The Importance and benefits of being a Certified Cat Friendly Practice

Research & Trends have shown that in the United States and in Canada, there are millions more owned cats than owned dogs, yet cats visit veterinarians less frequently than dogs. Contributing to the decrease in cat visits is the stress associated with getting the cat to the veterinary practice and the owner’s lack of understanding of the need for wellness and preventative care. The Cat Friendly Practice program provides a solution to this trend. Some alarming statistics are that:

  • In the United States, there are 86 Million Owned Cats and 78 Million Owned Dogs.
  • Almost twice as many cats than dogs never visit the veterinarian.
  • Of the cats that do visit the veterinarian, they average 26% fewer visits than dogs.
  • 41% of cat owners visit the veterinarian only for vaccinations.
  • 39% of cat owners say they would only take their cat to the veterinarian if the cat was sick.
  • 60% of cat owners report that their cat hates going to the veterinarian.
  • 38% of cat owners report that they get stressed just thinking about bringing their cat to the practice.

Studies have shown that older cats visit the veterinarian less often than younger cats and that owners of indoor cats are less likely to place a priority on veterinary care than owners of outdoor cats.

The Cat Friendly Practice program provides an opportunity to increase feline veterinary visits and improve the health and quality of life of cats.

Three key strategies for increasing veterinary visits among felines are to:

  • Provide education to cat owners to increase their understanding of feline behavior, the value of veterinary care and the need to actively participate in their cats’ individual healthcare plan.
  • Minimize the stress the veterinary visit places on both clients and feline patients.
  • Provide techniques for the practice to address the distinct needs of cats, including facility environment, equipment, staff knowledge, and feline friendly handling.

2011 Bayer Healthcare, L.L.C., Brakke Consulting, Care Usage Study
American Pet Products Association 2011-12 Pet Owners Survey