Understanding the impacts of feline epilepsy on cats and their owners
Henning, J., Nielson, T., Nettifee, J., Munana, K., & Hazel, S. (2021, August 23). VETERINARY RECORD.
Epilepsy is the most common neurological condition reported in cats. Characterised by recurrent seizures, treatment involves the administration of anti-epileptic drugs up to multiple times a day. Epilepsy and its associated treatments may impact both cats and their owners. The present study aimed to assess factors associated with quality of life (QOL) in cats with epilepsy and the burden of care in their owners.An online survey was developed using demographic information and the following validated measures: cat QOL, Zarit burden interview (ZBI) and the cat owner relationship scale (CORS). Regression analysis was conducted using SPSS 26.Responses were completed by 141 owners from 22 countries. QOL was significantly higher in cats with controlled seizures, no adverse effects from medication and epilepsy onset before 5 years of age. ZBI was significantly lower in owners who felt supported by their veterinarian, who were over 55 and had cats with controlled seizures. Higher CORS was significantly correlated with both higher cat QOL and lower owner ZBI.Adequate seizure control and close cat-owner relationships may play an important role in mitigating the impact of epilepsy on cats and their owners. Further research into understanding cat-owner relationships and successfully controlling epilepsy in cats is needed.