The group will work together to test if the addition of a cat den within a larger holding kennel improves health outcomes for cats in a shelter environment. The clinical trial will take place at Dumb Friends League, with financial support provided by Morris Animal Foundation and EveryCat Health Foundation.
Shelter cats are especially vulnerable to stress-induced health problems such as upper respiratory infections. In addition, stress can make cats exhibit unwanted behaviors, including biting and scratching shelter staff members. Providing hiding spaces, such as cat dens, has been proposed as a way to reduce stress in cats. This study will measure whether the addition of this simple tool can positively impact outcomes for shelter cats.
“We're excited to participate in this unique collaboration,” said Dr. Kathy Tietje, Morris Animal Foundation Chief Program Officer. “This research project will provide valuable evidence for continuing to improve the health of cats in shelters.”
“EveryCat Health Foundation has a long history of investing in studies to help advance cat health and welfare worldwide,” said Dr. Dean Vicksman, President-elect of EveryCat Health Foundation. “This partnership is an extension of our work in the field of shelter medicine and welfare.
"Assisting cats who are temporarily living in shelters helps them move into homes more rapidly. Finding new ways to alleviate stress during their housing transition is paramount to advancing this process.”
"We're excited to be conducting a field trial of this simple, but potentially powerful, intervention," said Katie Parker, Vice President of Sheltering at Dumb Friends League. "We know that improving health has a direct correlation with adoptability. Anything we can do to improve our cats' health is a win for everyone, but especially our cats."
About Morris Animal Foundation
Morris Animal Foundation’s mission is to bridge science and resources to advance the health of animals. Founded in 1948 and headquartered in Denver, the Foundation has invested more than $149 million to date in nearly 3,000 studies to advance the health and well-being of animals around the world. Learn more at morrisanimalfoundation.org.
About EveryCat Health Foundation
EveryCat Health Foundation is the only nonprofit focused solely on funding feline health studies internationally. Since 1968, EveryCat Health Foundation has been awarding grants for groundbreaking cat health research at more than 30 organizations worldwide. For further information and to learn how we continue to help every cat, every day, everywhere, visit www.everycat.org.
About Dumb Friends League
The Dumb Friends League cares for more than 22,000 homeless pets and horses each year and is a national model in animal welfare. Working toward its mission to end pet homelessness and animal suffering, the League is a strong and steadfast voice for those who cannot speak for themselves. Learn more about the programs and services the Dumb Friends League offers to its community at ddfl.org.