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Cat Enrichment

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Tevis Reynolds

on 11 January 2013

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Transcript of Cat Enrichment

Cat Enrichment Bibliography American Association of Feline Practitioners and the Cornell Feline Health Center. “Choosing and Caring for Your New Cat.” Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. Feline Health Center, 2007. Web. 10 Jan 2013.
ASPCA. “Behavior Changes in Aging Cats.” WebMD. Healthy Cats Guide, 2009. Web. 10 Jan 2013.
Discovery Communications. “Hunting.” Animal Planet. Cat Source, n.d. Web. 22 Nov 2012.
Strong, Kristin. “The Cat’s Meow: Designing an Enrichment Toy.” Science Buddies. Project Ideas, 7 Dec 2012. Web. 12 Dec 2012. Results The hypotheses was proved in that Prototype 4 received the most success. The other three prototypes would not be recommended for further use as enrichment toys for cats.
Sensory enrichment is a very good way to stimulate a bored cat; incorporating catnip in the Prototype helped catch the cat’s attention a lot more quickly by appealing to its’ sense of smell.
The data supports the claim that catnip calms the feline participants and stimulates the cat’s sense of smell. Prototype 3 is a ruler with a shoelace and bell; this prototype was completely safe and captured the cats’ attention for a considerable time. Prototype 3 The cats were very attentive to the stick, but the stick could be very dangerous and harmful to the cats’ health because of the glitter. Prototype 2 A simple dowel stick with a small cotton string pom-pom. Prototype 1 caught the cat’s attention, but it broke quickly. Further, Prototype 1 is considered a very dangerous enrichment toy for young and playful kittens. Prototype 1 Stormy is a stray cat of an unknown gender and age and breed . Stormy is a perfect cat for the experiment because he/she loved to play and socialize. Cat C (Stormy) A seventeen-year old long haired Himalayan mix. Thomas has a calm and sweet personality. Thomas prefers to relax rather than play and demonstrates symptoms of Feline Cognitive Dysfunction. Thus, Thomas is somewhat apprehensive around others. Cat B (Thomas) Procedure How to measure the time of experiment.

1) Once cat shows signs of interest start stopwatch.

2) Once cat walks away or does not show any sign of interest stop stopwatch. Procedure How to play with feline participants
1) Swing string or yarn by cat’s face, paws, or tail trying to almost frustrate the cat.
2) Once cat shows attention toward toy, start stopwatch.
3) Once cat walks away or shows no interest in Prototype stop stopwatch. Materials One bag of Cotton Balls
One bag of Glitter Sticks
One bag of Round Dowels
One spool of Ribbon
Stopwatch
One Ruler
Two Shoelaces
Greenies© Tuna Flavor Cat Treats
Cat Mouse Toy
Catnip
Small Cat Bell
Cotton Sock Experimental Design My Constants for Cat A is Prototype 1 & 2 and for Cat B & Cat C is Prototype 3&4.

My dependent variable is how much time the cat plays with the Prototypes.

My Independent variables is the feline participants who played with the prototypes. Data Analysis
(Representation of Projected Data on Table 1) Data Analysis
Table 1 (Time of play) Background Research Animal planet is an extraordinary site full of facts and theories. It is important to note, the theoretical aspect of the content suggests that the website’s information should be used with caution. Animal planet also contains interesting animal facts such as cat anatomy. In the “cat anatomy” section, there are numerous facts on cat body parts like the tail and eyes. I learned about specific cat anatomy of the paws and ears.

Reference:
Discovery Communications. “Hunting.” Animal Planet. Cat Source, n.d. Web. 22 Nov 2012. Hypotheses The outcome of my experiment will be a success by using safe, strong common household materials that are eye-catching to the cat . Furthermore, by incorporating sensory enrichment (ex.: bells, glitter, catnip) into the toy I will be able to stimulate the cat a lot longer. A Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine brochure claims active kitten behavior to be: a) responsive, b) rambunctious, and c) eager to join in play (American Association of Feline Practitioners and the Cornell Feline Center, 2007). If Prototype 4 has all of the necessary components for sensory enriched engagement, then this toy will gain the most attention from the feline research participants. Topic Explanation
I chose Cat behavior because of the interesting facts and opinions I learned from numerous websites and television shows. ScienceBuddies.org provided the idea for the cat behavior experiment project. I also found very interesting things about animal behavior and anatomy from Animal Planet’s website. I observed a cat for about two weeks; I observed closely how the cat used its’ instincts as if it was a wild-cat. Furthermore, I continued my research to create several specifically made enrichment toys for my science fair topic that will capitalize on cat instinctive behavior. Cameron Reynolds
6th Grade
Mrs. Williams Cat Behavior Conclusion The success of Prototype 4 proves my hypothesis and suggests the need for further development of a prototype that incorporates sensory stimulation for feline participants. Further, I expected greater success from the bell and glitter in regard to gaining the attention of Cat A, B, and C, but these materials were to no avail. Consequently, it is advisable that future prototypes include materials proven to gain the attention of cats through documented research studies. It is important to note, the back ground research helped me better understand the results of the experiment . Therefore, the data collected will provide toy companies with additional information to make highly beneficial and intellectually stimulating cat toys. Prototype 4 is a play mouse tied with a sock full of catnip. This prototype is the best prototype because it was the most successful in regard to play time. Prototype 4 Cat A (Shelly) is an 18 month declawed American- Shorthair cat with no mother, father or siblings. With no family Shelly lost most of her instincts. Furthermore, Shelly’s owners gave her little or no toys making her very destructive and stressed. Although Shelly’s personality is typically nice and sweet, without a way to release stress Shelly occasionally becomes unpredictable. Cat A (Shelley) Background Research “ A physically sound kitten is active, bright, responsive, rambunctious, and eager to join in play. Beware of a cat that frequently runs away and hides, or that appears lethargic and sleeps more than seems normal.”

