Risk factors for road traffic accidents in cats up to age 12 months that were registered between 2010 and 2013 with the UK pet cat cohort (‘Bristol Cats’)

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Road traffic accidents (RTAs) are a common cause of death and injury in domestic cats, and a concern to many owners. This study assessed potential risk factors for RTAs in cats up to 12 months of age within a UK cat cohort known as ‘The Bristol Cats study’. Data were obtained from three questionnaires, completed by cat owners when their cats were approximately 8–16 weeks old, 6 months old and 12 months old. Information was gathered regarding environmental conditions, cat characteristics and owner management factors. Univariable and multivariable logistic regression models were used to assess associations between these factors and RTAs. Of 1264 eligible study cats, 49 (3.9 per cent) had been involved in an RTA, of which 71.4 per cent (35/49) were known to result in fatal injuries. Rural locations were associated with a higher odds of RTAs than towns, cities or suburban locations. An increased odds of an RTA was also associated with cats that were reported by their owners to hunt at the roadside, as well as cats whose owners classified the road by their house as being a ‘long straight section of road’. No significant associations were found between coat colour, breed, sex or neuter status and the odds of an RTA.

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