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Dalhousie’s huge cat food purchase intended for feeding research cats, says Dalhousie

Dalhousie’s 232 kilogram shipment of cat food that had the nation talking on Monday is being used for research, says a Dalhousie spokesperson.

After the Gazette reported Sunday on the discovery of a 232 kilogram shipment of cat food intended for Dalhousie University, the response was intense.



  Dalhousie president Richard Florizone was not sure of the cat food’s destination.



It seemed confirmed the cat food had arrived at Dalhousie around noon, when a Twitter user by the handle of @macduffvirgo911 claimed to have seen the cat food at its point of delivery.



The Gazette spoke with managers of the receiving departments of Dalhousie’s faculties of Psychology and Biology and the Tupper Medicine Building, where animal research is routinely performed.

All staff members the Gazette spoke with said they did not have any knowledge of research involving cats or cat food occurring at Dalhousie, and had not seen any cat food coming through their departments Monday.

However, a response to a request for comment came through Dalhousie’s communications department in the afternoon.

“The cat food is used to feed cats that are being used for behavioural research at the University,” said Dalhousie spokesperson Janet Bryson in an email.

After the Gazette shared this news over Twitter, responses were varied.


“I can tell you that the cats are used humanely in research into Amblyopia. Amblyopia is the most common serious eye condition in children in North America and has consequences on learning, socialization and other important aspects of human sensory development and cognition,” said Bryson in another email.

While the Gazette intends on learning and reporting more about Dalhousie’s research involving cats, we may now rest easy with a confirmation of what Dalhousie plans on doing with 372 cans of two flavours of cat food.

In the coming days the Gazette will also be covering other topics like student representation in the platforms of politicians running campaigns for the upcoming federal election, the effects of Bill 100 on tuition and student life at Dalhousie and the changes we should look out for as Dalhousie accepts all recommendations made in July’s external dentistry task force report.

Jesse Ward
Jesse Ward
Jesse, editor-in-chief of the Gazette, is a fifth-year student of journalism at Dalhousie and the University of King’s College. He started university with three years of experience writing for Teens Now Talk magazine, where he is now copy editor. Before writing a story Jesse likes to think about how his metal detector could finally be useful in researching this one, but there is never a way it could be. Jesse has produced writing and interactive features for and The Chronicle Herald. He may be followed on Twitter, @RealJesseWard, or from the Gazette office on Mondays around 8 p.m. to his home in West End Halifax. Email Jesse at

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