On August 22, National Take Your Cat to the Vet Day, many cat owners may have asked their veterinarians about pet food. Nutrition is the number one topic that cat owners want to talk about with their vet, according to a survey by Royal Canin of 1,001 cat owners.
The right cat food for the disease
When cat owners pay attention to cat health, it may increase the market demand for specialized cat foods, such as weight-control and dental health. However, Royal Canin’s survey found that three in five cat owners do not take their cat to the vet regularly. Compared to dogs, cats are three times as likely to be taken to the vet only when sick.
Especially now that pet cats tend to live longer, encouraging cat owners to take their pets to the vet can help address diet-related medical conditions, said Jane Brunt, DVM, executive director of CATalyst Council.
“You wouldn’t want to treat an overweight cat that has diabetes with a diet that’s designed for weight-loss but that might not be optimal, or deleterious in fact, for that medical condition,” said Brunt.
Young cats’ dietary problems
Even young cats can suffer the problems of a much older cat if they eat an unhealthy diet.
Brunt told the story of a 10-month-old cat that came into her veterinary practice after being wounded when its owner was trying to remove matted hair. Brunt noticed that fat was bulging out of the wound and that the cat’s teeth were already beginning to have a build-up of tartar. In addition to beginning home care immediately, once that cat was old enough, Brunt recommended a therapeutic dental care cat food diet, which is only for adults.
Curiosity Saved the Cat
To promote vet visits for cats, Brunt has been working with Royal Canin on their “Curiosity Saved the Cat” campaign. The campaign asks cat owners to pledge to see the vet this year on the campaign’s website. For every pledge taken through August 26, Royal Canin will donate a bowl of food to the following animal shelters across the country: Second-Chance Rescue in Columbia, Missouri; All About Cats Rescue in Freeport, New York; and Young County Humane Society in Graham, Texas.