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Setting up a cat friendly clinic

02 July 2018
14 mins read
Volume 9 · Issue 6


Despite the increase in popularity of cats as pets, there has not been a similar increase in the amount spent on feline veterinary healthcare. The stress experienced, both by the cat owner and cat, has an impact on the willingness of owners to bring their cat to a veterinary clinic. There are many ways veterinary clinics can minimise stressors, and even small changes can make a big difference for the cat and their owners, which strengthens the bond with the owner and increases the welfare of the cat.

The cat population is rising in many countries, including the UK; the PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report 2018 estimates cat ownership in the UK at 11.1 million with 25% of the adult UK population having at least 1 cat. This increase (from 9.5 million reported in the 2013 PAW Report) in popularity is thought to be due to a variety of reasons, including increased urban dwelling and hectic home lives making dog ownership more difficult. However, the increased number of cat owning homes has not been reflected by an increase in the amount spent on feline healthcare. The lack of understanding by cat owners of the importance of regular veterinary visits for preventative healthcare has a role to play, along with the inherent stress owners feel when taking their cat to the veterinary clinic. A recent paper by Johnston et al (2017) showed that cat owners in Australia and New Zealand included the perceived stress of a clinic visit as a reason not to take their cat to the veterinary practice, which supports findings reported in both the UK and US (Habacher et al, 2010; Volk et al, 2014).

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