Characteristics of the human-animal bond can be influenced by both owner-related and pet-related factors, which likely differ between species. Three studies adapted the Monash Dog-Owner Relationship Scale (MDORS) to permit assessment of human-cat interactions as perceived by the cat's owner. In Study 1293 female cat owners completed a modified version of the MDORS, where 'dog' was replaced with 'cat' for all items. Responses were compared with a matched sample of female dog owners. A partial least squares discriminant analysis revealed systematic differences between cat and dog owners in the Dog (Cat)-Owner Interaction subscale (MDORS subscale 1), but not for Perceived Emotional Closeness or Perceived Costs (Subscales 2 and 3). Study 2 involved analysis of free-text descriptions of cat-owner interactions provided by 61 female cat owners. Text mining identified key words which were used to create additional questions for a new Cat-Owner Interaction subscale. In Study 3, the resulting cat-owner relationship scale (CORS) was tested in a group of 570 cat owners. The main psychometric properties of the scale, including internal consistency and factor structure, were evaluated. We propose that this scale can be used to accurately assess owner perceptions of their relationship with their cat. A modified scale, combining items from the CORS and MDORS (a C/DORS), is also provided for when researchers would find it desirable to compare human-cat and human-dog interactions.
Keywords: CORS; Cat; Dog; Human-animal bond; MDORS; Owner.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.