News Release

For immediate release: January 26, 2018

Contact: Michael Crusan

Kittens receive 'all-clear' to compete in annual adoption event

While doctors and athletic trainers are preparing athletes for the big game in Minneapolis, veterinarians and rescue volunteers are busy doing the same for a furry group of feline “cat-letes.” The Minnesota Board of Animal Health is licensing the Hallmark Channel’s fifth annual Kitten Bowl as a temporary kennel for the 10-day event where strayed, abandoned or unwanted kittens from rescue organizations will congregate to compete for loving Minnesota homes.

The Kitten Bowl will take place from Friday, January 26 to Sunday, February 4 in the Dayton Building along Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis. Kittens coming into Minnesota for the event must have a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection. This document verifies that the kitten was examined by a licensed veterinarian in the originating state and meets Minnesota’s import requirements.

“Making sure these kittens arrive healthy and remain healthy throughout the event is our primary goal as regulatory animal health officials,” said Dr. Courtney Wheeler, who oversees the Board’s Companion Animal Program. “The actions we, and our partners, have taken to prepare for this event are exemplary of what is referred to as a One Health approach. By verifying these kittens are healthy, we limit the potential for spread of disease to Minnesota’s animal and human communities.”

The Board has teamed up with local agencies to conduct inspections of the facility prior to and during the event, and to address any important animal health issues that may arise. Event planners have coordinated with Minnesota veterinary clinics to provide evaluation and treatment of kittens if they need to be sidelined for an injury or illness.

The Minnesota Department of Health also wants to help you get ready for the big game, with important safety tips to keep you healthy. As with all animal exhibits, people should take advantage of hand-washing stations and clean their hands thoroughly before and after visiting the Kitten Bowl. Guides are also on-site to direct visitors on what to do if they are bitten or scratched while interacting with one of the competing cats.

To learn more about adopting an otherwise unwanted animal, visit a local animal shelter in your community.