The finding shows how profoundly captivity can affect certain animals. While genetics help to explain some aspects of personality and behavior, an individual’s environment clearly is a factor too.
“Our findings underline the high influence of human presence and care on the amount of activity and daily rhythm in cats,” concluded Giuseppe Piccione and colleagues of the University of Messina’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine.
For the Journal of Veterinary Behavior study, the researchers studied two groups of cats. Each group received excellent care, in terms of food, medical attention and grooming. The owners of all the cats worked during the day and returned home in the evenings.
The first group of cats, however, lived in smaller homes and stayed closer to their owners. The second group lived more of an indoor/outdoor lifestyle on larger property. These cats were also kept outside at night.