Table 3

Ranked welfare priority issues of cats determined using a Delphi method, considering the welfare of individual cats (experts’ judgement of severity and duration combined) and the UK cat population (experts’ perception of current prevalence)

SpeciesRankingPriority welfare issues
Severity x durationPrevalence
Cats1Social behaviour issues relating to inappropriate home environment.Neglect /hoarding.
2Diseases of old age.Delayed euthanasia.
3Obesity.Inherited diseases and conformation issues.
4Not seeking veterinary care when required.Social and environmental restriction leading to inappropriate behaviours.
5Poor pain management.Poor pain management.
6Shelter issues (including long stays, chronic stress, etc).Diseases of old age.
7Unowned cat population.Not seeking veterinary care when required.
8Delayed euthanasia.Obesity.
9Neglect/hoarding.Shelter issues (including long stays, chronic stress, etc).
10Inherited diseases and conformation issues.Inadequate stray cat management (including overpopulation).