Growth standard charts for monitoring bodyweight in intact domestic shorthair kittens from the USA

Salt, Carina, German, Alexander J ORCID: 0000-0002-3017-7988, Henzel, Kristin S and Butterwick, Richard F
(2022) Growth standard charts for monitoring bodyweight in intact domestic shorthair kittens from the USA. PLOS ONE, 17 (11). e0277531-e0277531.

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<jats:p>The optimal growth of domesticated cats has not yet been well defined. This study first aimed to create evidence-based growth standards for healthy pet domestic shorthair (DSH) kittens, and then compare the pattern of growth curves depicted by the standards with growth patterns in other healthy DSH kittens and those with abnormal body condition. Data were derived from the clinical records of the BANFIELD® Pet Hospital (BANFIELD) network in the USA and from a research population in the UK (Waltham Petcare Science Institute, UK). A ‘modelling’ dataset was first created from the BANFIELD records, comprising bodyweight data from immature client-owned DSH cats that had remained healthy and in ideal body condition within the first 2.5y of life. This was used to construct growth centile curves for male and female kittens, covering the age range 8 to 78 weeks, using Generalised Additive Models for Location, Shape and Scale. Growth patterns depicted by the centile curves were compared with the growth patterns of healthy DSH kittens from both research colonies and kittens attending BANFIELD that were classified as overweight or underweight. Overall, there was a broad agreement to the growth standards with approximately half of the research population (206/507, 49%) staying within 2 centile lines of their starting centile, and upward and downward movements outside this range being roughly equally distributed. Compared with the growth standards, the 122 overweight BANFIELD kittens were heavier on average at the start of monitoring and subsequently grew more quickly with 63 (52%) crossing at least 2 standard centile lines upwards. Only 4 underweight DSH kittens were available in the BANFIELD database; compared with the standards, there was a marked initial dip in growth followed by subsequent catch-up growth and 2/4 kittens crossed 2 or more centile lines downwards at some point. Evidence-based growth standards are developed here for male and female sexually-intact DSH kittens. Crossing centiles in an upwards and downwards direction is associated with cats becoming overweight or underweight by early adulthood, respectively. Further work is required to determine whether the clinical use of these growth standards will improve the health and wellbeing of pet cats.</jats:p>

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Animals, Cats, Body Weight, Thinness, Female, Male, Overweight, Growth Charts
Divisions: Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences > Institute of Life Courses and Medical Sciences
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 22 Nov 2022 10:16
Last Modified: 08 Apr 2023 01:01
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0277531
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