Changing cat-containment to keep cats content
New Zealand is a nation of cat lovers. We have one of the highest rates of cat ownership in the world, says University of Canterbury master’s student Sarah Chamberlain, who has dedicated her thesis to better understanding people’s engagement in and attitude towards cat-containment.
University of Canterbury Master of Science – Psychology student Sarah Chamberlain with her cats Salem and Cocoa in their purpose built ‘catio’.
“Cats allowed to free-roam can lead to predation of wildlife, including native wildlife, disruption of wildlife behaviour, spreading disease like toxoplasmosis, which is a threat to our endangered marine mammals and can be transferred to humans as well, but cats are also at an increased risk of injury or harm to themselves,” says Sarah.
The study aimed to examine which factors best predict engagement in cat-containment, and whether there are unique audiences of cat owners in New Zealand that differ significantly in the set of factors that predict their behaviour.