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Webcast:Maddie's® Insights: Gabapentin and Behavior Modification for Shelter Cats - 12/1/22

  • 1.  Webcast:Maddie's® Insights: Gabapentin and Behavior Modification for Shelter Cats - 12/1/22

    Posted 10-11-2022 11:46 AM

    Maddie's® Insights are monthly webcasts with practical tips based on current research to help pets and people. This month's webinar is presented by Dr. Karen van Haaften, DACVB, and Bailey Eagan, MSc, PhD Student.

    Thursday, December 1, 2022 at 12noon Pacific / 3pm Eastern (1 hour)

    Cats entering shelters often experience fear, anxiety, and stress while in care. Mitigating negative states in cats is critical to their health and well-being, especially in populations of fearful cats that are already at risk for poor outcomes. One particularly at-risk population are fearful cats rescued from animal hoarding environments. In this presentation, results will be shared from a new study assessing using a standardized behavior modification program and daily gabapentin administration to treat fearful cats from hoarding environments. Further, instructions and resources for conducting behavior modification in shelters will be shared, along with a summary of a growing body of research and in-shelter experience demonstrating that many fearful cats from hoarding environments are treatable in shelters and can have positive outcomes in homes.

    Register here

    After the webcast, join us right here on Maddie's Pet Forum to continue the discussion or ask questions.

    This webinar will be recorded and has been pre-approved for 1.0 Certified Animal Welfare Administrator continuing education credits by The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement and by the National Animal Care & Control Association.


    Dr. Karen van Haaften, DACVB, Veterinary Behaviorist, Behavioral Sciences Team, ASPCA (Canada)

    Dr. Karen van Haaften holding a white dog

    Dr. Karen van Haaften, DACVB, graduated with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the Ontario Veterinary College in 2009. She spent 5 years in clinical small animal practice and developed a special interest in clinical behavior. In 2014, she was selected for a residency in Clinical Animal Behavior at the University of California at Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital. During her residency, she studied the effects of oral gabapentin on reducing signs of stress in cats with a history of fearful or aggressive behavior during veterinary exams. After completing her residency in 2017, Dr. van Haaften joined the British Columbia SPCA as the Senior Manager of Behavior & Welfare, a position which she held for 5 years.

    Bailey Eagan, MSc, PhD Student, University of British Columbia will not be available to join the live webcast but contributed to this research.

    Bailey Eagan holding a small dog

    Bailey Eagan is a PhD student specializing in animal behavior and welfare in animal shelters. Bailey has a particular interest in conducting applied animal behavior and welfare research and incorporating research findings into animal shelter practice. Bailey's current work focuses on anxiety-medication use in behavioral treatment plans of shelter animals.


    alison gibson
    Senior Media Specialist
    Maddie's Fund