Help us to learn more about cats by taking part in our current surveys
Pet health and owner perception
The health of pets is something many owners take very seriously, as it can affect their welfare, however sometimes owner perception can interfere with pet health. Sarah Watkins, a Registered Veterinary Nurse from the Royal Veterinary College, UK, is looking for pet owners to complete her questionnaire, in order to learn more about pet health and owner perception. The more responses Sarah receives, the better the results will be at the end so if you wish to help, the questionnaire can be accessed here [closing date 29 March 2015].
Recognising signs of pain or illness in cats over 6 years of age
As cats get older, they can develop a range of illnesses that can sometimes be hard for owners to recognise. As part of a final research project at the University of Bristol, Leanne Smith is looking into the current abilities of UK cat owners to identify signs of pain or disease in middle-aged to elderly cats, in order to promote client education and routine health screening of older cats. So she needs your help! If you are a cat owner in the UK whose cat(s) are over the age of 6 years old, and you have no veterinary or animal care related training, please take part in her survey. She is looking for honest, un-researched answers so her results provide a realistic overview of current owner abilities. The survey can be accessed here [closing date 22 February 2015].
Prioritising research on Chronic Kidney Disease
In association with Dr Rachel Dean (pictured right), a feline specialist, at The Centre for Evidence-based Veterinary Medicine (CEVM) and Vet Professionals Ltd, International Cat Care are involved with a study to establish what questions cat owners and vets want answering about chronic kidney disease (CKD).
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is common in older cats and causes weight loss, loss of appetite, vomiting and many other unpleasant clinical signs. We cannot cure CKD however there are now a number of treatments available that may slow the progression of the disease, alleviate the signs of disease and potentially increase life expectancy.
Some of the treatments have a lot of information about their beneficial effects however others do not. ‘Treatment uncertainties’ occur when questions about treatment cannot be answered by up to date information based on research evidence.
This study involves a survey of both cat owners and veterinary surgeons to identify the questions they have about the treatment of feline CKD. The aim of the study is then to identify which questions are most important so that future research can be directed in these areas.
So we need your help! To find out more about the study and to complete the survey go to: www.nottingham.ac.uk/cevm/practice-based-research/small-animal/chronic-kidney-disease-in-cats.aspx
Sound-induced seizures in cats
Witnessing your cat having a seizure is a very upsetting and distressing event. A seizure is a sudden and uncontrolled burst of electrical activity that may cause chomping and chewing, foaming at the mouth, jerking of the legs, and the passing of urine or stools. Cats are usually unresponsive during a seizure and gradually regain normal consciousness thereafter.
Although seizures commonly occur without any obvious trigger, we have found over the years that cats may have seizures in response to particular noises. Some of the sounds that we have known to trigger seizures in cats include the sound of breaking the tin foil from treatment or tablet packaging, the crinkling of tin foil, a metal spoon dropping into a ceramic feeding bowl, a daisy wheel printer (now a thing of the past), a digital alarm, the hammering of a nail, the clicking of an owner’s tongue or even the slapping of an owner’s forehead!
This is not something that is unique to cats. In human patients, the condition where seizures occur in response to a trigger is known as reflex epilepsy. If this trigger is a sound then the term audiogenic reflex epilepsy is used. Little is known about the condition in people or cats. Therefore, with the backing of International Cat Care, Davies Veterinary Specialists are looking to find owners who have cats with suspected noise-induced or audiogenic seizures. The aim is to use this information to help cats and it may even become useful to help people who suffer from this difficult condition.
If you think your cat may have auditory induced reflex seizures, or you would like further information, then please contact Mark Lowrie either by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01582 883950.
Indoors or outdoors?
It is reported that 10% of UK cats are kept permanently indoors. We want to find out if this is still accurate – and this is where we need your help!
Please complete our brief survey to help us get a better picture of how many cats are kept indoors, and what the reason for that may be. We are not just interested in UK either – we want to know about cats worldwide. Your contribution is invaluable, so please complete our survey now.
Hand-rearing of kittens – your help needed
Do you hand-rear kittens? We are conducting a new and important survey with the Cat Group and the University of Lincoln to collect vital information about how people hand-rear kittens. Everyone does this differently, and there is little information currently available. There are no right or wrong answers. The survey is simply intended to gather information so that we can learn about what is done, and then develop the best advice possible. We welcome all responses, irrespective of where you live and/or work, and we would be very grateful if you could take the time to complete this questionnaire.
Is your cat stressed? Take the Ceva 'cat stress risk barometer' test!
Ceva, the makers of Feliway, have developed a brief web-based questionnaire and an iPhone app to help tell if your cat may be stressed or is living in an environment where stress is likely.
This is a fun and interactive way to help tell if there may be stress risks that your cat is exposed to.
Bristol cats study
Do you own a kitten aged 8-16 weeks?
If so, the 'Bristol Cats Study Group' needs to hear from you!
The aim of the study is to collect information from kitten owners to help find causes of common behaviour patterns and diseases of cats (e.g. obesity & hyperthyroidism). If you are a kitten owner and would like to contribute to this invaluable study, please click here for more...
Kitten development survey
Calling all breeders – is your Queen having a litter of kittens this year?
If so, please consider taking part in an exciting new study being conducted by the University of Lincoln into kitten development. The results of the study will help provide much needed information on the mechanisms which underpin feline behaviour development. The study will involve participants recording basic stages of kitten development (such their weight and times at which certain events occur, e.g. eyes opening), and will only take a few minutes each day to complete. Your Queen doesn't need to be a specific breed or a certain age.
To take part in this important study, please contact Rachael King at The University of Lincoln: e-mail: email@example.com