A New Study on the Behaviour of Hoarded Cats

| June 30, 2022

We’ve all heard stories about animal hoarders living with more than the typical number of pets in conditions that do not meet minimum requirements for care.   

Have you ever wondered how the animal’s welfare would be affected once they’re removed from their hoarding situation?    

Animal hoarding leads to prolonged and severe emotional and physical suffering. Cats are often the main species involved yet there were no published studies on how hoarding affects their behaviour and their prospects for successful adoption – until now!  

A New Study has been Published

Toronto Humane Society’s Dr. Linda Jacobson, Dr. Jacklyn Ellis, and Jade Kyrsten Janke, along with Dr. Jolene Giacinti from U of Guelph and Dr. Jyothi Robertson from JVT Strategies, had the first article on this subject accepted for publication in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery.  To read “Behavior and adoptability of hoarded cats admitted to an animal shelter” in full, click here.     

The Study’s Main Findings

– Previously hoarded cats showed a range of levels of socialization, but most were socialized and able to be adopted into conventional homes   

– Adopters overwhelmingly expressed positive feelings about their adopted cats   

– Return adoption rates were no different than rates of non-hoarded cats   

– Very few hoarded cats had any issues using the litter box both in the shelter and in their new homes    

A Recommendation for Shelters and Adopters

The study also recommends that shelters and adopters wait at least a few days before making any decisions based on the cats’ behaviour. Moving into an unfamiliar environment is typically stressful for any cat. Give them time to decompress and adjust and with the right support, flourish into well-rounded feline companions.