August 8, 2023
International Cat Day, also known as World Cat Day, is a yearly observance dedicated to celebrating and raising awareness about cats and their well-being.
It’s a day to recognize the importance of cats in our lives, whether they’re pets, strays, or feral cats. International Cat Day is typically observed on August 8th each year.
The day is marked by various activities and initiatives aimed at promoting the welfare of cats. This includes encouraging responsible pet ownership, advocating for the adoption of shelter cats, supporting spaying and neutering programs to control the feral cat population, and raising awareness about the unique needs and characteristics of feline companions.
On International Cat Day, people often share photos and stories of their own cats on social media platforms using the hashtag #InternationalCatDay or #WorldCatDay. It’s a time for cat lovers around the world to come together and celebrate the joy and companionship that cats bring to our lives.
However, new research conducted by Royal Canin, Waltham Institute and University of Bristol, has revealed over 50% of cat-owners did not seek veterinary care for their cat’s health issues. In Australia and New Zealand, the trend of not taking cats to the vet is common, with research from Animal Medicines Australia, showing only 68% of cat-owners took their cat to the vet in the past year, compared to 84 percent of dog owners.
Royal Canin ANZ Scientific Services Veterinarian, Dr Julie Summerfield explained, “Cats are masters of disguise and examples like increased appetite and weight loss, are common clinical signs of diseases such as feline hyperthyroidism or diabetes, which can prove extremely serious, even life threatening if undetected,” Dr Julie said.
Tips for making visits to the veterinarian more stress-free
Despite the famous saying cats have nine lives, they don’t and like us unfortunately get sick. When they do they need care and attention but as any cat owner knows, they are not fond of visiting the vets. Here are some tips of making a trip to see the animal doctor more stress-free.
- Normalise handling. Often, cats are not used to being held or examined in the way that vets will. Some cats will become agitated with this increased, new sensation. To reduce anxiety, slowly introduce your cat to increased handling. More information can be found here.
- Help your cat become comfortable with the carrier. Choose a carrier with a top opening to make it easier to get your cat in and out. Place the carrier in a room at home where your cat spends most of their time so they can use it and it becomes a part of the home. Add familiar soft bedding as well as special toys.
- Explore the vet before an appointment. Going to the vet for a “friendly visit” will allow for the cat to become more comfortable with the new environment. Choose a quiet time to visit and reinforce positive interactions with a treat. Keep the carrier up high on a bench rather than on the floor.
- Take your cat to an accredited Cat Friendly Clinic. These veterinary practices have made specific changes to decrease the stress and provide a more calming environment for you and your cat.
- Understand your cat’s behavior. The veterinarian’s clinic is unfamiliar and has sights, sounds, and smells that can cause your cat to feel anxious or fearful. Cover their carrier with a towel to block the sight of other animals and dampen the unfamiliar sounds. Respect your cat’s need for time to acclimate to the new environment before an examination.
- De-stress yourself. Vet visits can be just as stressful for owners as pets. Remaining calm will ensure that the cat is as comfortable as possible and that the vet can do the best job they can.