Bayer HealthCare LLC’s Animal Health Division and the American Association of Feline Practitioners have formed a partnership to explore and address the reasons pet owners seek veterinary care less frequently for their cats than for their dogs, the organizations reported last week.
The partnership, which was announced at the AAFP 2012 medical conference in Seattle, is aiming to uncover and remove the obstacles to routine vet care for cats.
“Like dogs, cats require regular veterinary healthcare and without it, there is a significant risk to their health,” said Donna Stephens Manley, DVM, president of AAFP and principal veterinarian at Manley Veterinary Services in Chapel Hill, N.C. “Through the combined efforts of AAFP and Bayer Healthcare, we want to improve the healthcare provided to cats and overcome the barriers that veterinarians have encountered regarding routine visits for cats. If cats are seen more regularly, better care can be provided, especially relating to preventative care.”
The partnership was formed in response to findings from the Bayer Veterinary Care Usage Study, which showed one-third of cats owned by respondents had not seen a veterinarian during the previous year, the organizations reported. The decrease was due in part to “feline resistance,” which is the hiding, aggression, vocalization and stressed or fearful behavior cats exhibit when put in the carrier and transported to unfamiliar surroundings.
The organizations plan to share findings and recommendations that result from the partnership.