The cage size of laboratory cats will shock you

Sometimes cats used for animal testing are held for up to 2 years. That is what I am told in the book The Domestic Cat: the Biology of Its Behaviour.

The European Convention for the Protection of Vertebrate Animals Used for Experimental and Other Scientific Purposes (ETS 123), Appendix A Council of Europe (2006), states that a single individual cat should have an enclosure with a minimum floor area of 1.5 m². This should be a shelf of at least 0.5 m².

For every additional cat that should be an extra 0.75 m² of floor space and 0.25 m² of shelf space. In addition, the cage should be 2 m high and therefore should be a walk in cage.

That sounds bad enough in my opinion when you think the cat may be in it for two years and in between being in it he/she is being tested upon by scientists.

However, the position is considerably worse in America regrettably. The housing of cats and research facilities in the USA as governed by the National Research Council (NRC), 2011, states that a 4 kg cat can be housed in an enclosure with 0.37 m² of floor space and a height of 0.60 m.

Let’s just think about the floorspace of around one third of a square metre. Trying to visualise that, if a person takes a big step in one direction and then takes a tiny step at a 90° angle to that first step you have a feel for the size of that floorspace. And the height is just over half a metre. One meter is just over 3 feet and therefore the height is going to be just over one and a half feet.

That to me seems appalling. Nothing short of appalling. And it is governed and decided upon by people in authority in America. Can you believe that?

There is no question in my mind that the size of the enclosure in which a cat lives while waiting to be tested upon by scientists should be considerably bigger than the minimum allowed by the National Research Council. Perhaps they are. Does someone know?

If they must really must treat animals in this cruel way then at least house them with some dignity and respect while they are being legally tortured for some spurious scientific reason as funded by some multinational, globalised, insensitive company.

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