it all about?
'Bristol Cats' study is a pioneering study investigating cat
health, welfare and behaviour. It was launched in the Bristol
area in June 2010, and rolled out across the U.K. in March 2011.
The study has proved to be extremely popular with over 1300
kittens enrolled. We hope you will help us gather more
information by encouraging kitten owners, breeders, carers or
anyone with a kitten to take part. All kittens are welcome
including non pedigree and pedigree breeds, kittens from the
same litter and multiple kittens from the same household. We are
particularly keen to hear from owners of stray cats as these are
currently under-represented in the study. The aim is to enroll a
further 700 kittens throughout 2012 so please get in touch and
proudly tell your friends “My cat is a ‘Bristol Cat’!”.
we collect information
owners complete online or postal questionnaires, initially when
their kittens are between 8-16 weeks, then again at 6, 12, and
18 months of age. If further funding becomes available, the
study will continue to a lifetime study of the kittens – but
kitten owners can leave the study at any point should they wish
to. We will then analyse the data to see what extent specific
problems (e.g. obesity) are associated with management (e.g.
diet, lifestyle) and other factors (e.g. breed).
are the benefits?
study aims to identify factors that increase or decrease the
risk of common behaviour patterns and diseases of cats, for
example, obesity and hyperthyroidism. We hope to provide
information that can be used by veterinary practitioners, cat
breeders and owners to improve the health and welfare of cats in
the future. The study is the cat-equivalent of the 'Children of
the 90's study' which has been collecting information relating
to children in the Bristol region since the early 1990’s. This
study has identified ways to prevent many important conditions,
such as cot death (http://www.bristol.ac.uk/alspac).
The lives of many children have been saved by those who gave
their time and enrolled during the 90's and we hope you can
spare a little time to help our study make a difference to cats.
to get involved:
You can help by spreading the word to kitten owners, cat
breeders or anyone with a kitten. Please
contact us, using the details below, for a supply of posters and
flyers to display and pass on to kitten owners who visit
you have a kitten between 8 and 16 weeks of age, are resident in
the UK and over 18 years of age, then please log-on to our
updated website and tell us about your kitten. Full
details can be found at www.bristol.ac.uk/vetscience/cats
with a link to the first questionnaire. Please also contact us
prefer a paper copy of the questionnaire sent in the post.
I speak to someone about the study?
If you have any
questions or would like to discuss any aspect of the study, then
please do not hesitate to get in touch. My colleague Emma Gale,
will be working with me over the coming months and either Emma
or I will be happy to talk over the phone, or to answer
questions by email. You can also check our website for
newsletters and updates about the study.
you in anticipation of your help and support with this study.
Cats Protection Research Fellow
Cats, Dr Jane Murray
Tel: 07827 981412