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Article

Owner-Reported Pica in Domestic Cats Enrolled onto a Birth Cohort Study

by *,†, and
Bristol Veterinary School, University of Bristol, Bristol BS40 5DU, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Present Address: Dogs Trust, London EC1V 7RQ, UK.
Academic Editors: Chiara Mariti and Jonathan Bowen
Animals 2021, 11(4), 1101; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11041101
Received: 23 December 2020 / Revised: 6 April 2021 / Accepted: 7 April 2021 / Published: 12 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cat Behaviour, Physiology and Welfare)
This study investigated the types of materials targeted by cats eating non-nutritive materials (‘pica’), at about 6, 12 and 18 months of age, as reported by owners. Pica was most common at about 6 months, as compared to the older age categories. Most cats targeted a single type of material, with plastics and other materials being chewed or eaten more commonly than wool or other fabrics. The factors associated with the occurrence of “chronic pica” (pica exhibited at all three timepoints) in cats were also investigated. Moving to a new house, renting rather than owning a home, and living in a household without a dog(s) were factors found to increase the odds of a cat displaying chronic pica.
The prevalence and cooccurrence of pica towards different target materials were investigated using prospective data from three questionnaires completed by owners participating in a longitudinal study of UK pet cats. Pica towards one or more material types was reported in 42.9% (229/534), 32.0% (171/534), and 30.9% (165/534) of cats aged approximately 6, 12, and 18 months, respectively. At all timepoints, it was most common for only one material type to be targeted. Associations between potential explanatory variables and “chronic pica” (pica exhibited at all three timepoints) were also explored. Multivariable logistic regression revealed moving to a new house when the cat was aged approximately 6–12 months, renting rather than owning a home, and living in a household without a dog(s) when the cat was aged 2–4 months increased the odds of chronic pica occurrence. This study provides novel data from a cohort of UK pet cats and it is hoped this will increase the understanding of pica and provide direction for areas for future research. View Full-Text
Keywords: domestic cat; pica; wool-sucking; behavioural disorders; questionnaire; longitudinal study domestic cat; pica; wool-sucking; behavioural disorders; questionnaire; longitudinal study
MDPI and ACS Style

Kinsman, R.; Casey, R.; Murray, J. Owner-Reported Pica in Domestic Cats Enrolled onto a Birth Cohort Study. Animals 2021, 11, 1101. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11041101

AMA Style

Kinsman R, Casey R, Murray J. Owner-Reported Pica in Domestic Cats Enrolled onto a Birth Cohort Study. Animals. 2021; 11(4):1101. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11041101

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kinsman, Rachel, Rachel Casey, and Jane Murray. 2021. "Owner-Reported Pica in Domestic Cats Enrolled onto a Birth Cohort Study" Animals 11, no. 4: 1101. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11041101

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