A survey conducted by the UK’s feline welfare charity Cats Protection to more than 10,300 individuals concluded that over a third (34%) of cat owners say that they have been significantly and negatively impacted by the rise in living costs.
According to the CATS Report 2023, young and female pet owners are the most affected.
As inflation in the UK shows no sign of letting up, the survey unveiled that 1.5 million cat owners (14% of the total) are “seriously worrying” about how they will meet their cats’ needs in the future.
In addition, 7% of cat owners admitted that they have had to lower their spending on necessities such as food and litter over the past 12 months.
Inflation deters owners from routine treatment
When looking at vet visits, the CATS Report 2023 found that 57% of British cat owners were taking their pets to the vet less than they would like, with 28% saying it was due to cost.
This figure marks a 4% rise from 2022’s results, as more than a quarter of participants who own a cat were worried about how they would pay their vet bills.
Over a third (39%) of the country’s cats do not go to the vet regularly each year, resulting in around 4.3 million cats not receiving routine health checks.
The number of owners not able to afford a neutered procedure for their cat increased from 10% in 2022 to 15% last year. However, cost was only the second highest reason why cats were not fixed, the first reason being that the respondents’ cats were kept indoors.
This is a clear example of how household financial concerns are increasingly impacting the delivery of veterinary care to cats,” notes Cats Protection.
In addition to existing cat owners, 15% of former cat owners responded in the survey that they have not got another because they cannot afford vet costs.
Healthcare prices were not the only concern; 13% of participants said they chose not to become cat owners again because of general expenses like food and litter.
UK competition authority has recently placed vets under scrutiny. Authorities are investigating the pricing and competition landscape, addressing concerns about the rising costs of pet care.
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