Effect of a synthetic feline facial pheromone product on stress scores and incidence of upper respiratory tract infection in shelter cats

Robin M. Chadwin, Melissa Bain, Philip H Kass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To determine whether a synthetic feline facial pheromone product would decrease stress scores and upper respiratory tract infection (URI) incidence in shelter-housed cats. DESIGN Randomized controlled clinical trial. ANIMALS 336 stray, feral, owner-relinquished, or legally impounded cats at 2 animal shelters in northern California. PROCEDURES 5 cat holding rooms (3 at shelter A and 2 at shelter B) were used. A diffuser containing either synthetic pheromone or placebo was randomly assigned to each room, and cats were exposed for a 21-day period. Data collected on each cat included signalment, daily stress scores, and daily URI incidence. After 21 days, diffusers were removed for a 7-day washout period. The type of diffuser in each room was switched, and data were collected for another 21 days. Findings were statistically compared between exposure types and other groupings. RESULTS Cox proportional hazard analysis revealed no significant difference between exposure (pheromone or placebo) and URI incidence. Mixed-effects ordinal logistic regression revealed no significant relationship between exposure and daily stress scores. Three covariates had significant ORs: number of days in holding (OR, 0.80; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.76 to 0.84), owner-relinquished versus stray (OR, 3.25; 95% CI, 1.18 to 8.94), and feral versus adult cat room at shelter A (OR, 11.10; 95% CI, 4.47 to 27.60). CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE No evidence was found that the evaluated synthetic feline facial pheromone product had any effect on stress scores or URI incidence in shelter-housed cats. Therefore, other established methods for stress and URI reduction should be used in shelter settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)413-420
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Volume251
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 15 2017

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Pheromones
Felidae
Respiratory Tract Infections
respiratory tract diseases
pheromones
Cats
cats
incidence
Incidence
diffusers
Confidence Intervals
confidence interval
Placebos
placebos
hazard characterization
randomized clinical trials
Randomized Controlled Trials
Logistic Models

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)

Cite this

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title = "Effect of a synthetic feline facial pheromone product on stress scores and incidence of upper respiratory tract infection in shelter cats",
abstract = "OBJECTIVE To determine whether a synthetic feline facial pheromone product would decrease stress scores and upper respiratory tract infection (URI) incidence in shelter-housed cats. DESIGN Randomized controlled clinical trial. ANIMALS 336 stray, feral, owner-relinquished, or legally impounded cats at 2 animal shelters in northern California. PROCEDURES 5 cat holding rooms (3 at shelter A and 2 at shelter B) were used. A diffuser containing either synthetic pheromone or placebo was randomly assigned to each room, and cats were exposed for a 21-day period. Data collected on each cat included signalment, daily stress scores, and daily URI incidence. After 21 days, diffusers were removed for a 7-day washout period. The type of diffuser in each room was switched, and data were collected for another 21 days. Findings were statistically compared between exposure types and other groupings. RESULTS Cox proportional hazard analysis revealed no significant difference between exposure (pheromone or placebo) and URI incidence. Mixed-effects ordinal logistic regression revealed no significant relationship between exposure and daily stress scores. Three covariates had significant ORs: number of days in holding (OR, 0.80; 95{\%} confidence interval [CI], 0.76 to 0.84), owner-relinquished versus stray (OR, 3.25; 95{\%} CI, 1.18 to 8.94), and feral versus adult cat room at shelter A (OR, 11.10; 95{\%} CI, 4.47 to 27.60). CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE No evidence was found that the evaluated synthetic feline facial pheromone product had any effect on stress scores or URI incidence in shelter-housed cats. Therefore, other established methods for stress and URI reduction should be used in shelter settings.",
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T1 - Effect of a synthetic feline facial pheromone product on stress scores and incidence of upper respiratory tract infection in shelter cats

AU - Chadwin, Robin M.

AU - Bain, Melissa

AU - Kass, Philip H

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N2 - OBJECTIVE To determine whether a synthetic feline facial pheromone product would decrease stress scores and upper respiratory tract infection (URI) incidence in shelter-housed cats. DESIGN Randomized controlled clinical trial. ANIMALS 336 stray, feral, owner-relinquished, or legally impounded cats at 2 animal shelters in northern California. PROCEDURES 5 cat holding rooms (3 at shelter A and 2 at shelter B) were used. A diffuser containing either synthetic pheromone or placebo was randomly assigned to each room, and cats were exposed for a 21-day period. Data collected on each cat included signalment, daily stress scores, and daily URI incidence. After 21 days, diffusers were removed for a 7-day washout period. The type of diffuser in each room was switched, and data were collected for another 21 days. Findings were statistically compared between exposure types and other groupings. RESULTS Cox proportional hazard analysis revealed no significant difference between exposure (pheromone or placebo) and URI incidence. Mixed-effects ordinal logistic regression revealed no significant relationship between exposure and daily stress scores. Three covariates had significant ORs: number of days in holding (OR, 0.80; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.76 to 0.84), owner-relinquished versus stray (OR, 3.25; 95% CI, 1.18 to 8.94), and feral versus adult cat room at shelter A (OR, 11.10; 95% CI, 4.47 to 27.60). CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE No evidence was found that the evaluated synthetic feline facial pheromone product had any effect on stress scores or URI incidence in shelter-housed cats. Therefore, other established methods for stress and URI reduction should be used in shelter settings.

AB - OBJECTIVE To determine whether a synthetic feline facial pheromone product would decrease stress scores and upper respiratory tract infection (URI) incidence in shelter-housed cats. DESIGN Randomized controlled clinical trial. ANIMALS 336 stray, feral, owner-relinquished, or legally impounded cats at 2 animal shelters in northern California. PROCEDURES 5 cat holding rooms (3 at shelter A and 2 at shelter B) were used. A diffuser containing either synthetic pheromone or placebo was randomly assigned to each room, and cats were exposed for a 21-day period. Data collected on each cat included signalment, daily stress scores, and daily URI incidence. After 21 days, diffusers were removed for a 7-day washout period. The type of diffuser in each room was switched, and data were collected for another 21 days. Findings were statistically compared between exposure types and other groupings. RESULTS Cox proportional hazard analysis revealed no significant difference between exposure (pheromone or placebo) and URI incidence. Mixed-effects ordinal logistic regression revealed no significant relationship between exposure and daily stress scores. Three covariates had significant ORs: number of days in holding (OR, 0.80; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.76 to 0.84), owner-relinquished versus stray (OR, 3.25; 95% CI, 1.18 to 8.94), and feral versus adult cat room at shelter A (OR, 11.10; 95% CI, 4.47 to 27.60). CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE No evidence was found that the evaluated synthetic feline facial pheromone product had any effect on stress scores or URI incidence in shelter-housed cats. Therefore, other established methods for stress and URI reduction should be used in shelter settings.

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