Animal Rescue of Anderson Valley -- Photo by MendocinoAnimalCare
It appears that there is no standardised temperament testing of cats at animal shelters. Am I incorrect? There should be. Accurate temperament testing of cats would result in a greater proportion of cats being rehomed. It would save lives. Another term used is feline temperament profile (FTP) testing.
In addition there is no need to kill any cat no matter what the outcome of a temperament test. For example, if a cat behaved like a feral cat then the cat should be neutered or spayed and placed in a feral cat environment. There should always be a home somewhere for a cat at a rescue center.
I recently read that at one animal control facility the staff were testing temperament by prodding the caged cat with pens. Obviously the cat failed the "test" and obviously the cat was killed.
How can cats that are placed in small cages in strange places with frightening noises behave in a way that satisfies shelter employees that the cat is adoptable? The cats have to feed and go to toilet in a very confined space. This is completely unnatural. You can't therefore expect natural behavior. A cat responds to the circumstances and environment under which he or she finds herself.
Despite the difficult environment, I guess many cats still pass the test. They would seem to be exceptional cats. I suppose too that many shelters have quite pleasant conditions for the cats. I would expect these shelters to rehome more cats than those shelters where conditions are less agreeable.
My internet research indicates that there is no standardised temperament test. It seems that each shelter devises its own methods.
There is also the other side to the coin. What is the temperament of the person! If shelter staff are to maximise the chances of successful adoptions the potential adopter, Miss X needs to be assessed as well to find out her preferences, her lifestyle and what kind of cat will match these factors.
Are shelters and rescue centers assessing both cat and human in a reasonably accurate and consistent way nationwide? It does not matter if we are talking about American, Canada or Europe.The same issues apply.
See also dog temperament testing.
See also Cat Personality Questionnaire.