Epidemiological evaluation of cats rescued at a secondary emergency animal shelter in Miharu, Fukushima, after the Great East Japan Earthquakes

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The aims of this research were to report characteristics of rescued cats at a secondary emergency animal shelter in Fukushima prefecture, Japan, and evaluate how adoptability, stress level, upper respiratory infection (URI) syndrome incidence, and URI pathogen prevalence were associated with the cat's shelter intake source and shelter characteristics. All cats admitted to the Miharu shelter, Fukushima Prefecture from 2012 to 2014 were included in the study. The results demonstrate that in situ corticosteroid and antibiotic use were associated with cats subsequently developing upper respiratory infections (URI). Disease and cat behavior were unassociated with adoption. Cats in group housing had lower stress metrics than cats individually housed. Prevalences of URI pathogens exceeded 80%, but symptomatic cats were uncommon. Environmental enrichment and stress reduction strategies are important in controlling URI and reducing the need for corticosteroids and antibiotics in shelters. Preemptive protocols are important in preventing shelter admission of cats during disasters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-87
Number of pages9
JournalPreventive Veterinary Medicine
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017



  • Animal shelter
  • Disaster veterinary medicine
  • Feline upper respiratory disease
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology

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