Dr. Tony Buffington, DVM, Requesting Survey Takers for Feline Home Environmental Study

Jazmine and Kizmet are my poster cats for Dr. Buffington’s Feline Home Environmental Study.

Feline enrichment is a subject dear to my heart. The correlation between providing our feline friends a stimulating and enriching environment befitting their instinctual nature in relation to their happiness, health, and well-being is significant, especially considering most cats now live indoors for their safety.

We humans as their entrusted caretakers provide them with everything they need – food, water, shelter, and more. They no longer need to hunt for survival, which is one of their primary means to release pent up energy and keep their minds and bodies fit and sharp. Without proper environmental enrichment, cats are suspectable to obesity, heart disease, dental disease, gastrointestinal disease, kidney disease, thyroid disease, and diabetes. They can also become bored, which often results in behavioral problems, such as litter box issues.

I’ve written several pieces on the subject, including the article “Is Your Cat Feeling Stir Crazy? 10 Tips to Relieve Feline Boredom in an Everyday Environment,” which won the Fear Free Pets Cat Enrichment award last year at the Cat Writers’ Association conference. My award-winning book, Makin’ Biscuits – Weird Cat Habits and the Even Weirder Habits of the Humans Who Love Them is also devoted to understanding cat behavior, which is intrinsically tied to cat enrichment.

Dr. Tony Buffington, DVM

When Dr. Tony Buffington, DVM, Ph.D., DACVN, Emeritus Professor of Veterinary Clinical Sciences at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine and devoted champion to feline-enrichment and the feline-human bond contacted me to see if I could help him share a feline home environmental study he and colleague, Dr. Mikel Delgado, are working on, I jumped at the chance.

I had the pleasure of hearing Dr. Buffington and Dr. Delgado speak at the Purina 2015 Better With Pets Summit in Brooklyn, NY. Both are highly accredited and widely respected professionals devoted to the health and well-being of cats and the results from the survey will be used to refine their environmental recommendations to improve the health and welfare of both healthy and affected cats. If you are18 years of age or older and your cat is between 1 and 10 years of age, please click here to complete the survey. 

If you have more than one cat, they are asking you use whichever cat whose name is closest to the beginning of the alphabet, so for me and my gang of seven, Jazmine ended up being the sample study, as she met the age criteria and her name was the first in line. And while they are very interested in cats younger than a year and older than 10, for this study they are asking for cats between 1 and 10 because the patterns of disease in these groups differ somewhat from adults, so they will look at these groups separately sometime in the future.

The survey only takes a few minutes, but the results could be far-reaching to the improvement of feline enrichment, health, and well-being for years to come. And please be honest with your answers, too. Don’t pick what you think would be the best answer for your cat, but rather the answer that best defines the world you currently share with your cat. Because this is a long-term study, the results will not be published until sometime 2020 or later. Thank you and please share with your cat-minded friends far and wide!


Dr. Tony Buffington is an Emeritus Professor of Veterinary Clinical Sciences at the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Dr. Mikel Delgado is a Certified at Behavior Consultant and Co-Owner of Feline Minds, offering consulting, training, and support related to cat behavior for cat guardians, animal shelters, rescue groups, and other organizations.


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  1. I took it, and then I shared it on Facebook, and tagged everyone I know who has cats 1-10 years old. Most of my friends have seniors like me! If Tylan weren’t here, we wouldn’t quality. 😉

  2. Charles Huss says:

    I took the test. I hope something useful comes of it.

  3. I filled out this survey and shared it with fosters in our rescue. I was looking to find out more about it and also share it on The Creative Cat. Half of my household qualifies, and the other half is napping.

  4. meowmeowmans says:

    We’ll take the survey now. We sure hope some good findings and applications come out of it!

  5. jmuhj says:

    Thanks for sharing the survey with us — I was glad to take it and hope it helps cats!

  6. Ellen Pilch says:

    Looks like Brody will be taking the survey here 🙂

  7. We did the survey Miss Deb. It turns out Dot was the Chosen One!

    Hope you are feeling a lot better.

  8. ERin the cat says:

    We took the questionnaire and hope it helps.
    Lots of purrs

  9. Thanks for telling us about the survey we will make Mom fill it out for us.

  10. just finished the survey!

  11. Eeek…I must not have read the instructions carefully, what a jerk I am!! Cody is almost 12 and that is the reason the drop down menu only went to 10…….I didn’t realize..what an idiot! I left them a comment saying the drop down only went to 10. Oh geeze, how embarrassing. Well, my survey was a total waste (other than from the standpoint that some female cat owners who are 63 yrs old are idiots!!) lol