According to a new study, cat owners can be classified into five types. They fall into different categories according to their pets’ attitudes, roaming, and hunting. The researchers in the study surveyed UK cat owners for some time and managed to classify five different types of cat owners.
The first type were called “conscientious caretakers” – those who were concerned about their cats’ impact on wildlife. These owners felt some degree of responsibility.
“Freedom defenders” opposed restrictions on cat behavior, while “condensed protectors” were focused on cat safety.
The fourth type of cat owners were dubbed “tolerant guardians” – they disliked their pets’ hunting behavior but accepted it as natural.
The fifth and final type were “laissez-faire landlords”, or cat owners unaware of their pets’ roaming and hunting behavior.
The “Cats, Cat Owners and Wildlife” project at the University of Exeter is a win-win for conservation. It identifies the way cat owners manage their cats which benefits both them and eliminates the risk of wildlife killing. The study was conducted on over 50 cat owners, and even though the sample is small, it’s a step forward in understanding how cat owners view and manage their pets.
In most cases, UK cat owners valued their cats’ outdoor access. They opposed the idea of keeping them inside to prevent hunting. Such confinement policies won’t find support in the UK. However, in order to be fully effective, the efforts to reduce hunting must be compatible to the owners’ diverse circumstances.
The suggested measures to reduce hunting including fitting cats with brightly colored collars. Hey, if it works, it isn’t stupid. The research team is currently investigating how effective the measures can be and how the owners feel about them.
If endangered species are to thrive, we need a pragmatic approach and for cat owners to change a bit of their views. Conservationists and cat owners must work together and find tailored solutions that are easy to implement.