The objective of this research is to develop a safe, fast, and systematic procedure to increase desirable friendly behaviors in feral and fearful domestic cats so that these domestic cats can be adopted.
Developing a procedure for taming feral and fearful domestic cats will provide animal welfare organizations and individuals in the community with an alternative to euthanizing the domestic cats that do not meet the behavioral criteria for adoption due to the domestic cats being fearful of humans. Also, this procedure can be used to reduce the stress on fearful domestic cats in different situations.
Feral felines relinquished to animal shelters are often euthanized for behavioral reasons. They do not meet the adoptability criteria since they emit a myriad of undesirable behaviors in the presence of humans. Unfortunately, current advice on taming feral and fearful felines is riddled with downfalls. However, current research at the University of North Texas has developed a faster, safer, and more systematic procedure for “taming” feral felines so they meet adoptability criteria. In a matter of hours “unadoptable” feral kittens are behaving friendly and approaching the trainer and allowing the trainer to pet them.
The F2F seminar covers the following: Feral & fearful cat general information; F2F challenges current beliefs on cat socialization; current solutions to manage feral cats; current advice on taming and downfalls; the history of developing F2F; introduction to the procedure with lecture, slide, video clips and a live demo. The seminar shows how to implement the F2F procedure with feral kittens inside a cage; talks about statue cats; behavior analysis (the science behind F2F); data collection; Behavior Identification Game (BIG); stimulus control and generalization.
This seminar describes step-by-step how to conduct the procedure and the philosophy behind it. The same procedure that works with feral cats will help the fearful cats in shelter environments as well as those already living in homes. This seminar is appropriate for anyone working with cats in shelter and rescue organizations, as well as those who have fearful cats in their homes that they would like to help.
Jesús Rosales-Ruiz, PhD is a behavior analyst who earned his doctorate at the University of Kansas. He is an associate professor of behavior analysis at the University of North Texas, and the advisor for the Organization for Reinforcement Contingencies with Animals (ORCA), which conducts behavior and training research with animals in natural settings outside the laboratory. He mentors students who conduct research in animal behavior and training. He is a popular instructor at Karen Pryor’s ClickerEXPO.