Director of Veterinary ServicesDirector of Veterinary Services Cats ProtectionCats Protection ICAWC 2009ICAWC 2009
  2. 2. What is this?What is this?
  3. 3. It’s a small dog!It’s a small dog!
  4. 4. What is this?What is this?
  5. 5. It’s not a small dog!It’s not a small dog!
  6. 6. The differences between dogsThe differences between dogs and cats!and cats!  Dogs come when you call them. Cats take aDogs come when you call them. Cats take a message and get back to you when they aremessage and get back to you when they are good and ready.good and ready.  Dogs will give you unconditional love forever.Dogs will give you unconditional love forever. Cats will make you pay for every mistakeCats will make you pay for every mistake you’ve ever made since the day you wereyou’ve ever made since the day you were born.born.  Dogs will tilt their heads and listen wheneverDogs will tilt their heads and listen whenever you talk. Cats will yawn and close their talk. Cats will yawn and close their eyes.  Dogs will bring you your slippers or theDogs will bring you your slippers or the evening newspaper. Cats might bring you aevening newspaper. Cats might bring you a dead mouse.dead mouse.
  7. 7. The differences between dogsThe differences between dogs and cats!and cats!  Dogs will greet you andDogs will greet you and lick your face when youlick your face when you come home from work.come home from work. Cats will be mad that youCats will be mad that you went to work at all.went to work at all.  Dogs will sit on the carDogs will sit on the car seat next to you. Catsseat next to you. Cats have to have their ownhave to have their own private box or they willprivate box or they will not go at all.not go at all.  Dogs have owners, catsDogs have owners, cats have staff.have staff.
  8. 8. Considerations in the shelterConsiderations in the shelter environment forenvironment for anyany speciesspecies Evolutionary originEvolutionary origin BehaviourBehaviour Exercise and mentalExercise and mental stimulationstimulation AccommodationAccommodation Reproductive cycleReproductive cycle DietDiet Disease and itsDisease and its preventionprevention
  9. 9. Evolutionary origins - dogsEvolutionary origins - dogs  Descended from wolvesDescended from wolves and other wild dogsand other wild dogs  Pack animalsPack animals  Social speciesSocial species  HierarchyHierarchy  Hunt and scavengeHunt and scavenge  Been domesticated forBeen domesticated for 15-30,000 years15-30,000 years  Huge variation in size,Huge variation in size, shape and use throughshape and use through domestication anddomestication and selective breedingselective breeding
  10. 10. Evolutionary origin - catsEvolutionary origin - cats  Descended from theDescended from the African WildcatAfrican Wildcat  Solitary hunterSolitary hunter  Not social as not evolvedNot social as not evolved to live in close proximityto live in close proximity to other catsto other cats  Highly territorialHighly territorial  Been domesticated forBeen domesticated for approx 6,000 yearsapprox 6,000 years  Have not changed muchHave not changed much in shape and size sincein shape and size since domesticationdomestication
  11. 11. Behaviour - DogsBehaviour - Dogs  Evolved to live in groupsEvolved to live in groups  Generally sociable andGenerally sociable and like companylike company  Developed ways ofDeveloped ways of communicating withcommunicating with others through facialothers through facial expressions, stance andexpressions, stance and voicevoice  Respond well to trainingRespond well to training
  12. 12. Behaviour - catsBehaviour - cats  Can live in groups of relatedCan live in groups of related females and young malesfemales and young males  Tend to act independentlyTend to act independently  Generally stressed by theGenerally stressed by the presence of strange catspresence of strange cats  Communicate through smellCommunicate through smell  Do not have a wide range ofDo not have a wide range of facial expressionsfacial expressions  Deal with conflict byDeal with conflict by hiding/fleeing/climbing ifhiding/fleeing/climbing if possiblepossible
  13. 13. SocialisationSocialisation PuppiesPuppies  Sensitive period is betweenSensitive period is between 3-12 weeks3-12 weeks  Must be exposed to aMust be exposed to a variety of people, animals,variety of people, animals, sounds etc during thissounds etc during this period to avoid beingperiod to avoid being fearful of them laterfearful of them later  Need interactive playNeed interactive play  Even if socialised before 12Even if socialised before 12 weeks can regress toweeks can regress to fearfulness in the absencefearfulness in the absence of social contactof social contact KittensKittens  Sensitive period isSensitive period is between 2-7 weeksbetween 2-7 weeks  Must be exposed to aMust be exposed to a variety of people,variety of people, animals, sounds etcanimals, sounds etc during this period toduring this period to avoid being fearful ofavoid being fearful of them laterthem later  If not handled during thisIf not handled during this period they are unlikelyperiod they are unlikely ever to become veryever to become very sociable petssociable pets
  14. 14. Socialisation of kittensSocialisation of kittens  Socialisation is very time-Socialisation is very time- consuming and needsconsuming and needs experienced, patientexperienced, patient staff/volunteers.staff/volunteers.  Need to put kittens inNeed to put kittens in kitten pen in a busy partkitten pen in a busy part of the shelter or property.of the shelter or property.  Feral kittens that are oldFeral kittens that are old enough (from 6 weeks)enough (from 6 weeks) can be neutered andcan be neutered and returned rather thanreturned rather than socialised.socialised.
