"Cat Mastery" merges research with new technology

The launch of “Cat Mastery,” an interactive book and course available through iTunes.U, demonstrates the value of new technology in teaching us new tricks about, well, cats. Dr. Tony Buffington has spent the past 30 years learning about cats, their nutritional needs, diseases and their response to environmental enrichment.

The ability to develop this new method of delivery of important information about America's favorite pet was serendipitous. Ohio State’s Digital First collaboration with Apple provided a “boot camp” experience for faculty interested in transforming information for the classroom. 

“The information is expanded in a way I could never have imagined,” said Buffington. “While I consider myself to be good at developing understandable course content, the extraordinary help and enthusiasm that I received from the Office of Distance Education and eLearning provided the artistic skills, and even additional pedagogy, to make “Cat Mastery” come alive. From video to photos of cats – some of which live with staff members in that office – they truly embraced the concept of this book.” 

Dr. Buffington was able to take a sabbatical from his regular teaching and research duties to focus all his time on developing “Cat Mastery.” He is looking forward to receiving feedback about the book and the course in order to continue to make changes and tweak content to make it even more relevant for readers.

“It’s a living course,” he said. “I believe this is the future of curriculum.”

"Cat Mastery" is available for the Mac, iPad and iPhone through iTunes. More information is available here 

The Veterinary Medical Center is certified as a "cat-friendly" practice by the American Association of Feline Practitioners.  Their special care standards for cats will be expanded through the campaign to renovate the Hospital for Companion Animals. This "Expansion and Enhancement" project needs $30 million of private donations in order to become a reality. For more information about how you can support this important information, click here.

UPDATES: Dr. Buffington was interviewed on Fox News about his recent Reddit AMA.

About Dr. Tony Buffington
Dr. Tony Buffington, veterinarian and professor of Veterinary Clinical Sciences at The Ohio State University has spent the past 30 years studying cats and how their environment affects their health. He is founder of the Indoor Cat Initiative website, which features strategies for keeping indoor-housed cats happy and healthy. He has authored more than 100 scientific publications, 30 book chapters, and three books, and has received numerous national and international awards for his efforts on behalf of understanding cats. Read his blog post: "What I've learned from cats."

About the College of Veterinary Medicine
Founded in 1885, The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine is ranked fifth in the nation and includes more than 1,000 faculty, staff and students. From global health programs to basic cancer research, our “One Health” approach focuses on studying the intersections of animal health, human health and environmental impact to create a healthier world. The Veterinary Medical Center is one of the largest specialty referral centers in the world, with more than 33,000 farm, equine, and companion animal patient visits each year. A nationally-recognized ambulatory practice and teaching unit in Marysville, Ohio provides farm animal experience to every veterinary student, and the Food Animal Health Research Program in Wooster, OH focuses on detection, control, and prevention of disease. Located on the only campus in the country with a comprehensive medical center offering seven health sciences colleges, we admit up to 162 veterinary students per class, and offer a comprehensive graduate program in Veterinary and Comparative Medicine as well as a unique Master’s degree in Veterinary Public Health, in partnership with the College of Public Health. http://vet.osu.edu.    

Posted April 27, 2014