More than 42 million households across the United States own cats, so it’s no surprise cats are the pet of choice for Americans. But, what is surprising is that only half of those cats see the vet on a regular basis.
In an effort to change this, Royal Canin, a global leader in pet health nutrition, is partnering with celebrity cat owner Angela Kinsey and leading cat industry partners to support National Take Your Cat to the Vet Day on August 22. The campaign seeks to raise awareness about the importance of preventive veterinary care by encouraging cat owners to make their annual vet appointment. “I’ve been in love with cats since I was very young,” said Angela Kinsey, actress and owner of two cats – Snickers and Oreo. “Our cats rely on us for all their health needs, so that’s why I jumped at the opportunity to join Royal Canin’s Take Your Cat to the Vet campaign and become an advocate for cat health.”
Joining the brand in urging more attention to preventive veterinary care for cats are industry’s leading cat focused organizations including American Association of Feline Practitioners, Antech Diagnostics, Banfield Animal Hospital, Banfield Foundation, CATalyst Council, Chewy.com, Doc & Phoebe’s Cat Co., Feliway, Frankie’s Friends, KindredBio, The Bridge Club, The Cat Fanciers’ Association, The International Cat Association, and WINN Feline Foundation.
While there is not just one single reason why cat owners avoid taking their cats to the vet, a study by Royal Canin showed that nearly half of cat owners reported they would be more willing to take their cat to the vet if it was easier and less stressful for them and their cat.
To help break down the barriers that prevent cats from going to a vet more often, Royal Canin partnered with cat advocate Dr. Natalie Marks and other veterinarians to develop a series of tips to help make small changes at home that will best prepare cats for trips to the vet. Dr. Marks’ top tips are:
- Get a welcoming cat carrier and leave it as part of the furniture so your cat becomes acclimated and comfortable being in the carrier
- Use pheromone wipes and sprays to help relax your cat and reduce stress
- Make time for daily touch with your cat (brushing, nail trims, etc.) – this will help desensitize your cat to being touched and will help make veterinary visits less stressful
According to Dr. Marks: “More often than not, people don’t take their cat to the vet until the cat is visibly ill. Cats are such stoic animals and do not show their pain until it is severe, which is why is it so important to take your cat to the vet on a regular basis. Otherwise, cat owners may end up spending significantly more time getting their cat back to better health.”
Once cat owners are prepared to take their cat to the vet, it’s equally as important that the in-clinic experience is positive as well. As such, Dr. Marks travels to vet clinics across the country to provide guidance on how clinics can become more ‘feline welcoming’. Recently, Dr. Marks and Royal Canin helped renovate Park East Animal Clinic in Manhattan to showcase feline-friendly enhancements including a separate cat and dog waiting area, a cats-only exam room with cat shelves, and a cat carrier tower so cats don’t have to be eye level with dogs.
“Royal Canin is committed to making a better world for pets,” said Dr. Brent Mayabb, Chief Veterinary Officer of Royal Canin USA. “This campaign will inspire cat lovers to make feline health a priority. Regular visits to the veterinarian help ensure cats are healthy and happy for years to come.”
Cat owners are invited to get involved in the campaign from August 22 – September 30, 2019 by sharing a photo of their cat on social media (Facebook, Twitter or Instagram) using hashtag #Cat2Vet and tagging Royal Canin and their veterinary clinic. For every share, cat owners will have a chance to win a prize package (year’s supply of Royal Canin cat food, Sleepypod cat carrier, special items from Chewy, Feliway pheromone wipes and more!) everything they’ll need to prepare for their vet visit – and their vet clinic will also win a special makeover to help enhance the overall cat in-clinic experience.2
“Pet happiness and pet health go hand in hand. Partnering with Royal Canin to promote cat vet visits further speaks to Chewy’s mission of enhancing the lives of pets and pet parents,” said Mita Malhotra, VP of Chewy Healthcare. “We’re thrilled to work on an initiative that supports our vet partners and encourages the importance of feline health and wellbeing. We believe cats should always have a comfortable, stress-free experience when visiting the vet.”
For more information, visit www.royalcanin.com/Cat2Vet.