Quality of life (QOL) refers to a standard of physical and social behaviour commensurate to what is expected for a particular cat’s age and social location.
QOL embraces the five freedoms that minimizes physical and psychological stress, and is a matter of consideration when euthanasia is being contemplated due to disease, abandonment and possibility of restoring a cat’s physical health and social welfare.
For example, a cat suffering from terminal chronic renal disease with unremitting vomiting and anorexia has poor quality of life.
|0 – 10||Pain||Inappropriate vocalisation, dyspnoea, guarding, aggression, response to NSAIDs or other pain-management drugs|
|0 – 10||Mentation||Awareness of surroundings, cognitive function, depression, predictor of degree of encephalopathy|
|0 – 10||Hunger||Searching for food, appetite, interest in food|
|0 – 10||Hydration||Dehydration as an interpretation of renal function, assessment of polydipsia and polyuria|
|0 – 10||Hygiene||Grooming ability, self-care|
|0 – 10||Happiness||Interest in usual bonding with owner or other pets|
|0 – 10||Mobility||Degree of stiffness, severity of arthritis, ataxia due to lameness|
|Total out of 70, divided by 10||= No. of good days per week|
|<3 days a week is a poor score|
- ↑ Adapted from Villalobos, A ((2010) Pawspice. In August, JR (Ed): Consultations in feline internal medicine. Vol 6. Elsevier Saunders, St Louis