Are cats' health and wellness needs being met?

In celebration of International Cat Day this August 8, organized by International Cat Care to raise awareness about cats and learn ways to help and protect them, veterinarians are encouraging all cat owners to check that they are meeting the wellness needs of your pets.

According to a recent survey by the British Veterinary Association (BVA), one in four cats (24%) seen in veterinary facilities do not meet all their welfare needs. The most pressing health and welfare issues affecting cats in the UK are obesity; behavioral issues/stress from living in a multi-cat household; dental problems; health problems related to extreme conformation; and owners who do not access preventive veterinary care.

The figures have led professionals to ask that all cat owners celebrate International Cat Day by checking that they are definitely meeting all of their cats' needs.

The president of BVA, Justine Shotton, notes that “cats have a reputation for being easy to care for and sadly we know that can sometimes lead to important welfare needs being overlooked. To commemorate International Cat Day 2022, We ask all cat owners to consider whether they are inadvertently missing out on something that is key to the health and well-being of their cats.. If you think there may be a problem, seek the advice of your veterinarian who can help ensure your pet receives the best possible care to reduce stress and stay healthy."

The BVA asked vets to identify the three most pressing health and welfare issues affecting cats in the UK. The obesity is the biggest problem cats face in the United Kingdom. 43% of veterinarians highlighted excess weight as the most pressing issue they see with cats in their practices. Two-fifths (41%) mentioned behavior problems and stress associated with living in a multi-cat household, compared to just 7% who mentioned similar stress as a result of living with other companion animals, mostly dogs. Thirty-four percent mentioned dental problems, while 26% mentioned issues related to extreme conformation, such as flat faces, and 19% cited a lack of preventative veterinary care.