Published by: Ingrid King. Last Updated on: June 22, 2023 by Crystal Uys

Veterinarian examines white cat

America’s cats are facing a healthcare crisis. The findings of a feline health study conducted by Bayer Health Care found that 52% of America’s 74 million cats are not receiving regular veterinary care. 83% of cats are seen by a vet during the first year after they’re adopted, but less than half of them ever return. These statistics are alarming, especially in light of the fact that cats are masters at masking any signs of illness. By the time a cat shows symptoms, a disease may already be in the advanced stages, which often makes treatment less effective and more costly.

Two of my favorite cat people are joining forces to help raise awareness about this growing concern. In his most recent episode of Cat Mojo, Jackson Galaxy interviewed Dr. Elizabeth Colleran, former president of the American Association of Feline Practitioners and owner of two cat hospitals, Chico Hospital for Cats in Chico, CA and the Cat Hospital of Portland in Portland, OR.

Removing barriers to vet visits start at home

One of the main reasons why many cats don’t get the veterinary care they need is that going to the vet visit can be an ordeal for both cat and guardian, and the stress begins long before the cat even gets to the veterinary clinic. Even the anticipation of a vet visit can make cat guardians anxious, and cats, being the sensitive creatures they are, will pick up on that anxiety. Getting the cat into the carrier is yet another barrier.

You can find additional information on the website of the American Association of Feline Practitioners. The brochure titled Getting Your Cat to the Veterinarian: Reducing the Stress of Veterinary Visits for You and Your Cat provides detailed tips for cat guardians.

Does your cat hate going to the vet? What are you doing to make the experience less stressful for your cat, and for yourself?

Mom and son releasing gray cat from pet carrier
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