Preventative healthcare for cats encompasses many different elements, all of which can help to provide numerous benefits for both cats and owners.
Preventative healthcare makes both logical sense and financial sense; it is always cheaper to spend a little bit of money at the outset to stop a problem before it develops than it is to treat it later on.
Of course, money isn’t the only element involved in preventative healthcare for cats either, and not every problem can be solved or prevented with money. There is also the time factor, as well as difficulty, stress, and potential inconvenience, which can all serve as a barrier in many cases too.
For instance, when it comes to preventing dental disease in cats, the cost of a cat-safe toothpaste and brush, both of which will last for many months, is likely to cost well under £10. Caring for your cat’s teeth can help to avoid pain, discomfort, and the need for a large-scale anaesthetised veterinary treatment later in life that might cost well north of a thousand pounds.
Cash, therefore, isn’t likely to be the barrier here; but other elements might well be. For instance, most cats aren’t going to be very cooperative about having their teeth brushed, for starters! Getting a kitten used to this, as well as learning how to do this incredibly carefully in order to ensure you don’t harm their very fragile jaw, can be stressful for both cat and owner, take time, and result in being bitten or scratched if you’re not careful too.
The same is true for many preventable common feline health conditions, and understanding why many cat owners don’t provide various different types of preventative healthcare is the key to increasing the number that do.
With this in mind, the PDSA asked cat owners in the UK that don’t provide certain types of preventative healthcare for their cats exactly why this was in each case, and the answers might surprise you. This information was published in their 2019 PAWS survey, which can be downloaded here.
Read on to find out why more cat owners in the UK don’t invest in the most important types of preventative healthcare for cats.
Neutering helps to prevent unwanted litters, and also helps to stop a large number of preventable health problems, as well as reducing roaming behaviour and cat fights.
The good news is that 92% of the UK’s cat owners have their cats neutered as standard. So, what about the other 8%?
Vaccinations can help to save your pet’s life. They can also help to save them a lot of unnecessary suffering, and save you a lot of avoidable vet’s fees!
You would think that flea treating cats is something all cat owners would be keen to keep on top of, but because flea infestations aren’t always evident and cat fleas don’t tend to bite people, this is not the case!
Finally, you might fairly assume that more or less all cats have a vet, even if their owners are lax about their general preventative healthcare. However, 16% of the UK’s cats – or 1.7 million cats with homes – are not. The reasons their owners gave for this are:
If veterinary care is too expensive for you full stop and you could not afford to take your cat to the vet even if they really needed to go, then the privileges of cat ownership itself are out of your financial grasp, and simply owning a cat at all is not a responsible decision to make at this stage of your life.