Our study aimed to determine if certain early life events were more prevalent in cats presenting to veterinary practices specifically for gastrointestinal signs on at least two occasions between six months and 30 months of age. Data from an owner-completed questionnaire for 1212 cats before 16 weeks of age and subsequent questionnaires for the same cats between six months and 30 months of age were reviewed. Of the 1212 cats included, 30 visited a veterinary practice for gastrointestinal signs on two or more occasions. Of the early life events recorded, cats reported with vomiting, diarrhoea or both, and/or those not exclusively fed commercial diet(s) that meets the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) Global Nutrition Committee (GNC) guidelines before 16 weeks of age were more likely to visit veterinary practices specifically for gastrointestinal signs on at least two occasions between six months and 30 months of age (P<0.001, odds ratio (OR)=2.64, 95 per cent confidence interval (CI)=1.66–4.22 and P=0.030, OR=1.51, 95 per cent CI=1.04–2.22, respectively). Ensuring cats exclusively consume commercial diet(s) that meets the WSAVA GNC guidelines and further studies identifying specific aetiologies for vomiting and diarrhoea before 16 weeks of age to enable prevention may reduce the number of cats subsequently presenting to primary care veterinary practices for repeated gastrointestinal signs.
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Funding The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship and/or publication of this article: Waltham Pet Nutrition and Cats Protection.
Competing interests None declared.
Ethics approval The University of Bristol granted ethical approval for the study (VIN/17/049).
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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