Open Journal Systems


Karina Preising Aptekmann, Leticia Leal Oliveira, Graziela Barioni





We aimed to identify behavioral changes or welfare impairments in cats in response to home isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Brazil, as well as the emotional role these animals may play with their owners. Online questionnaires were answered by 419 cat’s owners in Brazil, who reported changes in the household routine because of to the COVID-19 pandemic. The questions addressed information about the cat in the household, the tutor-cat relationship, the feline behavior, the environment, and the changes occurred in the face of social isolation. It was evident that changes in people's routines were frequent and staying longer at home was the change most reported by the study participants. Thus, cats were left alone for less time compared to the period before the quarantine, which led to an increase in the amount of time that owners spent playing or paying attention to their cats. The quarantine period generated minimal undesirable behavioral changes in the cats, and the fact that the owners stayed home longer contributed to reducing these changes. The fact that a cat could become infected by SARS-CoV-2 was known by less than half of the interviewees, which did not influence any owner to think of getting rid of their cat. We highlight that feline companionship was considered by their owners as beneficial, as it helped them cope with the quarantine period, and allowed for increased affectionate bonds between the owners and their cats, also reflecting in a perception of greater happiness from their cats.


feline behavior; lockdown; pandemic; SARS-CoV-2; welfare

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