Scientists from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Montreal have discovered a way to measure the degree of pain in cats by facial expressions: they have developed a scale for assessing the facial expressions of cats (Feline Grimace Scale). The research results are published in the journal Nature.
Canadian veterinarians have found a method that allows a person, without special training and equipment, to determine if an animal is experiencing pain at the moment.
To test the “pain scale”, scientists divided 20 volunteers into four equal groups: cat owners, veterinary students, veterinarians and veterinarians. They were shown photographs of 100 cats in different conditions. Animals were removed in cages before and after surgery or painful procedures, as well as before or after receiving pain relievers. The participants in the experiment equally assessed the condition of the animals from the photographs, while their opinions coincided with the diagnoses of the group of veterinarians.
The scale for assessing facial expressions of cats includes five indicators: the position of the ears, the degree of tension of the eye orbits, the tension of the muzzle, the position of the whiskers and the position of the head. Each of the indicators is scored from zero to two. For example, a loose and curved mustache is zero points, a slightly curved or straight mustache is one point, and a straight and forward mustache is two points. If the sum of points for all indicators exceeds three points, veterinarians recommend showing the cat to the veterinarian.
The level of inter-expert reliability, reflecting the coincidence of opinions in one group, did not fall below 80 percent. Among students, the rate reached 88 percent.
On March 31, Russia registered the world's first COVID-19 vaccine for animals.
Earlier, zoopsychologist Miroslav Volkov explained the craving of cats for boxes. He explained that pets perceive the box as a hiding place, so they try to hide in it. This is due to years of evolution.