Skip to content

Is your vet all-in for cat heatlth?

Is your vet all-in for cat heatlth?
by Lucinda Beeman

Read time: 10 min

Vets in the UK are under serious scrutiny. 

Because the Competition and Markets Authority – tasked with keeping UK business competitive – has just concluded an investigation into the veterinary sector. After a public consultation raised questions about whether prices were transparent enough. And if mass consolidation in the industry is creating local monopolies. (Get up to scratch on the latest here.

The CMA’s consultation received more than 45,000 responses from the public. But we wanted to hear from cat parents in particular. 

So we asked: is your vet going all-in for cat health? And got more than 550 anonymous responses from across the UK. They might surprise you. And sound familiar, too.

The vast majority of cat parents believe their vets have their cat’s best interests at heart.

76%, in fact. Which is a testament to individual vets and their hard work. Especially as the CMA says that sector consolidation makes it hard to shop around. Which leaves cat parents vulnerable to being overcharged. And forced to accept substandard service. 

One respondent said: “My vet is great. My cat can be a little feisty, but my vet took time to calm her down. And believed me when I felt like there may have been a problem – and found a huge abscess! I had no evidence of this prior to bringing her in, just a feeling due to her behaviour. But my vet believed me and tried everything to help.”  

But where doubt does exist? It seems the CMA is onto something. Because cat parents cite rising costs and increased consolidation as points of concern. 

According to one respondent: “My vet used to be an independent practice before being sold. We were not notified of the change. We were lucky that it generally maintains a feel of an independent practice when you attend, though there is a regular change of staff. They still care, but making more money is obviously on their mind in a way it wasn’t before.”

KatKin cat parents are most likely to register with independent practices.

And 44% say they are. While cat parents who don’t feed fresh are most likely to be registered with a national chain (34%). And just 7% aren’t sure what type of practice they’re registered to – fewer than the CMA might suggest. But cat parents definitely are seeing consolidation in action.

One said: “I’m very happy with my vet, but was disappointed when I found out it was part of a group owning 1,000 other surgeries. I’m concerned it’s almost a monopoly where there’s no choice, and that prices may be inflated.” 

And can make as many vet visits as they’d like.

Which for 43% of cat parents is once a year – the recommended frequency. But for cat parents who can’t visit as often as they want to? There are a few reasons. 

The experience is too distressing for their cats. 

“My cat is really afraid of the vet. I try to keep the visits to a necessary minimum.” 

It’s inconvenient or impossible to get to the vet during opening hours. 

“Practice hours are the same as my working hours, and they don’t offer online booking.” 

They don’t want to waste a trip when their cats aren’t visibly unwell. 

“I monitor health issues rather than dashing to the vet as my first port of call.” 

But by far the most common reason is the most concerning to the CMA: cost. 

“I recognise pets are a luxury and a commitment I chose to take on, so this is down to my personal budget. Minor concerns can be monitored at home, but I would never deny my pets medical attention if they needed it.” 

Though some see things differently: “Vets are getting a bad rep, even though they work incredibly hard and 95% are doing it because they care – and not for the money.” 

25% of cat parents have had life-saving or life-changing treatment from their vet.

And the vast majority of experiences – even in the saddest circumstances – have been positive. 

Cat parents said:

“I was called several times a day with a progress report, and invited to visit whenever I wanted.” 

“My vet has made end-of-life care very supportive. We may not want to think about this aspect of pet ownership, but it is an inevitable part of it. So giving you the time you need to say goodbye is something I really appreciated.”

(Pspsps… want to read more stories? Head here.)

And say it’s the personal touch that makes the difference.

Getting to know the vet and nursing staff. Adding a cat’s photo to the ‘Friday Favourites’ wall. Swapping cat parent stories. (And scars.) These are the personal moments cat parents say set great vets apart.

They say:

“I’ve always had great interactions with my vet. They are very fond of my cat and treat him with the respect and affection he demands!”

“When we took my daughter’s tabby cats in for their boosters and health check, the vet talked about his cats and it was a more personal experience, as we could see he loved cats like we do. When other people adore our animals as much as we do, it leaves a warm feeling and creates a bond.”

And more vets are seeing the benefits of fresh every day.

Glossier coats. Faster zoomies. Less mess in the litter tray. Cat parents who have made the switch to our fresh recipes see the difference fresh makes. And vets do, too. 

Cat parents say:

“My cat is 10 years old. The vet was so impressed with his general health and his coat. Before he started on KatKin, he went very thin, was pulling out his fur and had started to be sick most days. Now he really is a picture of health and the vet was delighted with him. I told him all about you, and he said, ‘It’s obviously doing him a lot of good.’” 

“One of the new, young vets at our practice recommended the food she fed her cats, because she felt it was the best you can get: KatKin. So that's what we have always fed ours, and she was right. It certainly has been the best! I would also say we have the best vets you could hope for. They are wonderful.”

Want to see the benefits of a fresh diet for yourself? Sink your teeth in here.

Related articles