Authors: Georgia Edwards BSc (Hons), RVN.

Georgia qualified as an RVN in 2020 and obtained her BSc (Hons) degree in 2021 from the
Royal Veterinary College. She is currently working in a first opinion small animal practice in Liverpool, where she takes a keen interest in patient care and in particular the geriatric patient. Georgia is also keen on animal behaviour and animal welfare.

Sarah Batt-Williams, MSc Vet Ed, FHEA, BSc (Hons), RVN

Sarah is a senior teaching fellow at the Royal Veterinary College and is the course director of the FdSc/BSc in veterinary nursing. Sarah leads the final-year project module, in which students undertake a research project of their choosing. Prior to a move into veterinary nursing education in 2017, Sarah worked as a veterinary nurse in small animal first opinion, referral, university referral and charity veterinary practices in the UK and Australia.

ABSTRACT This research project aimed to investigate the factors affecting owner awareness of osteoarthritis (OA) in cats, and whether those factors influenced cats being taken to veterinary practices. The study used voluntary response sampling in the form of an online questionnaire for cat owners. This questionnaire was designed to gain an understanding of owners’ awareness of OA in cats, and what factors affected this awareness. The results revealed that many owners are aware of OA as a disease, but do not recognise the clinical signs of OA in cats specifically. The project also found that owner awareness of OA does not affect whether cats are taken to veterinary practices. Owners are instead more likely to notice cats displaying abnormal behaviour, and will then decide to visit a veterinary practice. In conclusion, this research project indicates that awareness of OA in cats is lacking and more research is needed to discover why this is the case.
Keywords: feline, osteoarthritis, cats, OA, arthritis


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