Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Academics work to help stressed-out cats

27.10.2004


Cats, like humans, can develop stress-related illness, University of Edinburgh experts have found. Significant life-changes like moving house or the arrival of a new member of the family can lead to bladder problems in some cats, say the animal specialists. But the biggest stressor of all for a cat is when it doesn’t get along with other cats in the house, studies have shown.



Cat health professionals at the University’s Hospital for Small Animals studied the lifestyles of a group of cats with no apparent physical cause for their bladder problems and compared them with a control group of disease-free cats. They found that the sick cats were generally more anxious, and were particularly stressed by being in conflict with other cats in the house.

Dr Danielle Gunn-Moore, the Nestlé Purina senior lecturer in feline medicine at the University of Edinburgh Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, explained: "Feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD) is a group of diseases of the bladder, most commonly seen in pedigree, middle-aged, overweight male cats which take little exercise, use an indoor litter box, don’t go out much and eat a dry food diet. "This condition is particularly frustrating for vets and owners, because most cases have no apparent cause, and are categorised as feline idiopathic cystitis (FIC). Earlier studies led us to believe that stress could be a trigger factor for FIC, and we wanted to identify differences in the cats’ environments and temperaments which might be causing this condition."


This latest, questionnaire-based study compared 31 cats with FIC to 24 cats in the same households that did not have cystitis. These were in turn compared with a control group of 125 healthy cats. Dr Gunn-Moore said: " Although many owners of cats taking part in the study reported that a fear of strangers was the most common problem they observed, this tends to be a short-term stressor. If a cat is living with another cat where there is a conflict, this is a chronic situation causing long-term stress. We concluded that this is a significant factor in the development FIC, and will be carrying out further studies to see how best this and other stress factors can be overcome."

Dr Gunn-Moore recommends that cats that have FLUTD or FIC should be fed wet food, and encouraged to drink more fluid. This can be done, for example, by adding tuna-flavoured ice-cubes to water, or offering water fountains to encourage them to drink.

A small, separate pilot study by Dr Gunn-Moore’s team used a synthetic soothing scent to reduce anxiety showed a trend for cats exposed to the scent to have fewer episodes of FIC. More work will continue on this study.

Linda Menzies | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ed.ac.uk

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?
31.05.2017 | University of Washington

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Study shines light on brain cells that coordinate movement

26.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Smooth propagation of spin waves using gold

26.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Switchable DNA mini-machines store information

26.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>