Cat A ( Shelly ) is a wonderful example of a lethargic and easily frightened cat. Shelly also had a paralyzing fear of the outdoors because of several dramatic moments experienced in her early life. Furthermore, Shelly would run underneath a chair at any time of stress or fear; so, it may be difficult at times to prompt Shelly to fully engage in play with the prototypes.

Reference:
American Association of Feline Practitioners and the Cornell Feline Health Center. “Choosing and Caring for Your New Cat.” Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. Feline Health Center, 2007. Web. 10 Jan 2013. Background Research
WebMD (2009) states the following information in regard to the affects of aging on cat behavior:
“As they age, cats often suffer a decline in functioning, including their cognitive functioning. It’s estimated that cognitive decline-referred to as feline cognitive dysfunction, or FCD-affects more than 55% of cats aged 11 to 15 years and more than 80% of cats aged 16 to 20 years. Memory, ability to learn, awareness, and sight and hearing perception can all deteriorate in cats affected with FCD. This deterioration can cause disturbances in sleeping patterns, disorientation or reduced activity. It can make cats forget previously learned habits they once knew well, such as the location of the litter box or their food bowls. It can increase their anxiety and tendency to react aggressively. It can also change their social relationships with you and with other pets in your home. Understanding the changes your cat is undergoing can help you compassionately and effectively deal with behavior problems that may arise in her senior years. (ASPCA)”

Thus, Cat C ( Thomas ) has the possibility of having a condition known as Feline Cognitive Dysfunction or FCD which causes the cat’s learned habits to deteriorate with age. Furthermore, by having FCD, Cat C is expected to quickly lose interest in the prototypes. It is may also prove that Cat C will show little interest in catnip, treats, and affection.

Reference:
ASPCA. “Behavior Changes in Aging Cats.” WebMD. Healthy Cats Guide, 2009. Web. 10 Jan 2013. Background Research Science buddies is a wonderful site to find numerous topics for Science fairs ranging from Aerodynamics to sociology. This is a perfect place for project ideas and information. I learned about the history and behavior of common domesticated cats from this website. I also watched an interesting video about behavior and how to collect data. The site also shows helpful movies and articles.

Reference:
Strong, Kristin. “The Cat’s Meow: Designing an Enrichment Toy.” Science Buddies. Project Ideas, 7 Dec 2012. Web. 12 Dec 2012. Purpose The main purpose of the experiment is to create an enrichment toy for a cat who had no toys. The cat, Shelly, has declawed paws which make it hard for her to use the litter box and to play with gritty toys. Furthermore, making a toy for Shelly would be a challenge because a cat’s paws are full of sensors that are painful or itchy when touched. I will have to create a sensory enrichment toy to enhance the cat’s instincts.
The question I am trying to answer in the experiment is: What type of material will hold the cat’s attention the longest and is the most comfortable for declawed cats? Further, I will have to consider the sensitivity of the cat’s paws. I will also have to find a material that will not break easily and will be safe for the cat. A cat’s instincts are very important; so, I will try to enhance the cat’s predator-like instincts.
The knowledge I will learn will help other families who are considering buying a cat. Additionally, my research will benefit toy companies through referencing the results of my experiment during the planning and construction of declawed cat toys. I expect Shelly to benefit through having a toy and to alter her undesirable behavior. As stated previously, Shelly, a declawed cat, had difficulty walking and defending herself. Furthermore, Shelly did not have many toys which caused her to be destructive and mischievous at times, and the new toy will help her become a better conditioned, domesticated household pet. Procedure How to make Prototype 1
1) Glue two cotton balls together.
2) Wrap glitter stick around cotton balls.
3) Wrap other end of glitter stick on the dowel stick.

How to make Prototype 2
1) Wrap three to four glitter sticks around a dowel stick.

How to make Prototype 3
1) Tie a shoelace around a ruler.
2) Tie the small bell on other end of ruler.

How to make Prototype 4
1) Tie shoelace onto the cat mouse toy.
2) Put catnip in sock.
3) Tie catnip sock with shoelace.
4) Attach small bell onto shoelace.
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