Posted by: secondchancehumanesociety | December 23, 2010

Attitudes Toward Cats II

Peanut gets a little nutty

A few weeks ago my sibling Pinenut discussed research that explored why cats are populating rescue shelters in excessively greater numbers than any other species and whether this may relate to attitudes that people have regarding us.  The study Pinenut looked at (visit the Second Chance Humane Society website to read Pinenut’s Pet Column) revealed some interesting insights regarding the demographics of those who do value cats more and posited that many negative beliefs that people held against cats are mostly based on misinformation.

So this week I (“Peanut”) would like to identify the populous that we should be targeting to help homeless cats like me find new homes as well as address the negative beliefs that are circulating to keep us from finding such homes.  In the process I hope to return the true value and worth of a lovable purring cuddly feline to its proper place of high regard.

As to the folks who are most open to becoming new cat parents, (from a target group of eople who had never had cats) the study found that the younger (18-24 years old) and single respondents had a more positive attitude toward cats than did older or married respondents. Suburbanites had a more positive attitude than did those living in urban or rural areas. Hispanics were more likely to consider a cat than respondents of other ethnicities, and men were more likely than women to consider a cat. Households with dogs had a slightly more negative opinion about cats than households without pets or households with pets other than dogs. Respondents earning less than $40,000 or more than $80,000 annually were more likely to have positive attitudes about cats.

As to what we learn from this?  Well we clearly need to figure out how to make cat parenting more appealing to a broader demographic.  Fortunately the top three concerns for not having a cat that were identified in the study (furniture scratching, hairball coughing, and counter jumping)  are ones that can be readily addressed, indicating that awareness and educational programs could increase cat ownership. With appropriate behavioral training, scratching posts and specific diets, cats should rarely jump on counters, scratch furniture or spit up hairballs.

Based on the survey’s results, if just 10 percent of non-catowning households in the U.S. would consider adopting one cat, an additional 6.2 million cats could be placed in loving homes, The number of cats and dogs euthanized at U.S. shelters each year is lower than this number, so this could be the solution to ending pet euthanasia!  Sounds like a plan to me!

Call the Second Chance Helpline at 626-2273 to report a lost pet, learn about adopting a homeless pet, or about the SCHS Spay/Neuter Financial Assistance, Volunteer & Foster Care, or other Programs.  Visit our shelter pets online:  Direct Pet Column questions to:  kelly@secondchancehumanesociety.orgPhoto by Real Life Photographs.

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