Litter Management Practices and House-Soiling in Italian Cats

Tateo, Alessandra, Ricci-Bonot, Claire, Felici, Martina , Zappaterra, Martina, Nanni Costa, Leonardo, Houpt, Katherine and Padalino, Barbara (2023) Litter Management Practices and House-Soiling in Italian Cats. Animals, 13 (14). p. 2382. ISSN 2076-2615

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Litter Management Practices and House-Soiling in Italian Cats
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There are about 10.1 million domestic cats in Italy, but information on cats’ litter management and house-soiling prevalence is scant. This study described cats’ and cat owners’ profiles, litter management practices, and whether cats show house-soiling, also comparing between professionals (i.e., breeders) and amateurs (i.e., pet owners). A cross-sectional online survey sought respondents’ housing, family, and cat details, as well as other pet details, litter details, and whether the cats showed house-soiling. Data for a total of 3106 cats were obtained. Italian cats lived mainly in apartments, along with other cats or dogs. Italians owned mostly adult European breed cats, to whom they provided covered litter boxes filled with clumping substrates, scooped daily, and completely replaced weekly. Litter cleaning was more frequent when cats were owned for financial purposes (i.e., breeders) rather than for companionship, but more space was provided for pets than for breeding cats. The recalled prevalence of elimination problems (16.7%) was lower compared to other studies, with cats mainly eliminating urine (54.6%) on objects in squatting posture (35.2%). Overall, this research increased our understanding of cat litter management in Italy. These findings could fill a gap in the knowledge regarding litter management and house-soiling incidences in Italy. Further studies to investigate possible risk factors for house-soiling are needed.

Keywords:behavior, elimination, litter, management, welfare
Subjects:D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D390 Veterinary Sciences not elsewhere classified
Divisions:COLLEGE OF HEALTH AND SCIENCE > School of Life and Environmental Sciences > Department of Life Sciences
ID Code:55981
Deposited On:04 Sep 2023 08:19

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