Research volunteers needed. Must love talking about your cat

Image for article titled Volunteers needed for research.  Must love talking about your cat

Photo: Kachalkina Veronika (Shutterstock)

California researchers are calling on cat owners to do their favorite thing in the name of science: talk about their cat. The team aims figure out how to make remote vet visits more appealing to owners, in hopes of better ensuring cats can get regular medical care care they need.

The research is led by scientists from the Animal Welfare Epidemiology Laboratory at the University of California, Davis. They’re trying to solve a long-standing problem in the pet world. Compared to dogs, cats do not see the veterinarian as often during controls. And when they do, the experience can be particularly stressful for both. cat and owner.

In recent years, especially during the pandemic, telemedicine has emerged as a viable alternative or complement to in-person care for humans. So the team wants to see if the same can be true for cats too. As part of that goal, they are now asking cat owners to complete a short questionnaire about their attitudes towards telemedicine. If you are interested in participating, you can do so here.

“Ultimately, we want to assess whether video telemedicine will help increase owners’ accessibility and willingness to provide healthcare to their cat. This is especially important because cat owners are less likely to provide their cat with routine health care, compared to dogs and their owners,” Ashley Bidgoli, an undergraduate student in the lab, told Gizmodo in an email.

Bidgoli notes that many state veterinary regulations only allow the use of telemedicine if the cat still physically sees the vet at least once a year. These programs are therefore not intended to replace the traditional visit, bbut they might make it more feasible and affordable for owners to see a vet for less.urgent concerns or to maintain an overall high quality of health care for their furry felines.

“Video telemedicine also allows the veterinary team to directly view the home environment, which can help optimize home management of behavioral issues and chronic illnesses. Additionally, video telemedicine can also be useful for recheck-type appointments such as post-surgery check-ins where in-person visits may not be necessary,” Bidgoli said.

The survey will be open to anyone over the age of 18 owning at least one cat, and no prior experience with the use of remote veterinary visits is required. The team is looking to recruit between 1,200 and 2,000 volunteers. SIf all goes well, they hope to have their research published in about a year.