New campaign sets to improve health of shelter cats

New campaign sets to improve health of shelter cats

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May 16, 2009
By dvm360.com staff
Denver -- Shelter cats suffer from a wide variety of conditions like upper respiratory disease and ringworm. To address these problems, Morris Animal Foundation's (MAF) Helping Shelters Help Cats program is funding three new research studies.

Part of MAF's Happy Healthy Cat Campaign, the studies set out to increase awareness of feline health issues.

The first study will provide funding to Dr. Kate Hurley, director of the Koret Shelter Medicine Program at the University of California-Davis to study risk factors that increase upper respiratory infection outbreaks in shelters, and to develop practical, affordable methods to improve shelter cat health.

Researchers in the second study will combine expertise from the United States, Canada and Australia to analyze the shelter conditions that cause emotional distress. This study seeks to develop behavior interventions to minimize upper respiratory infections.

The third and final study will be conducted at the Ohio State University, where veterinary researchers will identify ways to increase the safety and comfort of shelters to improve overall health and increase adoption rates.

All three studies were made possible through an anonymous donor to MAF in honor of all veterinarians and veterinary staff to increase the health and well-being of shelter cats, according to MAF.