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 Study relating to materials testing Detecting damages in non-magnetic steel through magnetism
23.07.2018 | Technische Universität Kaiserslautern

nachricht Innovative genetic tests for children with developmental disorders and epilepsy
11.07.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

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: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

Im Focus: Lining up surprising behaviors of superconductor with one of the world's strongest magnets

Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur

What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...

Im Focus: World record: Fastest 3-D tomographic images at BESSY II

The quality of materials often depends on the manufacturing process. In casting and welding, for example, the rate at which melts solidify and the resulting microstructure of the alloy is important. With metallic foams as well, it depends on exactly how the foaming process takes place. To understand these processes fully requires fast sensing capability. The fastest 3D tomographic images to date have now been achieved at the BESSY II X-ray source operated by the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin.

Dr. Francisco Garcia-Moreno and his team have designed a turntable that rotates ultra-stably about its axis at a constant rotational speed. This really depends...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

2018 Work Research Conference

25.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

'Building up' stretchable electronics to be as multipurpose as your smartphone

14.08.2018 | Information Technology

During HIV infection, antibody can block B cells from fighting pathogens

14.08.2018 | Life Sciences

First study on physical properties of giant cancer cells may inform new treatments

14.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>