DATE: February 8, 2017
TIME: 10:30am PT, 1:30pm ET
The cat remains an important comparative species for studying the long-term safety and efficacy of emergent medical modalities, such as gene and stem cell therapies for correcting degenerative diseases. Many spontaneous mutations have been characterized in breed cats, and some key feline genetic disease models are now actively maintained in research colonies. Accurate diagnosis and control of endemic feline infectious diseases is important to reduce morbidity and mortality, as well as to limit confounding factors that could compromise research studies. The impacts of common feline pathogens on cat colony health will be discussed, as well as management options for controlling and eliminating endemic diseases. The use of assisted reproductive technologies in cats to prevent and break cycles of transmission of some pernicious viral agents will be covered. The collection and cryopreservation of viable gametes and embryos also provides an important protection against loss of important models due to disease or disaster. In addition, measures to accommodate the specific social and behavioral needs of cats will be presented both in the context of reproductive management and social well-being. Group housing designs and management options to maximize social interactions and minimize opportunities for aggression and injury will be discussed as well. This presentation should benefit participants with an interest in comparative laboratory animal medicine who are establishing or working with feline research models.