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Bristol kitten owners needed for new study

Press release issued: 15 June 2010

Researchers at the University of Bristol are asking kitten owners in the Bristol area to take part in a new questionnaire-based study called ‘Bristol cats’, which will help improve the health and welfare of cats.

Kitten owners in the Bristol area are being asked to take part in a new questionnaire-based study called ‘ Bristol cats’.  The results from the study will be used to help improve the health and welfare of cats in the future.

‘Bristol cats’ is led by academics at the University of Bristol’s Department of Clinical Veterinary Science. The study is being carried out because little is known about the causes of diseases and common behaviour problems of cats, such as, obesity, aggression towards people, diet, lifestyle, spraying and lower urinary tract problems.

The study will be the cat-equivalent of the University’s Children of the 90’s, a long-term health research project that has followed the health and development of 14,000 children since 1991.  ‘Bristol cats’ will run for 18 months, although it is hoped further funding will be secured to follow the kittens for a longer period, hopefully for their lifetime.

The researchers wish to recruit 1,000 people who own a kitten aged between eight and 16 weeks by the end of December 2010, through methods such as, vet practices, rescue centres, pedigree breeders, a Facebook group (“Bristol cat study group”) and Twitter (“Bristol cats tweet”).

Dr Jane Murray, Cats Protection Lecturer in Feline Epidemiology at the University of Bristol, said: “We hope Bristol’s kitten owners will consider participating in the study, which is the first of its kind in the UK. 

“Information about a kitten’s life will give us very valuable data and help the cats of the future.”

Details about the study, including access to online questionnaires and results, are available at  Owners can complete questionnaires online or request paper questionnaires.  Participation in the study is voluntary and owners have the right to withdraw from the study at any point.

‘Bristol cats’ was launched on 1 June and the first kittens have already been registered with the study.


Further information

Dr Jane Murray’s post is funded by the Cats Protection.

The Cats Protection is the UK’s leading cat welfare charity, rehoming and reuniting 55,500 cats and kittens every year.

Please contact Joanne Fryer for further information.
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