Laboratory Animal Medicine

Laboratory Animal Medicine (Third Edition)

American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine
2015, Pages 555-576
Laboratory Animal Medicine

Chapter 13 - Biology and Diseases of Cats rights and content

Domestic cats (Felis cattus) comprise a small (2%) percentage of the non-rodent animals used in biomedical research. In 2011, 21,700 cats of a total 1,134,693 non-rodent animals were used in research (APHIS, 2011). According to the National Research Council Committee on Scientific and Humane Issues in the Use of Random Source Dogs and Cats in Research (National Research Council, 2009), peak use of cats occurred in 1974. Since that time, the number of cats used in research has fallen by 71%, with more than 98% of those cats being purpose bred for research. Cats are a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) covered species with special housing requirements defined in the Animal Welfare Act and the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (NRC, 2011). At the request of congress, a committee of experts formed by the National Research Council examined the use of random source dogs and cats and concluded that obtaining dogs and cats from Class B dealers is not necessary for NIH funded research (National Research Council, 2009). While the number of cats used in biomedical research has declined, cats continue to contribute uniquely to biomedical science and are valuable research model for several disciplines, including aspects of neurology involved in locomotion and spinal trauma, retrovirus and zoonotic disease research, and for developing therapeutic strategies for inherited diseases.


infectious disease
inherited disease


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