JAVMA News logo

July 01, 2021

In Short

Published on
information-circle This article is more than 3 years old

Cats really like boxes, real or imagined

Cat in a boxA citizen science project found that cats will sit within an optical illusion of a box as readily as they will sit in an actual box and similar square-shaped objects.

As detailed in the Applied Animal Behaviour Science study published this July, participants taped paper shapes to the floor to create three options: the Kanizsa illusion, with Pac-Man shapes facing inward at four corners to create the optical illusion of a box; the actual outline of a square; and a control using Pac-Man shapes facing outward. Participants recorded their cats’ reactions to the stimuli over six days.

Although only 30 participants completed all the trials—with attrition being one of the shortcomings of citizen science studies, researchers noted—nine cats selected at least one stimulus by sitting within the contours, illusory or otherwise, with all limbs for at least three seconds.

“This study revealed that cats selected the Kanizsa illusion just as often as the square and more often than the control, indicating that domestic cats may treat the subjective Kanizsa contours as they do real contours,” according to the abstract.

EveryCat Health Foundation awards $300,000 for feline health studies

In May, the EveryCat Health Foundation, formerly the Winn Feline Foundation, announced $304,100 in funding for the following feline health studies.

  • “Whole exome sequencing to identify candidate gene and immunotherapy treatment options in feline oral squamous cell carcinoma.”
  • “Feline peritoneal- and ascites-associated macrophages in health and in cats with feline infectious peritonitis: Leveraging an anticoronaviral clinical trial.”
  • “Development of a rapid CRISPR CasRx diagnostic tool for feline infectious peritonitis.”
  • “Effects of early life experiences on later problematic behaviors in rescued, fostered, shelter kittens.”
  • “Use of a liposome–toll-like receptor complex (LTC) immune stimulant in the treatment of effusive FIP—A clinical trial.”
  • “Intestinal S100/calgranulin expression in cats with chronic enteropathy—Paving the way for novel non-invasive biomarkers and pathway-specific treatment options.”
  • “Glucagon-like peptide 2 in cats with inflammatory bowel disease.”
  • “Creation of a feline living bioarchive and feline induced pluripotent stem cells for use in investigations into feline tooth resorption & other feline diseases.”
  • “Hormonal regulation of appetite in cats with and without chronic kidney disease.”
  • “PPARα as metabolic target to restore intestinal permeability in an intestinal organoid model of feline diabetic enteropathy.”
  • “D-dimer isolation and analysis of immunoreactivity in dogs, cats and horses.”
  • “Development of a questionnaire for the detection of cognitive decline in elderly cats.”
  • “Determining the in vitro intrinsic clearance (feline microsomes) and in vivo pharmacokinetic profile of remdesivir in cats with naturally occurring feline infectious peritonitis (FIP).”
  • “Determining the clinical efficacy and safety of remdesivir for the treatment of naturally occurring feline infectious peritonitis.”

Donate books, journals, and supplies

Veterinarians and students in foreign countries can make use of the unused textbooks, journals, instruments, equipment, and other supplies cluttering many veterinary clinics in the United States.

The AVMA maintains a list of individuals and organizations that collect contributions for various countries. Potential donors should call or email contacts on the list directly.

Individuals or organizations that collect contributions may inquire about being added to the list or updating their listing by calling 800-248-2862, ext. 6754, or emailing asureshatavma [dot] org (asuresh[at]avma[dot]org).

Please send comments and story ideas to JAVMANewsatavma [dot] org (JAVMANews[at]avma[dot]org).