A cat health-awareness campaign called ‘Have We Seen Your Cat Lately?’ was launched earlier this month in response to research that revealed over a third of pet cats are not receiving regular veterinary care.
Australia is a nation of pet lovers with a growing cat population of over 3.8 million cats, however it seems some cat owners may be unwittingly neglecting the health needs of their furry companions.
An Animal Medicines Australia report published last year found that 1.36 million pet cats are missing out on critical health checks.
The campaign—which is sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health—aims to clarify common myths and misconceptions around cat health and to encourage owners to commit to regular check-ups to ensure their cat’s long-term health.
Well-known veterinarians Dr James Carroll and Dr Anthony Bennett (Foxtel’s The Village Vets) are getting behind the campaign to encourage cat owners to do right by their beloved pets.
“It is distressing to hear that over a third of Australian cats aren’t getting the necessary vet care they need,” Dr Bennett said.
“People often assume cats will display visible signs of illness like dogs do. Cats are actually quite adept at masking pain. This means you might not realise something is wrong until the problem is really serious.”
Global stakeholders iCatCare and the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) recommend a minimum of one annual health check for cats, with more frequent exams for senior and geriatric patients, or cats with medical or behavioural conditions.
Cat owners can visit the campaign website to get tips for a stress-free vet visit, to find information on common cat illnesses or to complete a free health-risk assessment.
They will also enjoy this tongue-in-cheek interactive video developed for the campaign highlighting the difficulty pet owners face in getting their cats to the vet.