Study aims to increase owner awareness of feline pain and welfare

A new study is being undertaken by researchers at the University of Montrealwhere the Feline Grimace Scale (FGS) was developed. It aims to measure theability of cat owners to assess acute pain in cats using the FGS, comparedwith veterinarians’ assessments, with participants asked to score facialimages of 10 cats with different levels of pain resulting from naturalconditions (surgery or disease).

The research team is headed by WSAVA Global Pain Council members Drs BeatrizMonteiro and Paulo Steagall, who are working with veterinary student Netta Leefrom the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, on the project. The results willbe published in an open-access peer reviewed scientific journal.

The study will help us to learn whether owners are able to tell if their catis in pain by looking at their faces and using the Feline Grimace Scale. Wewould be grateful if WSAVA members would spread the word among their cat-owning clients and encourage them to complete the survey. We hope to increasepain awareness among owners. This might prompt them to take their cat to theveterinarian earlier if they are suspected to be in pain.

The survey is open until May 15 and is available in both English andSpanish. It is anonymous and will take about 20 minutes to complete. It isopen to anyone over 18, as long as they do not have veterinary training andthey either own – or have owned – a cat.The study is being run incollaboration with International Cat Care and is supported by WSAVA PlatinumPartner, Zoetis. Links to the survey are below

New website for the Feline Grimace Scale designed by WSAVA Global Pain Council Members

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