Feeding Preferences of Cats
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"Do Cats Prefer to Work for Food?"
Animal: Cats
Age: 1-10
Healthy Pets: Yes
Keywords: feeding behavior, cats
Type: Clinical trial
30 Participants
Background and purpose
The purpose of this study is to evaluate whether owned cats prefer to eat food that they must work for (in a “food puzzle”) when assessed in the home environment.
What happens in this study

We will:

  • Loan you a camera and an activity tracker to measure your cat’s activity and behavior during the study

  • Meet with you at the end of the study to pick up the loaned equipment

You will need to:

  • Introduce the enrichment item to your cat

  • Place the activity tracker on your cat’s collar during the study

  • Record your cat’s feeding behavior for up to three days

Pet owner responsibilities

From start to finish, your cat will be in this study for approximately three weeks. If you wish to have your cat in this study, you will be responsible for setting up equipment, filling out the provided data sheet, and returning the camera and activity tracker provided to you at the end of the study.

Participation requirements
  • Single cat household

  • Cats between the ages of 1 and 10 years

  • Healthy, seen by a veterinarian in the last year

  • Not currently under any medical treatment.

Benefits and risks of participating
You will be provided with an enrichment item for your cat, which you may keep.
Participation may result in an improved quality of life for your cat due to the addition
of an enrichment item, which may reduce boredom and negative behaviors, and
increase your cat’s general health and welfare.
Recruitment period
From Nov. 1, 2019 to May 31, 2020
UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital
1 Garrod Drive
Small Animal Clinic - Behavior
Davis, CA 95616
Dr. Mikel Delgado

Have any questions or want to learn more? Leave your contact details below and the research team will reach out to you.


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