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Kinetic evaluation of normal walking and jumping in cats, using a pressure-sensitive walkway
  1. B. D. X. Lascelles, BVSc, PhD1,
  2. K. Findley1,
  3. M. Correa, MSc, PhD2,
  4. D. Marcellin-Little, DEDV1 and
  5. S. Roe, BVSc, PhD1
  1. 1 Comparative Pain Research Laboratory, Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27606, USA
  2. 2 Department of Population Health and Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27606, USA

Abstract

The kinetic parameters of the limbs of 23 normal, client-owned cats were evaluated by encouraging them to walk and jump normally on a pressure-sensitive walkway. Each cat was encouraged to walk across the walkway five times over a period of 30 to 45 minutes (by using food, toys, the owner's presence and a purpose-built tunnel) at a target speed of 0·6 m/s (and an acceleration of less than ± 0·1 m/s2). They were then encouraged to jump on to the walkway from a height of 1 m five times at five-minute intervals. The kinetic parameters of peak vertical force (pvf) and vertical impulse (vi) were measured for each limb (the forelimbs only for the jumps), and expressed as a percentage of bodyweight (pvf%bw and vi%bw/s). Fifteen of the 23 cats satisfactorily completed three to five walks and two to five jumps that could be analysed. There were no significant differences between the pvf or vi of the left and right limbs, but both parameters were significantly greater for the forelimbs than the hindlimbs (P<0·001) for the walking data. The mean (sd) pvf%bw for the forelimbs and hindlimbs were 48·2 (6·0) and 38·3 (4·0), respectively, and the mean vi%bw/s were 16·9 (3·2) and 13·3 (2·8). Jumping down generated significantly greater pvf (P<0·01) and slightly greater vi than during walking; there were no significant differences between the left and right forelimbs. The mean pvf%bw was 148·9 (16·4) and the mean vi%bw/s was 18·1 (4·3).

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