A Bloomfield Hills veterinary clinic is accepting volunteers for a clinical trial on a new pheromone aimed at curbing cat aggression in multi-cat households.
Theresa DePorter, a veterinary behaviorist at Oakland Veterinary Referral Service, is leading the study, which will test the efficacy of a synthetic pheromone diffuser to reduce aggressive cat behavior, The Oakland Press reports.
Cats leave messages for one another through airborne signals known as pheromones, and the DePorter is testing a product that would diffuse the chemical secretions. Aggression isn’t limited to fighting and can also include passive blocking, staring and other aggressive displays.
Qualifications for the study include:
Cats have been fighting for at least two weeks
Minor or major aggressive encounters occur four times during the last two weeks
Households of 2–5 indoor cats (households with six or more cats cannot participate, this is a strict condition)
Cats must all be at least 6 months old
Male cats must be neutered
All cats should be healthy
Cats that have caused serious injuries are not eligible
Cats given medication, supplements or pheromones for behavior are not eligible
Enrollment meetings will be held at the Bloomfield Hills clinic at 1400 Telegraph Road, as well as in Lansing, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Chicago. Enrollment opportunities in Bloomfield Hills are May 13, June 3, June 17 and July 8. To volunteer, call (248) 334-6877 or email TheresaDVM@aol.com.
Cats don’t have to attend the meetings. Those enrolling will need to keep a daily record of their cats’ aggressive behavior for seven weeks, complete weekly surveys of behavior assessments for seven weeks and participate in a brief phone interview every two weeks during the trial.
Upon completion of the free study, participants will receive a $50 American Express gift card and a voucher for the new pheromone product.