Finkler H, Gunther I, Terkel J: Behavioral differences between urban feeding groups of neutered and sexually intact free-roaming cats following a trap-neuter-return procedure, J Am Vet Med Assoc 238:1141, 2011.
This study examined the behavioral differences between 184 free-roaming cats living in 4 feeding groups in urban Israel during a 1-year observational period. Trap-neuter-return (TNR) procedures were applied to 2 feeding groups. Subsequently, their social and feeding behaviors and frequency of appearance at feeding time were compared to the 2 unneutered cat groups. It has been suggested that these groups are not merely casual aggregations but constitute defined social groups. There was a lower rate of agonistic (aggressive) interactions in the neutered groups than in the unneutered groups. It was also noted that sexually intact male cats participated in more agonistic male-male encounters than did neutered male cats. One group of neutered cats appeared earlier and at a higher frequency of feeding and appearance at the feeding site, compared to unneutered cats. The decreased aggressive behavior observed in neutered males resulted in reduced fighting and vocalization, potentially leading to fewer injuries and reduced transmission of fight-related infectious diseases. When situations for competition for food occurred, the neutered cats in this study were better adapted to the feeding times and thus gained better access to the food than did the unneutered cats. There were almost no agonistic encounters between neutered-neutered male cats noted which may have enhanced the ability of visiting cats to integrate into the feeding groups. [VT]