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Influence of social rank on defecating behaviors in feral cats


Feral cats,Felis catus, showed 2 different defecating behaviors: they buried feces or left then exposed on the ground. We studied the relationship between the spatial distribution of buried/exposed feces and body weight of the producers, using the bait-marking method. Disproportionally small numbers of feces were found in the core areas of home ranges. The proportion of exposed feces in the core area was not different from that outside the core area, either and was not correlated with body weight in either sex. Heavier male cats buried feces at higher frequencies at sites closer to the centers. Such relationships were not found for females. These results suggest that social rank influences defecating behaviors in male feral cats.

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Correspondence to Yasuko Ishida.

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Ishida, Y., Shimizu, M. Influence of social rank on defecating behaviors in feral cats. J. Ethol. 16, 15 (1998).

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  • Home Range
  • Core Area
  • Felis
  • Home Range Size
  • Social Rank