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Quitt, Pia R.; Reese, Sven ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4605-9791; Fischer, Andrea; Bertram, Simon; Tauber, Clara and Matiasek, Lara (3. August 2018): Assessment of menace response in neurologically and ophthalmologically healthy cats. In: Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery

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Objectives Assessment and interpretation of menace response (MeR) in cats can be challenging. The prevalence of abnormal MeR in healthy cats is unknown. The aim of this study was to prospectively evaluate MeR in visually healthy cats.

Methods Fifty cats without history or clinical evidence of neurologic or ophthalmologic disease were assessed by two examiners: standing behind (mode A), in front of (mode B) and in front of the cat (mode C), covering the contralateral eye. MeR was scored from 1 to 5 (absent, weak, moderate, strong, complete). Examination modes were compared concerning presence and score (descriptive statistic, 95% confidence interval, χ2 test). This was compared to a three-level scoring system (negative, reduced, positive). Score reproducibility between the two examiners was assessed (Cohen’s kappa test). Video footage allowed self re-evaluation and evaluation of the second examiner (kappa analysis). Learning/tiring effect (McNemar test), influence of age, body weight (Spearman’s rho test), skull type (χ2 test) and being an indoor or outdoor cat (Mann–Whitney U-test) were evaluated.

Results MeR was always elicited with at least one technique. Comparable results were obtained with the five- and three-level scoring system. Mode A achieved strong/complete (positive) MeR in 84.5%, mode B in 82% and mode C in 60%. Exact score reproducibility between the two examiners was slight to fair (κ = 0.208–0.281). Intra-rater agreement for video self-assessment (κ = 0.544–0.639), as well as inter-rater agreement (extrinsic video assessment), was moderate to substantial (κ = 0.584–0.645). No learning/tiring effect (P = 0.530) or association with body weight (P = 0.897), age (P = 0.724), skull type (P >0.05) and being indoor/ outdoor cat (P = 0.511) was evident.

Conclusions and relevance The majority of visually healthy cats revealed a strong/complete MeR when the contralateral eye remained uncovered, but 40% failed when the contralateral eye was covered. The most reliable examination mode was achieved standing behind the cat.

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