Early-stage animal hoarders: are these owners of large numbers of adequately cared for cats?

Ramos, D., da Cruz, N., Ellis, Sarah , Hernandez, Jose and Reche-Junior, Archivaldo (2013) Early-stage animal hoarders: are these owners of large numbers of adequately cared for cats? In: World Feline Veterinary Congress, June 26–30, 2013, Barcelona, Spain.

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Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Poster)
Item Status:Live Archive


Animal hoarding is a spectrum-based condition in which hoarders are often reported to have had normal and appropriate pet-keeping habits in childhood and early adulthood. Historically, research has focused largely on well established clinical animal hoarders, with little work targeted towards the onset and development of animal hoarding. This study investigated whether a Brazilian population of owners of what might typically be considered an excessive number of cats (20 or more) were more likely to share the commonly reported psychological and demographic profile of animal hoarders than owners of one to two cats drawn from the same population. Psychological traits measured were attachment to pets (Lexington Attachment to Pets Scale), anxiety, depression (Hospitalized Anxiety and Depression Scale) and hoarding behaviour (Saving Inventory-Revised).
Owners of 20 or more cats were significantly older (P <0.001), displayed significantly higher pet attachment scores (P <0.01), and displayed significant correlations between hoarding behaviour and anxiety (P <0.001), and hoarding behaviour and depression (P <0.05). Such a profile demonstrates greater similarities to clinical animal hoarders than to typical cat owners on these particular measures, although additional disparities with clinical animal hoarders exist in the areas of functioning, veterinary care and home organisation.

Taking this information together, the studied population may represent the understudied group of early-stage animal hoarders. However, external factors such as culture and societal animal control policies should not be overlooked at this stage as alternative explanations for pet keeping at levels that might be considered excessive.

Keywords:animal hoarding, cat, feline, pet attachment, animal collecting, human animal bond
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D328 Animal Welfare
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
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ID Code:13437
Deposited On:27 Feb 2014 12:48

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