ASPCA Survey Reveals How You're "Feline" about Life with Your Cats

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Overwhelming public response -- nearly 12,000! -- sheds light on people and their cats.

With today's launch of Feline-ality™, the latest addition to the ASPCA®'s Meet Your Match™ stable of adoption programs, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) announced the results of a survey it conducted last month, to gauge how pet parents across the country feel about life with their cats.

Via an online, unscientific survey of members conducted in August, we asked pet parents to tell us all about their feline friends as seen through their eyes -- how they live together and get along, and to identify any challenges they were willing to share. The nearly 12,000 responses received were eye-opening, spotlighting both the benefits and the challenges that pet parents face in their relationships with their cats.

"We were able to discover through this fun survey that many times people bring an animal into their home -- especially cats -- but then the animal's true personality surprises them in both positive and negative ways," said Dr. Emily Weiss, senior director of Shelter Behavior Programs for the ASPCA, and one of the architects of ASPCA®'s Meet Your Match™.

"If pet parents are able to meet any potential challenges head-on, and live happily ever after with their cats, then that's fantastic. With the introduction of the Feline-ality™ adoption program, we hope to give potential adopters a much clearer idea of how a cat is likely to behave in its new home, to make even better matches between people and their pets."

Here are some of the major survey findings:

  •     Knocking the common misconception that cats are more aloof than canines, 50 percent surveyed said that when they call their cat's name, the response is akin to: "Here I am, bright-eyed and bushy tailed!", and actually do come when called.
  •     A fair number reported that their cats are very affectionate and loving, as 32 percent of respondents said that "it's cuddle time!" whenever they pick up their cat. Thirty-eight percent also reported that their "cat's best trick is to drape themselves across whatever their pet parent is working on or reading" -- another sign of affection.
  •     Some cats, on the other hand, do have more "creative" behavior. Forty-five percent reported that when no one's looking, their cat likes to scratch the sofa, armchair or rug. And 56 percent said that their cat expresses dissatisfaction by tail flicking, ear flattening and/or paw swiping.
  •     Lastly, revealing that a significant number of cats are shy, 40 percent responded that when visitors come over, their cat's reaction is "If you'll excuse me, I have an urgent appointment under the bed or in the closet!"

There were also two open-ended questions on the survey, which had an interesting mix of responses, including:

"If you could change one thing about your cat, what would it be?" Answers included:

  •     "No more love bites/scratches"
  •     "Let me hold her more"
  •     "Play with me more"
  •      "Stop chewing rugs/scratching furniture/knocking things over"
  •     "Nothing!"
  •      "Stop being so mean to my other animals"
  •     "Be more of a lap cat"

"When I had first got my cat, I had no idea he/she would be so…" Answers included:

  •     "Capable of bringing me such happiness and joy"
  •     "Shy and timid"
  •     "Bossy and mean"
  •     "Important to me"
  •     "Attached to me"
  •     "Silly"
  •     "Much like my child"

The Feline-ality™ adoption program uses detailed research-based surveys and behavior assessments, both for cats and potential adopters, to make the best matches possible between the two. The cat assessment reliably predicts, based on its "feline-ality," how an individual cat is likely to behave in its new home. An adopter's survey identifies the characteristics of the adopter's preferences and lifestyle that correlate with specific feline-alities. Adopters can then look for the cats with feline-alities they feel would be a good fit for their household and identify them by colors and sub-categories.

For more information on the ASPCA®'s Meet Your Match™, sponsored by Iams®, please visit http://www.aspca.org/meetyourmatch.

About the ASPCA®

Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) was the first humane organization established in the Americas, and today has one million supporters. A 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA's mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. The ASPCA provides local and national leadership in animal-assisted therapy, animal behavior, animal poison control, anti-cruelty, humane education, legislative services, and shelter outreach. The New York City headquarters houses a full-service, accredited animal hospital, adoption center, and mobile clinic outreach program. The Humane Law Enforcement department enforces New York's animal cruelty laws and is featured on the reality television series "Animal Precinct" on Animal Planet. For more information, please visit http://www.aspca.org.

Media Contact:
Alison Zaccone    
(212) 876-7700 x 4568

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Alison Zaccone
ASPCA®
212-876-7700 +4568
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