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Am J Vet Res. 2003 Sep;64(9):1151-4.

Influence of familiarity and relatedness on proximity and allogrooming in domestic cats (Felis catus).

Author information

1
Department of Anatomy and Radiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate associations between relatedness and familiarity with the affiliative behaviors of maintaining proximity and allogrooming in cats.

ANIMALS:

28 privately owned cats in 1 colony.

PROCEDURE:

15 of the cats had 1 or more relatives present representing 5 genealogies. Each cat was observed in 15-minute intervals for 3.5 hours during the study. All occurrences of allogrooming behavior were recorded. At the onset of each 15-minute observation period and at 2-minute intervals thereafter, the identity and location of all cats within 1 m of the observed cat were recorded.

RESULTS:

Relatedness and familiarity was significantly associated with the number of times a cat was within 1 m of another cat and how often a cat was groomed. For relatives and nonrelatives that were equally familiar to a given cat, relatives were significantly more likely to be within 1 m and to be groomed.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE:

Familiarity and relatedness are significantly associated with allogrooming and proximity of another cat. This may be important when considering adoption of 1 or more kittens and when adding a new cat to a household in which other cats are present. Adopting small family groups may result in higher rates of affiliative behavior, stronger bonding, and lower incidence of conflict than periodically adopting single unrelated adult cats.

PMID:
13677394
DOI:
10.2460/ajvr.2003.64.1151
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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