The association between infrared thermal imagery of core eye temperature, personality, age and housing in cats

Shannon Foster, Carrie Ijichi

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article

4 Citations (Scopus)
18 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Understanding individual responses to stress is a key aspect of maintaining optimal animal welfare. This is especially important where animals are being kept in sub-optimal environments or where the species may not clearly demonstrate stress. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate how stress varies in cats in a cattery environment in association with personality, age and housing. Stress was measured using Infrared Thermal Imaging (IRT) of core eye temperature and compared with scores from the Feline Temperament Profile (FTP), age and single or group housing (n??=??34). It was predicted that higher eye temperature would be inversely correlated with acceptable scores and directly correlated with questionable scores calculated from the FTP as these are suggested to indicate a stress sensitive cat. As predicted, eye temperature correlated significantly with acceptable FTP scores (rs??=?????0.377, p??=??0.028). Eye temperature was also higher in older cats (rs??=??0.417, p??=??0.014) and those singly-housed compared with group housed (U??=??37, N1??=??12, N2??=??22, P??=??0.001). This provides preliminary evidence that personality may predict stress sensitivity in cats and that older and singly housed cats may find the cattery environment more aversive. These findings may improve adoption rates as unresolved stress can cause avoidance and aggressive behaviour, both of which are undesirable in companion animals. Further, they may increase adoption success rates if owners have more knowledge of the personality and likely stress sensitivity of the cat before adopting. In addition, educating owners that the cat they have adopted is stress sensitive will encourage greater vigilance and awareness of subtle indicators of stress, thus improving welfare.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-84
Number of pages6
JournalApplied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume189
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017

Fingerprint

Imagery (Psychotherapy)
Personality
Cats
Hot Temperature
eyes
cats
heat
Temperature
Temperament
Felidae
temperature
temperament
Avoidance Learning
Animal Welfare
Pets
group housing
avoidance behavior
animal welfare
pets
aggression

Keywords

  • Coping
  • Feline
  • Personality
  • Stress
  • Temperament
  • Thermography
  • Welfare

Cite this

@article{39573f23055143f4a20619413ac48a64,
title = "The association between infrared thermal imagery of core eye temperature, personality, age and housing in cats",
abstract = "Understanding individual responses to stress is a key aspect of maintaining optimal animal welfare. This is especially important where animals are being kept in sub-optimal environments or where the species may not clearly demonstrate stress. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate how stress varies in cats in a cattery environment in association with personality, age and housing. Stress was measured using Infrared Thermal Imaging (IRT) of core eye temperature and compared with scores from the Feline Temperament Profile (FTP), age and single or group housing (n??=??34). It was predicted that higher eye temperature would be inversely correlated with acceptable scores and directly correlated with questionable scores calculated from the FTP as these are suggested to indicate a stress sensitive cat. As predicted, eye temperature correlated significantly with acceptable FTP scores (rs??=?????0.377, p??=??0.028). Eye temperature was also higher in older cats (rs??=??0.417, p??=??0.014) and those singly-housed compared with group housed (U??=??37, N1??=??12, N2??=??22, P??=??0.001). This provides preliminary evidence that personality may predict stress sensitivity in cats and that older and singly housed cats may find the cattery environment more aversive. These findings may improve adoption rates as unresolved stress can cause avoidance and aggressive behaviour, both of which are undesirable in companion animals. Further, they may increase adoption success rates if owners have more knowledge of the personality and likely stress sensitivity of the cat before adopting. In addition, educating owners that the cat they have adopted is stress sensitive will encourage greater vigilance and awareness of subtle indicators of stress, thus improving welfare.",
keywords = "Coping, Feline, Personality, Stress, Temperament, Thermography, Welfare",
author = "Shannon Foster and Carrie Ijichi",
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language = "English",
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}

The association between infrared thermal imagery of core eye temperature, personality, age and housing in cats. / Foster, Shannon; Ijichi, Carrie.

In: Applied Animal Behaviour Science, Vol. 189, 01.04.2017, p. 79-84.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article

TY - JOUR

T1 - The association between infrared thermal imagery of core eye temperature, personality, age and housing in cats

AU - Foster, Shannon

AU - Ijichi, Carrie

PY - 2017/4/1

Y1 - 2017/4/1

N2 - Understanding individual responses to stress is a key aspect of maintaining optimal animal welfare. This is especially important where animals are being kept in sub-optimal environments or where the species may not clearly demonstrate stress. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate how stress varies in cats in a cattery environment in association with personality, age and housing. Stress was measured using Infrared Thermal Imaging (IRT) of core eye temperature and compared with scores from the Feline Temperament Profile (FTP), age and single or group housing (n??=??34). It was predicted that higher eye temperature would be inversely correlated with acceptable scores and directly correlated with questionable scores calculated from the FTP as these are suggested to indicate a stress sensitive cat. As predicted, eye temperature correlated significantly with acceptable FTP scores (rs??=?????0.377, p??=??0.028). Eye temperature was also higher in older cats (rs??=??0.417, p??=??0.014) and those singly-housed compared with group housed (U??=??37, N1??=??12, N2??=??22, P??=??0.001). This provides preliminary evidence that personality may predict stress sensitivity in cats and that older and singly housed cats may find the cattery environment more aversive. These findings may improve adoption rates as unresolved stress can cause avoidance and aggressive behaviour, both of which are undesirable in companion animals. Further, they may increase adoption success rates if owners have more knowledge of the personality and likely stress sensitivity of the cat before adopting. In addition, educating owners that the cat they have adopted is stress sensitive will encourage greater vigilance and awareness of subtle indicators of stress, thus improving welfare.

AB - Understanding individual responses to stress is a key aspect of maintaining optimal animal welfare. This is especially important where animals are being kept in sub-optimal environments or where the species may not clearly demonstrate stress. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate how stress varies in cats in a cattery environment in association with personality, age and housing. Stress was measured using Infrared Thermal Imaging (IRT) of core eye temperature and compared with scores from the Feline Temperament Profile (FTP), age and single or group housing (n??=??34). It was predicted that higher eye temperature would be inversely correlated with acceptable scores and directly correlated with questionable scores calculated from the FTP as these are suggested to indicate a stress sensitive cat. As predicted, eye temperature correlated significantly with acceptable FTP scores (rs??=?????0.377, p??=??0.028). Eye temperature was also higher in older cats (rs??=??0.417, p??=??0.014) and those singly-housed compared with group housed (U??=??37, N1??=??12, N2??=??22, P??=??0.001). This provides preliminary evidence that personality may predict stress sensitivity in cats and that older and singly housed cats may find the cattery environment more aversive. These findings may improve adoption rates as unresolved stress can cause avoidance and aggressive behaviour, both of which are undesirable in companion animals. Further, they may increase adoption success rates if owners have more knowledge of the personality and likely stress sensitivity of the cat before adopting. In addition, educating owners that the cat they have adopted is stress sensitive will encourage greater vigilance and awareness of subtle indicators of stress, thus improving welfare.

KW - Coping

KW - Feline

KW - Personality

KW - Stress

KW - Temperament

KW - Thermography

KW - Welfare

U2 - 10.1016/j.applanim.2017.01.004

DO - 10.1016/j.applanim.2017.01.004

M3 - Journal Article

VL - 189

SP - 79

EP - 84

JO - Applied Animal Behaviour Science

JF - Applied Animal Behaviour Science

SN - 0168-1591

ER -