Temperament Testing Of Cats

Animal Rescue of Anderson Valley -- Photo by MendocinoAnimalCare

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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.


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Temperament Testing Of Cats

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Feb 07, 2012
So sad NEW
by: Barbara

How awful that the people with ultimate control over cats (and other animals) in sanctuaries can be so heartless and cruel. I can't help but contrast that with the way of working of the two rescue's that I am familiar with, Kays Hill and Cats Protection Wear Valley & Darlington where the cats are taken in and put into their new accomodation with all they need around them and then left to settle down before being further handled. Then those caring for them take the time to get to know and understand the cat and his/her temperament and only then do they try to match them up with a potential new cat guardian. Surely anyone who cares about animals can empathise with the fear the poor creatures must feel, it worries me that some people who work in shelters only do so because of the power that they hold over the animals. It's a sad, bad and cruel world.

Barbara avatar

Feb 06, 2012
How cruel !!! NEW
by: Ruth

Prodding caged cats with pens !!!
How cruel. Anyone testing a cat's temperament that way shouldn't be around cats !
It takes cats a while to adjust under normal circumstances. So how much more time they need when they've come from a home or from wandering the streets to being shut in a cage in a strange place with strange people handling them.
Naturally they are on the defensive.
How many cats are being killed for being aggressive when they are simply frightened out of their wits ?
Why on earth do people who don't understand cats in the least, work in shelters !
It seems to me that kill Shelters justify so many killings by blaming the cats temperament.

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

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