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Effects of age and appearance on shelter stay

Brown WP, Morgan KT. Age, Breed Designation, Coat Color, and Coat Pattern Influenced Length of Stay of Cats at a No-Kill Shelter. J Appl Anim Welf Sci.  2015 Apr-Jun; 18(2):169-80.

This study centered on a no-kill shelter in New York state. The investigators examined adoption records to see if various physical attributes contributed to the length of stay in the shelter. The average length of stay was approximately 2 months.

Younger lighter-colored cats generally were adopted more quickly than older more darkly colored cats. Yellow cats had the greatest length of stay. Interestingly, coat color did not influence length of stay for kittens. However, coat patterns and breed designation did have an influence. Siamese kittens had the shortest stay, while domestic shorthairs had the longest. Additionally, those with torbie coat patterns had the shortest length of stay, while those with a tuxedo pattern had the longest among cats. Among kittens, tabbies had shorter length of stay than did those with bicolor pattern. Male cats and kittens had a shorter length of stay than females.

Efforts to understand the physical and behavioral characteristics that contribute to length of stay among cats and to then identify and implement strategies to reduce it are under way. (MK)

See also:
Litster A, Allen J, et al. Risk factors for delays between intake and veterinary approval for adoption on medical grounds in shelter puppies and kittens. Prev Vet Med. 2011 Aug 1;101(1-2):107-12.