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Maddie's Insights webcast February 9, 2023: Short-Term Foster Programs for Shelter Cats: Beneficial or Problematic?

  • 1.  Maddie's Insights webcast February 9, 2023: Short-Term Foster Programs for Shelter Cats: Beneficial or Problematic?

    Posted 01-03-2023 11:56 AM

    Join us on the second Thursday every month for a series on the latest research in animal well-being and how you can use the findings in your shelter and community. This first webinar was presented by Dr.  @Kristyn Vitale , the lead author on a new study exploring shelter cat foster programs.

    Watch the recording here

    This webcast was recorded on Thursday, February 9 at noon Pacific / 2pm Central / 3pm Eastern

    Every year millions of cats enter animal shelters in the U.S. alone. Interventions are greatly needed that have the potential to reduce cat stress and increase cat welfare while in the shelter environment. Although dog foster programs have become commonplace for many animal shelters, cat foster programs are relatively uncommon, potentially due to the belief that cats may be at risk of unnecessary stress from the fostering experience. In the study, researchers examined the social behavior and stress levels of cats that stayed in the shelter to cats that left the shelter for short-term foster, either for 1-night or 1-week. The results of the study indicate that shelter cats placed in foster care were not at a disadvantage. These findings can benefit both cats and animal shelters alike. Viewers will learn more about the study and how to apply the findings of the research to help reduce stress and promote welfare for cats living in animal shelters. The research discussed in this webinar was made possible by a grant from Maddie's Fund®, #ThankstoMaddie.

    After watching the webcast, join us right here to comment or ask questions.

    This webinar was 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.

    This program has been approved for 1 hour of continuing education credit in jurisdictions which recognize RACE approval.

    About the presenter

    Dr. Vitale received a Ph.D. in Animal Science from Oregon State University and a Master's in Environmental Science from Miami University. She holds a B.S. in Zoology and a B.A. in Social Geography from Kent State University. Her areas of specialization are animal behavior and human-animal interaction. Her research focuses specifically on domestic cat behavior, cat social cognition, and the cat-human relationship. She has worked professionally with cats for over 15 years. During her graduate career she was a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, a Visiting Research Fellow at Kyoto University in Japan, and Maddie's Postdoctoral Scholar. Her research on cat behavior and human-animal interaction has been published in multiple peer-reviewed journals. Her innovative research has generated significant international attention from media outlets including Science, National Geographic, The New York Times, and The Times of London. She has taught a variety of courses on animal behavior and welfare, including courses focused on enrichment, learning, and behavior modification. She is also a cat trainer who has taught kitten training classes and offered socialization opportunities to cats of all ages. She is an active public speaker and is frequently invited to present at professional associations and to the general public.  


    alison gibson
    Senior Media Specialist
    Maddie's Fund

  • 2.  RE: Maddie's Insights webcast February 9, 2023: Short-Term Foster Programs for Shelter Cats: Beneficial or Problematic?

    Posted 02-09-2023 03:12 PM

    Thank you to everyone who attended today! 

    Kristyn Vitale
    Assistant Professor of Animal Health and Behavior
    Unity College