Lappin is one of the most renowned researchers of feline medicine on the planet, and get this long title: the Kenneth W. Smith professor in Small Animal Clinical Veterinary Medicine in the Department of Clinical Sciences at the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences at Colorado State University in Fort Collins. He is also director of the Center for Companion Animal Studies and happens to be a really nice guy.
The most common upper respiratory virus in cats is feline herpes virus, which is often prompted by stress. That isn’t all too different than the herpes virus in people—the one that causes cold sores—he says. But, what stresses cats? Probably not studying for final exams or worrying about the situation in the Middle East.
A human antiviral drug can help cats with full-blown herpes, but why not relieve stress before the cat gets sick in the first place? Moving cats into less crowded environments can help (e.g., spreading cat into more rooms at shelters or moving them into foster homes).
Lappin has studied the feline pheromone product, Feliway, and the effects it has on recurrent herpes viruses in cats. Feliway is a copy of a pheromone that helps cats to relax in their environments. By mitigating stress in cats, you can potentially reduce the herpes virus occurrences, and there’s no potential downside.