Novel use of an activity monitor to model jumping behaviors in cats

Kate P Sharon, Caryn M Thompson, B Duncan X Lascelles, Rudolph S Parrish
American Journal of Veterinary Research 2020, 81 (4): 334-343

OBJECTIVE: To develop methods to identify and characterize activity monitor (AM) data signatures for jumps performed by cats.

ANIMALS: 13 healthy, client-owned cats without evidence of osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease.

PROCEDURES: Each cat was fitted with the same AM, individually placed in an observation room, then simultaneously recorded by 3 video cameras during the observation period (5 to 8 hours). Each cat was encouraged to jump up (JU), jump down (JD), and jump across (JA) during the observation period. Output from the AM was manually annotated for jumping events, each of which was characterized by functional data analysis yielding relevant coefficients. The coefficients were then used in linear discriminant analysis to differentiate recorded jumps as JUs, JDs, or JAs. To assess the model's ability to distinguish among the 3 jump types, a leave-one-out cross-validation method was used, and the misclassification error rate of the overall categorization of the model was calculated.

RESULTS: Of 731 jumping events, 29 were misclassified. Overall, the mean misclassification error rate per cat was 5.4% (range, 0% to 12.5%), conversely indicating a correct classification rate per cat of 94.6%.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Results indicated that the model was successful in correctly identifying JUs, JDs, and JAs in healthy cats. With advancements in AM technology and data processing, there is potential for the model to be applied in clinical settings as a means to obtain objective outcome measures.

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