Cats in a struggleThis spring, OVRS’ veterinary behaviorist, Dr. Theresa DePorter, DVM, MRCVS, DECAWBM, DACVB, will be spearheading a clinical trial of a new pheromone aimed at alleviating aggression and tension between cats in a multi-cat household.

If your cats are prone to fighting amongst themselves this clinical trial may be an exciting opportunity for you and your cats. If you are interested in participating in the study, here are the qualifications and requirements for your consideration.

Are Your Cats Fighting?

Feline housemates don’t always get along. Aggression may include fighting but often occurs as passive blocking and staring. Feline victims may hide, flee or even scream when attacked. Thankfully, there is new hope for peace and harmony among your feline friends.

If you’re experiencing cat conflict in your home, your cats may be eligible to participate in a clinical trial exploring the management and resolution of aggression between familiar housemate cats with a new pheromone formulation. Oakland Veterinary Referral Services will be accepting volunteers for this clinical trial between March and July of 2014.

Qualifications for Enrollment

  • 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

If your situation aligns with these qualifications, and you are interested in participating in the study, you will need to apply (see below) for the study. If you and your cats are accepted into the trial, you will need to fulfill the following obligations…

Enrollment Meetings

For those who are accepted into the study, you will need to attend an introductory meeting on the study, held by Dr. DePorter, either at OVRS or at a meeting location in Lansing, Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor or Chicago. During this meeting Dr. DePorter will explain feline aggression and inter-cat communication. Participants will also learn what to do and what not to do when their cats are being aggressive.

At this time, Dr. DePorter will also answer any questions you might have, and study materials and test pheromones will be distributed.

Please note that your cats do NOT attend these meetings.

Participation Requirements

Once you and your cats are ready to begin the trial, you will be required to complete the following, throughout the duration of the study:

  • Record daily diary of aggressive events for 7 weeks
  • Submit surveys of behavior assessments once weekly for 7 weeks
  • Complete a brief phone interview every 2 weeks during the trial period

Upon completion of the study, participants receive an American Express Gift Card for $50 and a voucher for the new pheromone product.

Are You Ready?

If you are interested in joining this study, or have any further questions, please email Dr. DePorter at