The Bristol Cats Study
Thank you for your interest in our exciting study that records the environment, health and behaviour of cats from their registration with us at 2-4 months of age until adulthood. This webpage is designed to tell you more about the ‘Bristol Cats’ study
‘Bristol Cats’ aims to be the cat-equivalent of the ‘Children of the 90’s’ study that is run by colleagues at the University of Bristol. (The ‘Children of the 90’s’ study has collected information relating to children born in the Bristol region in the early 1990’s. The results of this study have identified ways to help prevent many important conditions, such as cot death).
Registration of cats and kittens
Recruitment of new kittens has closed, however the study will continue to follow the kittens and cats and analyse data from the cohort. Approximately 2200 kittens have registered with the study since its launch in May 2010.
Why is the ‘Bristol Cats’ study being carried out?
Because we don’t know much about the causes of common behaviour patterns and diseases of cats.
Questionnaires that are completed by kitten owners will give us very valuable data. We can look to see to what extent certain characteristics (e.g. aggression towards people) or conditions (e.g. obesity) are associated with the cat’s management (e.g. diet, lifestyle) and other factors (e.g. breed).;
The results from this study can be used to help improve the health and welfare of cats in the future, in the same way that the “children of the 90’s” study has helped our knowledge of childhood diseases.
Owners are asked to complete a questionnaire when their cats are aged approximately:
- 8-16 weeks
- 6-7 months
- 12-13 months
- 18-19 months
- 2.5 years
- 4 years
- annually thereafter, subject to study funding.
Participation in this study is voluntary and you have the right to withdraw from the study at any point.
The ‘Bristol Cats’ study website and newsletter
Newsletters are produced approximately every 6 months to update owners of study cats about the progress of the study.
- Winter 2010 (PDF, 47kB)
- Spring 2011 (PDF, 256kB)
- Autumn 2011 (PDF, 340kB)
- Spring 2012 (PDF, 138kB)
- Autumn 2012 (PDF, 800kB)
- Spring 2013 (PDF, 356kB)
- Autumn 2013 (PDF, 749kB)
- Autumn 2014 (PDF, 918kB)
- Spring 2015 (PDF, 1,186kB)
- Autumn 2015 (PDF, 796kB)
- Spring 2016 (PDF, 883kB)
- Autumn 2016 (PDF, 1,087kB)
The study has been approved by the Ethics of Human Research Committee and by the Ethical review group of the Animal Services Unit, providing that any cases of suspected neglect of a pet will be reported to the appropriate veterinarian.
Confidentiality and data protection
In order to link the different questionnaires you complete for your cat at different ages, and access veterinary records (if applicable), we ask you to supply your name and address (update my records). This information will not be used for any other purpose and will be held securely in line with the University of Bristol’s policy on data protection. The study results will refer to overall percentages and numbers of cats, and individual cats and their owners will not be identifiable in the results.
Completion, and electronic or postal return, of a questionnaire indicates that you give permission for your questionnaire responses to be stored and used in the study, as detailed above.
If you have any questions about the study, please do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of the study team, using the contact details below.
Thank you very much for considering participation in this study which is the first of its kind in the UK. Information about your kitten and its life are very important to us and may help the cats of the future!
Bristol Cats, Dr Jane Murray
University of Bristol
Tel/text: 07827 981412