Stress can have a detrimental affect on a cat's health, according to new research.
A study carried out by staff at Ohio State University has revealed that healthy cats were just as likely as chronically ill animals to refuse food and vomit following a change to their normal routine, such as feeding times.
The sick cats were diagnosed with feline interstitial cystitis, a chronic illness which causes pain and a desire to frequently urinate. It is linked to a number of health problems.
According to the researchers, the findings highlight the fact that vets should consider an animals surroundings and their home life when assessing any health issues.
"For veterinary clinicians, when you have a cat that's not eating, is not using the litter box or has stuff coming up out of its mouth, the quality of the environment is another cause that needs to be addressed in coming up with a diagnosis," said study senior author Tony Buffington, a professor of veterinary clinical sciences.