Every Cat Logo


MT03-006: Non-Traditional Housing, Stress, and Rates of Upper Respiratory Disease In Cats in an Animal Shelter

Many animal shelters are replacing traditional cages in their adoption areas with non-traditional “kitty condos” or communal rooms. Proponents of non-traditional housing cite reduced stress, a more natural environment, increased adoptions, and reduced incidence of upper respiratory tract disease (URTD) as advantages. Others point to difficulties in cleaning, stress for shy cats, outbreaks of infectious disease and problems with disease and behavior detection. Scientifically designed studies comparing the stress levels, behavior, and risk of URTD in traditional versus non-traditional housing have not been conducted. The objective of this study is to evaluate the risks and benefits associated with the type of housing in an animal shelter.

Grant ID: MT03-006

Status: Active

Year Funded: 2003

Amount awarded: $20,154

Investigator: Janet Scarlett, Katherine Houpt, Pamela Perry; Cornell University