Are You Cat Curious?

As International Cat Day approaches, Zoetis is raising awareness of the importance of regular visits to a veterinary clinic for cats.

The company is sponsoring the #BeCatCurious cat owner campaign by International Cat Care (ICC), a charity which aims to educate owners about cat-friendly principles in a lead up to and on #InternationalCatDay.

“We want to help cats and their owners live long and healthy lives together,” said Zoetis Chief Medical Officer Dr. Mike McFarland, “and regular visits to the vet are an essential part of that.

“Regular health checks, diagnostic screening, vaccinations and parasite control, are an important part of maintaining good feline health.  And if regular screening turns up any problem areas it is better to detect diseases early as there may be more options to help treat the cat and help them feel better sooner.”

Through evolution, cats have learned to conceal signs of weakness, so it can often be difficult for owners to tell when their cat is not feeling well.  This also makes the annual wellness check with a veterinarian incredibly important for cats.  Veterinarians can help detect any signs early.

This is also where #BeCatCurious can help… by learning more about what to look for in your cat so you know when to bring them to the veterinarian.

But, the first step to getting a cat access to healthcare starts with getting them into the cat carrier for travel.  ICC data shows that many cat owners are reluctant to take their pet to the vet because they have trouble getting them into a carrier to transport them. As a result, they may be tempted to put off annual wellness exams or wait until problems are at a more advanced stage before consulting a veterinarian.

One of the cat-friendly principles that ICC wants owners to be aware of is the curious and intelligent nature of cats which means they can be successfully trained using positive reinforcement and rewards.

“By making it easier for owners to get their cat to the vet, we can improve diagnosis, access to preventative vaccinations and medicines, such as parasite control, and to other routine health support,” said Dr. McFarland.  Additionally, as cats age, they can also experience chronic diseases such as diabetes, renal disease or arthritis.

“It may be surprising, but the pain associated with osteoarthritis (OA) can impact nearly 40% of cats and increases even more as they get older.  We know that this problem is not diagnosed as often as it could be today due to low awareness, leaving many cats experiencing OA pain.”

Jamie Brannan, President International at Zoetis also commented: “Our focus on feline medicines is not new. It includes a large portfolio of solutions to predict, prevent, detect and treat diseases with rapid-test diagnostics, vaccines and other preventative solutions like Stronghold Plus against several parasites, Cerenia for alleviation of vomiting and Synulox for the treatment of a wide range of bacterial infections in cats. And we recently added Solensia to our portfolio of feline products.  Solensia removes the difficulty in medicating your cat from the pet owner, as it is a biologic monthly injection delivered in the clinic by the veterinarian to help manage the pain associated with osteoarthritis.”

International Cat Day is on 8 August 2021. In the weeks leading up to it, owners were sent educational information and offered access to a range of free training and support materials which will help them train their pet to go into a carrier more easily. Emails, online training videos, podcasts and giveaways will be available online at icatcare.org/international-cat-day and owners will be able to share their experiences and photos on social media.

Results of the International Cat Care poll:

  • 50% of cat owners struggle to get their pet into a cat carrier
  • 95% would like more advice on training their cat
  • 69% found giving their cat medication difficult