Jess the cat returns to ensure cat owners Spot the Signs

Postman Pat's iconic sidekick Jess made his first big screen appearance in more than four years to support a new campaign that teaches cat owners the four main signs to look out for that indicate  their cat might be in pain.

Postman Pat's iconic sidekick Jess made his first big screen appearance in more than four years to support a new campaign that teaches cat owners the four main signs to look out for that indicate their cat might be in pain.

Premiering to a VIP audience of leading feline experts and general practitioners during BSAVA Congress, the Spot the Signs film helps raise awareness of the signs of chronic pain in cats.

To celebrate the launch of the film, the audience was treated to a red-carpet experience with champagne and canapés in the UK's oldest working cinema, The Electric in Birmingham.

The film uses the original Jess puppet, from the first TV episodes, and was painstakingly filmed in traditional stop-frame animation. Available on DVD and via YouTube, the film will be played in veterinary surgery waiting rooms nationwide to help cat owners recognise the signs of chronic cat pain.

The film was animated by renowned stop-frame animator Tim Collings, famed for his work on iconic shows that include Noddy, and Bill & Ben, as well as the original Postman Pat TV series.

Spot the SignsSupporting cat health campaign, Spot the Signs, the film responds to new research that shows 75% of cat owners find it difficult to recognise the signs of chronic (long term) pain in their pet. The research also found that cats in the UK are living longer than ever, and are more at risk of developing age-related conditions such as arthritis.

Further, despite an ageing cat population, more than three quarters (78%) of cats have never been taken to the vets for an old age check-up.

Cat behaviour counsellor Vicky Halls said: "Cats are programmed by evolution not to show obvious signs of pain to protect themselves from prey. Unlike dogs, they rarely cry out or limp, preferring instead to hide and shy away from contact.
Jess the cat
"Dog owners are more likely to notice pain during routine walks, whereas a cat will just move less to limit their pain, which can often be put down to your cat just getting old. This video highlights the four main signs cat owners should look out for which indicate that their cat might be in pain."

The film launches on both YouTube and the campaign Facebook page, which also includes support from a panel of cat experts, including leading feline author Claire Bessant, cat behaviour counsellor Vicky Halls and TV vet Pete Wedderburn.   

Ms Bessant, CEO of the Feline Advisory Bureau (FAB), said: "Despite a steady increase in the number of cases of arthritis and chronic pain in cats being diagnosed, our research shows awareness amongst cat owners remains surprisingly low. This is despite 86% of cat owners saying they would want their vet to let them know if their cat might be in pain. 

"For many owners, spotting the signs of pain in their cat can be difficult, so we have produced this film as a simple way to educate cat owners about what to look for and to encourage them to consult their vet or vet nurse if they are concerned."   

  • Spot the Signs has been launched by FAB through its Fabcats website, and is supported by Vetmedica, the animal health division of Boehringer Ingelheim.
Share |

You must be logged in to comment on this article

Already an account?

Remember me

Forgot your password?
Create an account

Follow vetsonline on In Youtube Twitter Facebook Google Rss



Do you think pet owners would be less shocked by veterinary bills if they knew the cost of comparable NHS treatments and services?


Keep abreast of the latest veterinary news and views. The vetsonline newsletter is sent out weekly, free of charge, to all subscribers.
* indicates required


This website uses cookies to optimise your user experience. Click here for further details or to manage your cookie preferences.