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Call for cats to participate in study and receive free health checks

Owners of cats could take their feline friends for a free and extensive health screening as part of a University of Liverpool study.

The team at a new Feline Healthy Ageing Clinic is recruiting a limited number of pets to take part in the service as it aims to understand more about the aging process and improve the health, welfare and quality of life for older cats.

The vet and nurse group running the clinic, which has been launched to support the Cat Prospective Ageing and Welfare study (CatPAWS), is looking for cats The University Veterinary Practice and a veterinary practice on Penny Lane to participate.

Lead researcher, Nathalie Dowgray says: “We are inviting 300 cats, aged seven to 10 years, to take part in this large, ambitious study where they will attend the Feline Healthy Ageing Clinic on a regular basis to allow us to fully map and understand what’s going on with these beautiful older pets.

“We will carry out a number of health screens and focus on the joints and muscle mass, heart, dental and eye health too. All of the records we create will enable us to understand the effects of ageing in more detail than ever before, and on a far larger scale.”

Participating cats will need to be taken to the clinic based at the University of Liverpool Small Animal Practice on Grove Street, however owners are advised that the free service shouldn’t replace the normal contact they have with their veterinary practice and should instead enhance the overall awareness of age related changes.

CatPAWS is the first study of its kind in Europe, and the university’s clinical team hopes to explore the various factors which can contribute to ageing in a positive manner, ultimately helping to prolong and improve the quality of life.

Kelly Eyre, vet nurse at the Feline Healthy Ageing Clinic, adds: “Cats are living longer lives, which is great news. However, due to the stress a trip to the vet can cause, many owners are reluctant to bring their cat to the vets for a regular health check and for this reason, age-related changes can sneak up on us, and problems can go un-noticed until a later stage, when treatment becomes more reactive and often difficult.”

For more information about the study email catpaws@liverpool.ac.uk

About Author: Natasha Young

Natasha Young is our Editor. She can be contacted by email natasha@movepublishing.co.uk or by phone on 0151 709 3871.