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News Article

Feline behaviour: experts suggest priorities for research

A survey of researchers and veterinarians showed that feline behaviour is an area of critical research importance

Inter-cat conflict and impacts from the environment are among the top feline behavioural issues for which there is a pressing need for research, according to a panel of experts brought together by Morris Animal Foundation.

A paper detailing the panel’s discussion, findings and potential research-relevant themes recently was published in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery.

The Foundation convened the panel in October 2019 after conducting a survey of U.S. veterinarians in general practice to determine areas of pressing need in companion animal health research. Results suggested that feline behaviour was an important but neglected area.

Foundation staff then invited five experts in feline behaviour to identify topics for which significant scientific and/or clinical progress could be achieved if backed with a large research investment. Findings were then used to determine the focus of the Foundation’s next Mark L. Morris Jr. Investigator Award, which is now accepting proposals.

Panel experts said that feline behavioural issues are a common, but often unrecognized, underlying cause of poor feline health including obesity, vomiting and stereotypic activities such as overgrooming.

The panel’s feedback was organized into six categories: inter-cat conflict; impact of the environment; kitten socialization; cat-human interactions and owner awareness; veterinarian awareness; and aging.

Proposals that address any of these issues to enrich and optimize the physical and psychological environment for pet cats will be considered for the Mark L Morris Jr Investigator Award. Details can be accessed at

Article: Morris Animal Foundation roundtable: Funding a pressing need for feline behavior research. Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery (2020) vol. 22, no. 5, doi: 10.1177/1098612X20917604

Article details

  • Date
  • 26 May 2020
  • Source
  • Morris Animal Foundation
  • Subject(s)
  • Dogs, Cats, and other Companion Animals