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 New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

nachricht Disarray in the brain
18.12.2017 | Universität zu Lübeck

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: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

Im Focus: A thermometer for the oceans

Measurement of noble gases in Antarctic ice cores

The oceans are the largest global heat reservoir. As a result of man-made global warming, the temperature in the global climate system increases; around 90% of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

White graphene makes ceramics multifunctional

16.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

Breaking bad metals with neutrons

16.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

ISFH-CalTeC is “designated test centre” for the confirmation of solar cell world records

16.01.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>