Glossary: Header

Glossary of Terms

Glossary: Text


• A •




Abandoning a pet refers to the act of leaving an animal without making any arrangements for its well-being, often in a way that leaves the pet at risk of harm, injury, or death. This can involve intentionally leaving the animal in a public place, neglecting it in a home or yard without necessary provisions, or releasing it into the wild. Abandonment exposes pet to extreme vulnerability, as well as them potentially feeling distressed and confused.


• B •




An individual or organization that selectively breeds puppies or kittens with the goal of producing offspring with specific desirable traits or characteristics.


• E •




Euromonitor International


• F •



Feral animals:

Same domesticated species as pet cats (Felis catus) and dogs (Canis lupus familiaris or Canis familiaris), but are not socialized to humans or habituated to the domestic environment i.e. they have had little or no positive human interaction during their socialization period of two to seven weeks of age. They are generally free living as single or colony cats with little or no direct human interaction or dependency and often avoid direct human contact. They essentially behave as wild animals.


• L •



Lost pet:

A pet that has become separated from its owner and is unable to find its way back home or be reunited with its owner


• M •



Mars CMI:

Mars Consumer & Marketing Insights


• N •




Neutering (for males and females), castration (for males) or spaying (for females), also known as sterilization,or desexing, is the surgical removal of reproductive organs, performed by a veterinarian. This prevents the animal from breeding


• O •



Owned pet:

A socialized companion animal that is under the care, responsibility, and ownership of a human individual or household. Owned pets are typically domesticated, living in a human home environment or ina  community setting.


• P •



Pet homelessness:

Pet homelessness in this project refers to dogs and cats that do not receive the sustained human care they need to thrive. These pets may be living on the streets, in shelters, or with temporary caregivers.

Pet welfare:

Pet welfare refers to the well-being and humane treatment of domesticated animals, like dogs, cats, and other companion animals. It encompasses a range of moral, ethical and, in some cases, legal principles and practices aimed at ensuring that animals are treated with care, compassion, and respect, and that their physical and emotional needs are met.

Primary research:

The process of collecting original data directly from individuals, sources, or the environment for a specific research purpose. This type of research involves first-hand investigation and is tailored to address the specific research questions or objectives of a study.


• R •



Rehomed pet:

A pet that has been given up and needs to find a new owner, typically when the original owner is no longer able to care for it. Reasons for rehoming can include moving to a new home that doesn't allow pets, financial difficulties, changes in the owner's lifestyle or health, or inability to look after the pet due to behavioral or health issues. Rehoming can take place through various channels, including animal shelters, rescue organizations, or directly between individuals.


To relinquish a pet means to voluntarily give up ownership of a pet, typically surrendering it to a shelter, rescue organization, or sometimes finding a new home for the pet through a direct adoption process.

Responsible pet ownership:

The commitment to the responsibility of providing for the animal’s welfare needs for the life of the pet. Pets should be fed appropriate amounts of nutritionally complete and balanced food, have continuous access to fresh water, regular access to veterinary care and have plenty of opportunities for physical activity and interaction with humans and other pets. It is also owners' responsibility that pets owned by them not also receive sustained care but also they are well trained and behave properly without causing a problem to other pets, humans and the environment.


• S •



Secondary research:

Secondary research involves the collection and analysis of existing data, literature, and information that has been previously gathered by others for a purpose other than the current research project.

Shelter pet:

A dog or cat that is housed in a rescue center/shelter. Shelter pets have been typically rescued from various situations, such as strays that have been relinquished or abandoned or situations of cruelty.

Stray pet:

A companion animal that is socialized and previously has been a pet, cared for by humans, typically in a home, but now free-living. Stray pets may have become lost or abandoned and usually do not receive sustained care. They have some direct human contact and tolerance and may be fed and provided for to some extent.

Street or Community animals:

Free-living as single or colony cats/pack dogs. Usually, street animals have some direct human contact and tolerance and a limited degree of socialization. They may be fed and provided for to some extent.

Sustained care:

Sustained care refers to the pet owner/caregiver’s long-term commitment to the physical and emotional well-being of a pet throughout its life.


• U •



Uncontrolled breeding:

Uncontrolled breeding refers to a situation where animals are allowed to breed without any intentional efforts to manage or regulate their reproduction. It often leads to overpopulation, contributing to issues such as pet homelessness, strain on animal shelters, and potential health problems for both the parent animals and their offspring.

Unplanned breeding:

Unplanned breeding refers to situations where the breeding occurs without the deliberate intention of the owner. This may happen due to accidental mating, insufficient preventive measures, or a lack of awareness regarding the reproductive capabilities of the pets. It can lead to overpopulation, relinquishment, or abandonment.