Keep cats happy in September
What: Cats are the Internet’s biggest stars, as well as the most common pet in the U.S., outnumbering dogs by nearly 10 million. While they may have a reputation for independence, the happiest cats are ones that receive good care and loving attention from their human owners. This September, help strengthen the bond between cat and owner during Happy Cat Month.
Background: Happy Cat Month was started by the CATalyst Council, a nonprofit group that supports better care of all cats. While cats are often easy to take care of, they still require playtime and attention from their owners, as well as regular veterinary care. The group aims to increase the welfare of cats by educating owners on the amount and type of care cats really need to be healthy and happy.
Story Pitch: Many companies and organizations associated with cats have an opportunity to pitch around Happy Cat Month. Since this event encourages playtime and bonding with cat companions, manufacturers and retailers of cat toys, especially ones that require human operation, have a great chance to promote their products. They can also stress how play can give cats exercise and fulfill their innate need to stalk and hunt, often reducing behavioral problems. Other cat products, such as litter boxes and cat furniture, can be promoted during the month, with special emphasis on how they can improve quality of life for cats. Veterinarians may also educate owners on the importance of bringing cats in for regular check-ups, as cats are taken to the vet less often than dogs even though both animals need regular visits. Organizations that work with feral cats, shelters and rescue groups can all share their causes and promote adoption.
Story Hook: For a variety of reasons, veterinary visits are on the decline, with cats especially missing their yearly visits. Regular check-ups are vital for all pets, and many diseases common in cats can be caught and treated with good results if detected early. Cats are also good at hiding pain and symptoms, an adaptive behavior from their larger and undomesticated cousins that leaves owners in the dark about health problems. How are vets making it easier for owners to bring cats in for check-ups? Do owners save money in the long run with regular visits? Consider the following when you make your pitch:
- What are the signs of a happy cat? How can owners recognize lonely, bored or anxious cats?
- Do indoor and outdoor cats have different health concerns?
- What kind of regular care do cats need to be healthy and happy?
- Are there certain types of toys, training methods or care products that owners should avoid? What are good alternatives?
Tips: An animal behaviorist with a specialty in cats is a great contact to talk about ways to alleviate common behavioral problems in cats. A veterinarian can also discuss what kind of regular medical care cats need. Someone who works with rescued cats is another good contact who may speak to the importance of providing a safe and happy environment for cats. Meanwhile, a cat lover may also discuss the time the kind of time spent into raising and taking care of cats.
American Animal Hospital Association
American Association of Feline Practitioners
American Veterinary Medical Association
–Researched, compiled & written by Kristina Elliott
Event Date from CHASE’S Calendar of Events
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