Cat sociality and welfare
I am fascinated by the social world of our companion animals. For most species, including humans, our primary interactions are with members of our own species. Our cats and dogs live in a very different world: they need to understand humans and other cats and dogs as well. Thus, their social lives cross species boundaries in a way that is really unique among animals.
The primary way I explore the social world of cats is by examining the social behavior of cats housed at the SPCA Serving Erie County. My research teams observes social interactions, body language, and the space use of cats during their time at the shelter. Through this research we hope to gain a better understanding of how cats interact with each other and how we can help them stress less in the shelter environment.
Suchak, M. and *Lamica, J. (2018). A comparison of cats (Felis silvestris catus) housed in groups and single cages at a shelter: A retrospective matched cohort study. Animals, 8, 29-43.
Suchak, M., *Piombino, M., and *Bracco, K. (2016). Predictors of sociability in colony housed shelter cats (Felis silvestris catus). Pet Behavior Science, 2, 24-33.