What are some ways that actress Betty White has been an advocate for cats?

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A tireless, outspoken advocate for animal rights, 91-year-old actress Betty White recently received a lifetime achievement award by P&G Pet Care (Eukanuba/Iams) and the Morris Animal Foundation for her support and commitment to the veterinary industry and animal health and welfare.

This self-professed animal lover adores all animals, and explains that cats, especially, are wonderful pets for seniors and others who live alone. Not only do they require less maintenance than dogs, but are wonderful conversationists, White says—vocal, and letting everyone know what they are thinking.

Although White is has been involved with many animal organizations, it is the Morris Animal Foundation with which she has been involved for four decades.
Founded in 1948, MAF initially focused on developing a healthy canned dog food. Since then, it has invested more than $70 million toward more than 2,000 studies, many of which have led to significant breakthroughs in diagnostics, treatments, preventions and cures for animals. Some of the breakthroughs funded through the Foundation have become gold standards in veterinary care.
MAF also developed the first vaccine for feline leukemia, as well as a promising treatment for renal failure (fenoldopam).
Here are some specifics about MAF’s efforts toward cats:
• Developed the first feline leukemia vaccination which has saved thousands of lives.
• Conducted drives to raise funds for Morris’ Healthy Cat Campaign to help shelters.
• Conducted studies on feline asthma.
• Sponsored a survey on the negative perceptions of cat ownership. More than half of those surveyed had negative perceptions of cats, although most of their complaints were related to behavioral issues–scratching, jumping on counters, litter box odors—all of which can be easily handled through behavioral training.
The survey also concluded: 10 percent of those surveyed who do not currently have cats, are considering adopting a cat. And if 10 percent of U.S. households who do not currently own a cat adopted one, an additional 6.2 million cats might find happy homes and be saved from euthanasia at a shelter.

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