  15. 15. Exercise and mental stimulationExercise and mental stimulation - dogs- dogs Can be taken forCan be taken for walkswalks Changes environmentChanges environment Allows exerciseAllows exercise Can undergo training,Can undergo training, agility etcagility etc Need variety of toysNeed variety of toys and activitiesand activities
  16. 16. Exercise and mental stimulationExercise and mental stimulation - cats- cats  Generally restricted to theGenerally restricted to the run or penrun or pen  Need to be encouraged toNeed to be encouraged to exercise and playexercise and play  Need to exhibit huntingNeed to exhibit hunting behaviourbehaviour  Need to have somethingNeed to have something to scratch onto scratch on  Need facilities on differentNeed facilities on different levels for climbing,levels for climbing, perching etcperching etc
  17. 17. ExerciseExercise
  18. 18. StimulationStimulation
  19. 19. ToysToys – mimic prey through shape,– mimic prey through shape, texture and movementtexture and movement
  20. 20. AccommodationAccommodation DogsDogs Happier withHappier with companionscompanions Need adequate floorNeed adequate floor area but height not soarea but height not so importantimportant Sound-proofingSound-proofing CatsCats Prefer to be on theirPrefer to be on their own (or with a familiarown (or with a familiar cat)cat) Stressed by seeingStressed by seeing other catsother cats Need places to hide,Need places to hide, climb and perchclimb and perch
  21. 21. Cat pen designCat pen design • Safe and secure – safetySafe and secure – safety corridorscorridors • Adequate ventilation – 6Adequate ventilation – 6 to 12 air changes/hrto 12 air changes/hr • Adequate temperature –Adequate temperature – Ideally 15-24Ideally 15-24°°CC • Smooth surfaces, non-Smooth surfaces, non- porous surfacesporous surfaces • Solid (ideally opaque)Solid (ideally opaque) barriers between cats –barriers between cats – sneeze barrierssneeze barriers
  22. 22. Cat pen designCat pen design • Ease of cleaning/accessEase of cleaning/access catscats • Ease of public viewingEase of public viewing • Adequate space for catsAdequate space for cats to exerciseto exercise • Ideally separate sleepingIdeally separate sleeping area and runarea and run • Food bowls and litterFood bowls and litter trays kept separatelytrays kept separately • Areas for cats to feelAreas for cats to feel secure and hidesecure and hide • Areas to climb andAreas to climb and perchperch
  23. 23. Cat pen designCat pen design
  24. 24. Reproductive cycleReproductive cycle DogDog Comes into seasonComes into season twice yearlytwice yearly Easier to controlEasier to control whether bitch iswhether bitch is matedmated Some debate aboutSome debate about risks of earlyrisks of early neuteringneutering CatCat Has many seasons inHas many seasons in one yearone year Can have up to 3Can have up to 3 litters a yearlitters a year Difficult to avoidDifficult to avoid pregnancy if goingpregnancy if going outside and un-outside and un- neuteredneutered
  25. 25. Cats are very good atCats are very good at reproducing!reproducing! One entire female can be responsible for theOne entire female can be responsible for the production of over 20,000 kittens in 5 yearsproduction of over 20,000 kittens in 5 years
  26. 26. Early NeuteringEarly Neutering  The key to neuteringThe key to neutering being effective atbeing effective at population control is topopulation control is to neuter before sexualneuter before sexual maturity, particularlymaturity, particularly before a female’s firstbefore a female’s first seasonseason  Studies show noStudies show no increased surgical,increased surgical, anaesthetic oranaesthetic or developmental risks withdevelopmental risks with pre-pubertal neuteringpre-pubertal neutering
  27. 27. Early neuteringEarly neutering  Advantages of earlyAdvantages of early neutering (pre-puberty)neutering (pre-puberty) resulting in:resulting in: Fewer unwantedFewer unwanted kittenskittens Fewer homed cats toFewer homed cats to follow upfollow up Fewer cats presentedFewer cats presented for neutering beingfor neutering being pregnantpregnant Easier surgically dueEasier surgically due to less body fat andto less body fat and smaller blood vesselssmaller blood vessels Quicker recoveryQuicker recovery
  28. 28. DietDiet DogsDogs  Originally predators andOriginally predators and scavengersscavengers  Although generallyAlthough generally considered carnivores areconsidered carnivores are more omnivorousmore omnivorous  Can survive on aCan survive on a vegetarian dietvegetarian diet  Can tolerate prolongedCan tolerate prolonged fasting and can use bodyfasting and can use body fat efficientlyfat efficiently CatsCats  Supreme predatorsSupreme predators  Obligate carnivoresObligate carnivores  Cannot survive on aCannot survive on a vegetarian dietvegetarian diet  Do not tolerate starvationDo not tolerate starvation wellwell
  29. 29. NB If you want a vegetarian pet….NB If you want a vegetarian pet…. ……get a rabbit!get a rabbit!
