A study conducted by Bayer HealthCare, in collaboration with the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP), found that 52% of the nation's cats had not been taken to the veterinarian within the last year for needed checkups.
Because the first two years of a cat's life equal 24 years of a human's life — with each successive year equivalent to four human years — annual examinations are essential to keeping cats healthy and preventing potentially serious disease problems.
The study uncovered several reasons behind this finding, ranging from how we acquire our cats and our relationships with them, to their personalities and our perceptions of the healthcare they need. These and other pet owner insights from the "Bayer Veterinary Care Usage Study III: Feline Findings" were presented at the American Veterinary Medical Assn.'s annual convention in Chicago, Ill. This is the third phase of findings reported in a series of studies sponsored by Bayer HealthCare LLC Animal Health Division. The results were presented in partnership with the AAFP and Brakke Consulting.
The study's findings are based on a nationally representative online survey of 1,938 cat owners, as well as several focus groups conducted across the U.S. Sixty percent of survey respondents were from cat-only households, while 40% had both cats and dogs.