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Weekly News Roundup 1/3 to 1/9

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Cat lovers less likely to go to church, research suggests

Cats are “very godlike,” which makes them more likely to be owned by atheists than churchgoers, according to a new study. People who worship more than once a week own 1.4 cats on average, compared to the nonreligious, who have an average of 2, according to research by the University of Oklahoma. Researcher Samuel Perry, PhD, said that he carried out the study because he felt that some of what people sought in religion was also what they sought in pets. “We own pets because we love their company and the special interaction they provide for us,” said Perry, whose study appears in Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. . . . more

Study: Restricting access to lethal means could reduce veterinary suicide rate

Veterinarians have a higher rate of suicide than the general population, research says. But according to the most recent study, if suicides associated with pentobarbital, a drug commonly used for euthanasia of animals, were not counted, veterinarians would mirror the general population in terms of suicide rates. Researchers and veterinarians are calling for change, but there’s a lack of consensus as to the best steps to take. Some within the profession have advocated for controlling access to the means—that is, changing how pentobarbital is stored. Others say better policies need to be in place to avoid the risk of the drug leaving the hospital for potential use at home. . . . more

World’s first cloned cat celebrates 18th birthday

They say cats have nine lives, but CC is striving for more as she celebrated her 18th birthday. For a cat, getting to 18 is an impressive feat, but it is even more so for CC—short for Copy Cat—the world’s first cat clone. “Dolly the sheep, who was the first of the mammals to be cloned by nuclear transfer, had died at, I think, at six years of age,” said CC’s owner Duane Kraemer, DVM, PhD, MS. “So the fact that CC didn’t die young was news.” Along with caring for CC, Kraemer helped bring the tabby into existence. Kraemer and fellow researchers cloned CC at Texas A&M University in 2001, after attempting 188 nuclear transfers and producing 82 cloned embryos. . . . more

Oregon man searching for person he says stole his cat, mailed him note

A Portland man is searching for the person he says stole his cat and mailed him a note saying they had been taking care of the cat for months. Tobin Copeland-Turner says right before Christmas, he got a letter with no return address and no name. The letter was written from the cat’s perspective and starts off with a quote: “Dear human, Merry Christmas to you, hope all is well,” the letter says. “I wanted to let you know that I am warm and safe and with people who love me.” . . . more

Researchers: Some pet products touted as CBD don’t actually contain any

Companies have unleashed hundreds of cannabidiol (CBD) pet health products accompanied by glowing customer testimonials claiming the cannabis derivative produced calmer, quieter, and pain-free dogs and cats. But some of these products are all bark and no bite. “You’d be astounded by the analysis we’ve seen of products on the shelf with virtually no CBD in them,” said Cornell University veterinary researcher Joseph Wakshlag, DVM, PhD, who studies therapeutic uses for the compound. “There are plenty of folks looking to make a dollar rather than produce anything that’s really beneficial.” Such products can make it to the shelves because the federal government has yet to establish standards for CBD that will help people know whether it works for their pets and how much to give them. . . . more