Identifying significant sources of noise and their effects on the behaviour and welfare of cats in animal shelters

Admittance in an animal shelter is often an intensely stressful experience for cats, leading to serious health and behaviour consequences impacting their welfare and adoptability. Recognizing, understanding, and minimizing factors that contribute to cat stress in shelters is an identified priority and ongoing challenge for shelter managers worldwide. A suitable acoustic environment is necessary to meet animal welfare and health needs. A cat’s sense of hearing is significantly more sensitive than humans making sound volumes commonly reported over 100 dB in shelters a cause for concern. This research project aims to address this problem by contributing research to a body of study that indicates shelter noise may be impacting cat welfare. We propose to conduct a multi-shelter study to classify sound in four varied BC SPCA animal shelters. Additionally, we will record behaviour of cats in conjunction with sound to monitor behavioural responses of varied cats to specific sources common in a shelter environment with the aim of understanding how cats are impacted by noise in an animal shelter.

Faculty Supervisor:

David Fraser


Bailey Eagan


British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals


Food science


Life sciences



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