Another possible cause of the shudder could be Feline Spongiform Encephalopathy. This is more widely known as the cat equivalent of mad cow disease. As with all diseases among animals there is the ever present risk of the cells making the evolutionary jump from feline to human.
The scare that scientists are facing is similar to the foot and mouth and mad cow crisis Britain experienced several years ago. Scientists fear that if they delay action then this new bug could infect people and cause a countrywide and potentially global epidemic resulting in the deaths of millions of people. On the other hand if the verdict is made too hastily before ample research is discovered then actions may be taken against cats causing the unnecessary deaths of millions of pets.
Source: Report from the Government Consultation - embargoed for publication