Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

A review of cat behavior in relation to disease risk and management options.

Abstract

Domestic cats (Felis catus) are a common household pet and also a notorious invasive species around the world. Because cat numbers have been increasing in many locations it is critical to work on management solutions that help to reduce threats posed by cats. With regard to cat behavior, one of the threats both to cats themselves and the species that they interact with is disease transmission. As part of a broader overview on applying cat behavior to management the focus of this review is to consider different types of cat behaviors and highlight how they relate to disease as a means to help inform management. Specifically, we focus on cat movement, foraging, and cat-human interactions as broad classes of cat behavior that can lead to acquisition and transmission of diseases. In addition, we review the diseases that are commonly harbored by cats, are of growing human health concern, and for which we have reasonable information. Finally, we review the main forms of cat management in order to provide a set of recommendations for use in addressing cat diseases.