  30. 30. Feline dietFeline diet  Need higher levels of proteinNeed higher levels of protein than dogsthan dogs  MUST have a meat-based dietMUST have a meat-based diet  Would eat 9 mice daily in theWould eat 9 mice daily in the wildwild  When healthy, drink less thanWhen healthy, drink less than dogs as were desert animalsdogs as were desert animals  Require certain essentialRequire certain essential nutrients including taurine,nutrients including taurine, arachidonic acid and pre-arachidonic acid and pre- formed Vitamin A that are onlyformed Vitamin A that are only available from animal sourcesavailable from animal sources  Can develop a fatal liverCan develop a fatal liver condition called hepaticcondition called hepatic lipidosis if not eating for a fewlipidosis if not eating for a few days, especially if obesedays, especially if obese
  31. 31. DiseaseDisease DogsDogs  Show pain or illness moreShow pain or illness more overtlyovertly  Show stress more overtlyShow stress more overtly  When ill with infectiousWhen ill with infectious disease tend to get better ordisease tend to get better or diedie  Carrier states less commonCarrier states less common CatsCats  Hide pain very wellHide pain very well  May not show overt signsMay not show overt signs of stressof stress  With infectious disease,With infectious disease, can often becan often be symptomless carriers orsymptomless carriers or recover but still shed therecover but still shed the organism especially whenorganism especially when stressedstressed  Do not tolerate certainDo not tolerate certain drugs such as NSAIDs asdrugs such as NSAIDs as well as dogswell as dogs
  32. 32. Feline infectious diseaseFeline infectious disease  Many diseases can haveMany diseases can have a carrier state e.g. FeLV,a carrier state e.g. FeLV, FIV, feline herpesvirus,FIV, feline herpesvirus, feline calicivirusfeline calicivirus  Stress tends to increaseStress tends to increase shedding of organismsshedding of organisms and susceptibilityand susceptibility  Disease is worse inDisease is worse in overcrowded, poorlyovercrowded, poorly ventilated sheltersventilated shelters
  33. 33. Controlling feline infectiousControlling feline infectious diseasedisease • Avoid overcrowdingAvoid overcrowding • Keep cats singly where possibleKeep cats singly where possible • Avoid cats sharing litter traysAvoid cats sharing litter trays • Reduce stressReduce stress • Use isolationUse isolation • Barrier nursingBarrier nursing • Stringent hygiene/disinfection regimeStringent hygiene/disinfection regime • Stop the movement of cats in affected areaStop the movement of cats in affected area • VaccinationVaccination • Screen for disease where possibleScreen for disease where possible
  34. 34. Common signs of stressCommon signs of stress DogsDogs  AvoidanceAvoidance  Defensive aggressionDefensive aggression  Howling/barkingHowling/barking  PacingPacing  PantingPanting  DiggingDigging  Excessive activityExcessive activity  EliminationElimination  AnorexiaAnorexia  Compulsive behaviourCompulsive behaviour (tail chasing etc)(tail chasing etc) CatsCats  AvoidanceAvoidance  HidingHiding  ReducedReduced activity/immobilityactivity/immobility  ClimbingClimbing  Elimination/sprayingElimination/spraying  Reduction inReduction in maintenance behavioursmaintenance behaviours (sleeping, grooming,(sleeping, grooming, eating, elimination etc)eating, elimination etc)  Excessive groomingExcessive grooming  PantingPanting  AggressionAggression
  35. 35. Avoiding stress in cats inAvoiding stress in cats in sheltersshelters AcuteAcute stress on arrival is helped bystress on arrival is helped by Giving the cat somewhere to hideGiving the cat somewhere to hide Preventing the cats looking directly at other catsPreventing the cats looking directly at other cats Providing a regular and predictable routineProviding a regular and predictable routine Having the same person deal with the cat each dayHaving the same person deal with the cat each day ChronicChronic stress occurs after time and is helped bystress occurs after time and is helped by Using different toys and active playUsing different toys and active play Using puzzle feeders and making them work for their foodUsing puzzle feeders and making them work for their food Varying the routine with regard to people and timingVarying the routine with regard to people and timing
  36. 36. Thank You!Thank You! Cats were once worshipped as gods and they’veCats were once worshipped as gods and they’ve never forgotten it!never forgotten it!
  37. 37. Any questions?Any questions?