"Hot" Cats Watch Cool Birds at OSU's Vet Med Hospital

Tom Johnston
OSU Communication Services
(405) 744-6260

A cat in isolation at OSU's veterinary teaching hospital watches videotapes of birds while waiting for it's radioactivity to decline.

Due to the generosity of Ms. Sally Quillian of Oklahoma City, cats under treatment for feline hyperthyroidism at Oklahoma State University's veterinary teaching hospital will be able to amuse themselves by watching videotapes of birds.

The treatment for feline hyperthyroidism requires the cat to receive an injection of a radioactive isotope and undergo a two to three-week isolation while their radioactivity diminishes. During that time, the cats don't have much to occupy their interest. Since the cats are radioactive, the hospital seeks to limit exposure of hospital personnel to that radiation. The cats see a human being twice a day when they get food, water, and a litter change.

Ms. Quillian looked into the possibility of the treatment for her cat, Ms. Kitty. But, because of kidney problems, Ms. Kitty is not presently a candidate for the treatment. Ms. Quillian nevertheless donated a combination TV/VCR plus several bird tapes for the other cats to watch while they are in isolation. One tape contains nothing but noisy blackbirds, and the television has a plaque stating the the unit was donated "in honor of Ms. Kitty Quillian."

Dr. Robert Bahr, head of radiology, said the cats seem to enjoy having the videos to watch. "When you peek through the viewing window, the cats are often watching the video currently playing if they are not asleep."

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