Cage size, movement in and out of housing during daily care, and other environmental and population health risk factors for feline upper respiratory disease in nine North American animal shelters
by Denae C. Wagner, Philip H. Kass, Kate F. Hurley
Upper respiratory infection (URI) is not an inevitable consequence of sheltering homeless cats. This study documents variation in risk of URI between nine North American shelters; determines whether this reflects variation in pathogen frequency on intake or differences in transmission and expression of disease; and identifies modifiable environmental and group health factors linked to risk for URI. This study demonstrated that although periodic introduc- tion of pathogens into shelter populations may be inevitable, disease resulting from those pathogens is not. Housing and care of cats, particularly during their first week of stay in an animal shelter environment, significantly affects the rate of upper respiratory infection.
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