February 4, 2020
Audience: Executive Leadership, Shelter/Rescue Staff & Volunteers, Veterinary Team
Organization: University of California Davis
Investigator(s): Arielle Layman
Grant Amount: $5,500.00
Project Type: Summer Scholar
Project Status: Research Complete
This University of California Davis Summer Scholar study is part of a two-year project investigating 1) if orphaned neonatal kittens kept in incubators have significant differences in growth rate or incidence of diarrhea compared to those not kept in incubators, and 2) how differences in feeding frequency affect growth rate and incidence of diarrhea. The study found the incubator kittens (n=70) had a far higher prevalence of diarrhea at 69% than the control kittens (n=15) at 20%, without clear cause. Kittens with diarrhea had a slightly lower feeding frequency than kittens without diarrhea, suggesting more frequent but small meals may be beneficial in diarrhea prevention in neonates. There was little to no association found in feeding frequency and growth rate.