Organization: University of Illinois
Investigator(s): Loukia Agapis and Mandy Erdei
Grant Amount: $5,000
Project Type: Summer Scholar
Project Status: Research Complete
This University of Illinois Summer Scholar study investigated whether administering acupuncture to newly incoming shelter adult cats or kittens would reduce stress. The study results did not show significant difference in stress levels between cats that received acupuncture treatment and cats that did not.
To observe whether newly incoming shelter cats will respond to acupuncture in a way that will reduce their stress
Cats and kittens were assessed upon intake, and if deemed healthy were randomly placed into the treatment group for acupuncture, using a random number generator. Acupuncture was performed on 3 points: An Shen, GV20, and HT7. Subsequently, the veterinarian who executed the treatment was asked to fill out a survey on cat's exhibited signs of fearfulness after the procedure; then each cat was videotaped for one minute twice a day for the following three days. The following parameters were recorded via the same fearfulness survey taken at an intake: health, grooming behavior, respiratory signs, overall relaxed, fearful or attentive behavior, and signs of aggression.
Acupuncture research for companion animals is inadequate. Although the study results did not show significant difference in stress levels between cats that received acupuncture treatment and cats that did not, it has provided a few hypotheses for future research.