Show simple record

dc.contributor.authorMartens, P.
dc.contributor.authorEnders-Slegers, M-J.
dc.contributor.authorWalker, Jessica
dc.description.abstractThere is a growing body of scientific evidence supporting the existence of emotions in nonhuman animals. Companion-animal owners show a strong connection and attachment to their animals and readily assign emotions to them. In this paper we present information on how the attachment level of companion-animal owners correlates with their attribution of emotions to their companion cat or dog and their attribution of mirrored emotions. The results of an online questionnaire, completed by 1,023 Dutch-speaking cat and/or dog owners (mainly in the Netherlands and Belgium), suggest that owners attribute several emotions to their pets. Respondents attributed all posited basic (anger, joy [happiness], fear, surprise, disgust, and sadness) and complex (shame, jealousy, disappointment, and compassion) emotions to their companion animals, with a general trend toward basic emotions (with the exception of sadness) being more commonly attributed than complex emotions. All pet owners showed strong attachment to their companion animal(s), with the degree of attachment (of both cat and dog owners) varying significantly with education level and gender. Owners who ascribed human characteristics to their dog or cat also scored higher on the Pet Bonding Scale (PBS). Finally, owners who found it pleasant to pet their dog or cat had a higher average PBS score than those who did not like to do so. The relationship between owners’ attributions of mirrored emotions and the degree of attachment to dogs was significant for all emotions, whilst for cats this relationship was significant only for joy, sadness, surprise, shame, disappointment, and compassion.en_NZ
dc.publisherInforma UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Groupen_NZ
dc.rights© 2016 The Author(s) This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.en_NZ
dc.subjectcats (Felis catus)en_NZ
dc.subjectcompanion animalsen_NZ
dc.subjectdogs (Canis familiaris)en_NZ
dc.titleThe emotional lives of companion animals : attachment and subjective claims by owners of cats and dogsen_NZ
dc.typeJournal Articleen_NZ
dc.subject.marsden060801 Animal Behaviouren_NZ
dc.identifier.bibliographicCitationMartens, P., Enders-Slegers, M-J., & Walker, J. (2016). The Emotional Lives of Companion Animals: Attachment and Subjective Claims by Owners of Cats and Dogs. Anthrozoos, 29 (1), pp.73-88. doi:10.1080/08927936.2015.1075299en_NZ
dc.contributor.affiliationUnitec Institute of Technologyen_NZ
dc.contributor.affiliationMaastricht Universityen_NZ
dc.contributor.affiliationOpen University (Heerlen, Netherlands)en_NZ
unitec.institution.studyareaNatural Sciences

Files in this item


This item appears in

Show simple record

© Unitec Institute of Technology, Private Bag 92025, Victoria Street West, Auckland 1142