Feline Pine has extended its National Take Your Cat to the Vet Day to an entire week, Aug. 16-22.
The natural cat litter company lengthened the observance because of positive responses from veterinarians and cat owners last year in Chicago, said Michele Gaspar, DVM, Dipl. ABVP (feline), the company's national “spokesvet.”
“The excellent feedback showed us that with some extra effort, cat owners who hadn’t thought of taking their cat to the vet could be spurred to do so,” Dr. Gaspar said.
National Take Your Cat to the Vet Week aims to educate cat owners about the importance of annual veterinary visits for their pets. In a national survey conducted by Feline Pine in spring 2009, more than one-third of the 720 respondents said they took their cats to the veterinarian only when the animal was sick. Only 17 percent of those surveyed had their cats regularly vaccinated against diseases like rabies and distemper.
“We want to convey that cats are not a low-maintenance pet,” Gaspar said.
Cats are typically subtle in their signs of pain or discomfort. Annual vet visits can pinpoint issues that might otherwise be overlooked by the cat owner. This, in turn, can increase the cat’s quality of life, Gaspar said.
Annual veterinary visits are also a more cost-effective way for owners to take care of their cats, she added. If a problem is caught early enough, it may require less expensive treatment than if the problem progresses and aggressive treatment is needed.
Finding diseases early on is also more rewarding for the vet, she said.
Feline Pine notes that the American Association of Feline Practitioners recommends that senior cats—those older than 10 years—should visit the veterinarian every six months because many diseases begin in middle age and problems in older cats tend to accelerate more quickly.
The National Take Your Cat to the Vet Week will include participation from veterinary offices nationwide, including “spokesvets” in 15 cities who will talk about the importance of regular visits. The cities include Miami; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; San Diego; San Francisco; Boston; New York City; Chicago; Seattle; Tampa, Fla.; Charlotte, N.C.; Philadelphia; Portland, Maine; Atlanta; Phoenix; and Little Rock, Ark.
Veterinarians can sign up at the campaign’s website—FelinePine.com/national-vet-week—to be added to the company’s list of supporters.
Feline Pine is offering free in-office promotional packages for veterinarians. The packages include information packets, window clings and reminder cards. For details, contact Michelle Strain at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cat owners can sign up at the website to receive a reminder every year to take their cat to the vet.