‘Feline ok?’ – Complimentary clinic for older cats launched

Cat on a treadmill

The University has launched a complimentary service dedicated to improving the health and welfare of older cats, over seven years of age.

The Feline Healthy Ageing Clinic, sponsored by pet food experts ROYAL CANIN, aims to understand more about the ageing process and ultimately improve the health, welfare and quality of life for cats growing ‘long in the tooth’.

Launched to support the Cat Prospective Ageing and Welfare study (CatPAWS), the vet and nurse team who run the clinic are recruiting a limited number of cats from two local veterinary practices (The University Veterinary Practice and a veterinary practice on Penny Lane) in Liverpool who will benefit from free and extensive health screening.

A visit to the vet for a health check is a good idea for any older pet and will assist owners in gaining a better understanding of the impact ageing has on their four-legged friends.

Improving understanding

Kelly Eyre, vet nurse at the clinic, said: “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.”

The Feline Healthy Ageing Clinic is part of CatPAWS a pioneering study: the first of its kind in Europe, established to improve understanding of the ageing process in cats. The clinical team hope to explore the various factors which can contribute to ageing in a positive manner, ultimately working towards prolonging and improving quality of life.

Located at the University of Liverpool Small Animal Practice on Grove Street, the Clinic are actively recruiting cats (and their owners!) for the free service, which shouldn’t replace the normal contact they have with their veterinary practice, but enhance the overall awareness of age-related changes.

Ambitious study

Lead Researcher, Nathalie Dowgray, said: “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.”

If you are interested in learning more about the study then contact catpaws@liverpool.ac.uk

Dr Alex German provides further hints and tips for pet owners in the University of Liverpool podcast which can be found here.

CatPAWS team


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