Evaluation Spatial-temporal and Pressure Parameters of Normal Cats at Walk, Using a Pressure Walkway
Quadrupedal locomotion is nowadays well known for dogs and horses; kinetic and kinematic systems allow sensitive and reliable gait analysis. On the other hand, cat locomotion has been less studied and data remain still confused and restricted.
The purpose of this study is to measure and evaluate spatiotemporal parameters and pressure data at walk in normal cats using a new pressure walkway adapted for cat. Gaitcat system is a pressure walkway of 2.4 m long with 28672 sensors. The system allows collecting of the spatio-temporal and pressure data, for each paw on consecutive strides. Data include: stride time, stance time, relative stance time (stance time/stride time), stride length, peak pressure, number of activated sensors by each paw and walking velocity. Symmetry left/right and ratio fore/hind limbs are also estimated. Twelve clinically healthy cats (mean weight: 5.0 and age: 2.1) were used in this study. Food or kennels were used to stimulate the cat cross the walkway.
The velocity average is 0.67 ± 0.22 m/s. No significant differences between the left and right forelimbs or the left and right hind limbs for all of the parameters. The ratio fore/hind limbs of the number of sensors is approximately one.
Stance distribution at walk seems to be equal between front and hind limbs. The ratio for relative stance time is 1.07 ± 0.04; the cats use the forelimbs slightly longer than the hind limbs during stance phase. For the peak pressure, it is 1.12 ± 0.15; its distribution is more important on the forelimbs, with 52.8% of the pressure reports on the front at walk.
This system enables measurement of the tempo-spatial parameters and pressure data of the cat at a walk. Stance distribution still seems to be more important on forelimbs although this dissymmetry is less important than in dogs and horses.
KeywordsCat pressure walkway gait analysis GAITRite® system ratio fore/hind
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