Canine companions seem to have a paw up on our feline friends when it comes to visits to the veterinarian, leaving cats shortchanged and in need of some tender loving care. Cats, it appears, don’t get the same affection – or medical attention – from their owners as dogs do.
So, in an effort to raise awareness about this slight and to boost the care of cats nationwide, a group of professionals and experts from the veterinary field – including the American Association of Feline Practitioners, the American Animal Hospital Association and the AVMA – formed the CATalyst Council in 2008. One of the needs the Council identified was providing health-care recommendations specific to feline life-stage wellness to help veterinarians deliver the best comprehensive care for cats. And the AAFP/AAHA Feline Life Stage Guidelines were born.
We consider the guidelines, which appear in the January issues of the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery and the Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association, a great asset to veterinary teams and cat owners. They cover a host of issues, such as wellness exams, overcoming barriers to veterinary visits, the role a cat’s environment plays in its health, parasite control and nutrition.
We hope you’ll take a look at the guidelines and utilize them, as they will add value to visits with your cat-owning clients. Even though cats outnumber dogs in this country, they just aren’t getting the same amount of veterinary care. CATalyst is trying to change that, and the Life Stage Guidelines will certainly help the effort. CATalyst is also developing guidelines specifically geared toward cat owners. We’ll keep you posted on that, and let you know when they’re available.