When was the last time you took your cat to the vet? Do you take them for regular check-ups? Or do you try to avoid going altogether..?
The number of veterinary visits for cats has fallen 30% since 2001.1 And, with 58% of owners saying their ‘cat hates going to the vet’ it’s no surprise that over half do not take their pet for regular check-ups.
22 August marks ‘Take Your Cat to the Vet Day’ – Royal Canin’s annual campaign to encourage cat owners to visit the vet. Starting in the US in 2016, the initiative has since gone global, with the International Society of Feline Medicine (ISFM) now pledging its support.
“We are proud to join the #Cat2VetDay campaign to encourage regular check-ups. Preventative veterinary care is crucial to improving the health of all pet cats.” – Sarah Endersby ISFM’s Veterinary Development Manager
So, how often should you take your cat to the vet?
According to ISFM’s Cat Care for Life programme, this depends on your cat’s age and life stage. For example, if your cat is a ‘Super Senior’ – aged over 15 – they need bi-annual veterinary check-ups.
Kitten: <6 months
Every 1–2 months
Junior: 7 months – 2 years
Every 6 months
Adult: 3 years – 6 years
Mature: 7 years – 10 years
Senior: 11 years – 14 years
Super senior: 15 years +
Determine your cat’s life stage and human age with the Cat Care for Life ‘How old is your cat?’ poster:
Cats age much quicker than humans so it’s important to appreciate their age in human terms. A cat will reach the human age of 15 by its first year, 24 by its second and every year after is equal to 4 human years.
A 16 year old cat for example is equivalent to an 80 year old human…
But, if your cat’s not sick why do you need to take them to see a vet?
Preventative care is critical to a cat’s health and well-being. By undertaking routine care, through all stages – from kittens through to old age – you can ensure your cat stays as healthy as possible.
During a check-up your vet can learn valuable information about your cat’s medical history and behaviours. Body weight can be monitored and you can ensure that all vaccinations are up to date.
“Although we are familiar with our cats communicating with us via meows and purring they are very good at hiding when they are sick or in pain. This is why it is so important to take your cat to the vet for routine wellness exams: to help reveal possible masked ailments and to make informed decisions about care that may prevent issues before they occur.” – Sarah Endersby
How can you make trips to the vet easier and more stress-free?
2/3rds of cat-owners have said that they would take their cat to the vet more often if it was easier…1
So, here are some tips to make trips to the vet easier and more stress-free for you and your cat:
- Choose Cat Friendly and take your cat to an ISFM accredited Cat Friendly Clinic. With over 2,000 worldwide, find a Cat Friendly Clinic near you: catfriendlyclinic.org
- Often, cats are not used to being held or touched in the way vets will. Get your cat comfortable with having its ears, mouth, coat, paws and eyes checked, with ISFM’s handling videos: icatcare.org/advice/cat-handling-videos
- Is getting your cat into the carrier and to and from the vet the most stressful part of the experience? Check out the carrier and travel videos: icatcare.org/advice/cat-handling-videos
- Familiarise yourself with what your vet will be looking for during a check-up and be prepared with what to expect on the day: catcare4life.org
1 AAHA Pets Matter, August 19, 2015: http://www.aaha.org/blog/petsmatter/post/2015/08/19/687773/Pet-health-Why-regular-veterinary-visits-matter.aspx
Eve Davies, Digital Communications Officer
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Notes to editors:
About the International Society of Feline Medicine (ISFM)
ISFM is the veterinary division of International Cat Care. ISFM aims to provide a worldwide resource for veterinarians on feline medicine and surgery.