Charles Sturt University

07/10/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 07/09/2024 22:14

Cat owners needed for research into cats’ diets, health and diseases

Cat owners needed for research into cats' diets, health and diseases

10 JULY 2024

A Charles Sturt University Honours student who is passionate about feline health has initiated research that aims to determine the correlation between certain diets and potential gastrointestinal diseases in cats.

  • Charles Sturt University research will examine the correlation between certain diets and potential gastrointestinal diseases in cats
  • The research will enhance scientific knowledge, inform better dietary choices and disease risk management, as well as food handling practices for veterinarians and pet owners
  • The Australia-wide online survey is available until Friday 9 August

A Charles Sturt University Honours student who is passionate about feline health has initiated research that aims to determine the correlation between certain diets and potential gastrointestinal diseases in cats.

Ms Natalie Jefferson (pictured left, with her cat Denji) is conducting her first research project for her Bachelor of Animal Science (Honours) in the Charles Sturt School of Environmental, Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences in Wagga Wagga.

Ms Jefferson said understanding the impact of diet on feline health is crucial, as certain foods may be linked to a higher risk of gastrointestinal diseases.

"As dietary trends change, it's important to evaluate the benefits and potential risks these diets pose to our feline companions," she said.

"This research will enhance scientific knowledge, inform better dietary choices and disease risk management, and food handling practices for veterinarians and pet owners."

The Australia-wide online survey is available until Friday 9 August.

  • The survey is available online and is anonymous.
  • Participants have the option to send a faecal sample from their cat to the research team for examination at no cost.
  • Participants will receive the results of their cat's faecal sample.
  • All survey participants will be able to access the research results upon the project's completion.

Ms Jefferson aims to collect 60 cat faecal samples; 30 from cats fed ONLY a commercial diet, and 30 from cats fed raw meat (in part or as the entirety of their diet). The survey is limited to 1,000 responses.

The research has ethics committee approval and will be supervised by Charles Sturt Veterinary Parasitologist Professor Shokoofeh Shamsi, Charles Sturt Biosecurity Academic Coordinator Dr Agasthya Thotagamuwa and Dr Richard Malik, Feline Veterinarian at The University of Sydney.

Media Note:

To arrange interviews with Ms Natalie Jefferson and Professor Shokoofeh Shamsi, contact Bruce Andrews at Charles Sturt Media on mobile 0418 669 362 or via [email protected] Main photo: The 'blue' cat Timi (Sir Tim O'Theo Del Millars) by Jacqueline Jefferson; the name in the bracket is the cat's pedigree name. In-text photo of Ms Natalie Jefferson holding her cat 'Denji' (Natakye Little Capers). Both cats are blue British Shorthairs.

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