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New survey by Bayer Animal Health shows cat owners expectations of their vet is higher than ever

New research has shown that the expectations cat owners have of their vet are higher than ever with one in seven owners asking for their personal lifestyle, in addition to purely clinical factors, to be considered when their vet gives advice.

18 percent say that they want their vet to be more than just an advisor, but instead a healthcare partner that fully involves them in decisions about their pet.

In an increasingly busy modern lifestyle, convenience is an important factor for cat owners. One in five said they would be more likely to choose a practice that offers online appointment booking over one that doesn’t and over a quarter want to receive regular reminders about when preventative healthcare is due.

The research results show that access to online information really matters to cat owners too. A quarter say that they would actively choose to take their pet to a vet practice with a website over one that doesn’t have one and 54 per cent percent turn to online information pages as their primary source of pet healthcare advice. A further 16 percent use social media or online forums to connect with other cat owners online and seek advice.

This trend for seeking advice online could lead cats and their owners to be the victims of misinformation from unregulated sites though. For example, one in 10 cat owners think that only cats that hunt are at risk of contracting worms and over 80 per cent did not know that kittens can become infected via their mother’s milk.

Alternative Angles Veterinary Business Consultant, Sharon Wesselby comments, “These survey results show that there is a great opportunity for vets here. If vets not only give appropriate clinical advice, but also make sure that clients are well-informed and recommendations are tailored to be practical for each individual cat and its owner, clients are much more likely to engage with that advice. Vets shouldn’t be shy about letting their clients know how their recommendations are going to make life easier for them and their pet either. The same goes for shouting about their practices online and other educational offerings. Taking responsibility for compliance outside of the consult room in this way can be hugely rewarding and beneficial for business as well as great news for pets.”

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