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Banfield® Pet Hospital Is Staging An InFURvention™; Nationwide Contest Kicks Off July 18

In Partnership with Animal Planet's Victoria Stilwell, Banfield is Looking for Cats and their Owners in Need of Professional Help

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PORTLAND, Ore., July 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Calling all cat owners: is a trip to the veterinarian a constant cat-fight? Do you sometimes find yourself avoiding routine visits to dodge a cat-tastrophe? Is "stressful" a term you use to describe the process of getting your cat out of the house and into the veterinarian's office? If so, Banfield Pet Hospital and Animal Planet's Victoria Stilwell want to hear from you.

Banfield Pet Hospital, the world's largest veterinary practice, and Victoria Stilwell are staging an "inFURvention" to help combat pet owners' difficulties of getting their cat into a carrier while raising awareness of the importance of regular veterinary visits for cats. Banfield and Stilwell are asking cat owners nationwide to upload videos of their real-life struggles and attempts to get their cat into a carrier for a chance to win a year's worth of free preventive veterinary care and a special at-home visit and training consultation from Animal Planet's famed pet trainer, Victoria Stilwell.

Of the 86 million felines living as pets in the U.S., an astonishing one-third of pet owners will skip a trip to the veterinarian to avoid the hassle* – yet missing a veterinarian visit could actually cause more harm to the pet. Cats rarely exhibit signs of sickness or disease even when a problem exists; therefore, routine veterinarian visits are essential to protecting pets from life-threatening illnesses.

"There is no doubt that cats can be finicky when it comes to travel; however, there are easy tips and tricks pet owners can use to ensure a smooth road ahead," said Stilwell. "Pet owners don't have to be a professional in order to train their cats to get into the carrier. All it takes is some practice and simple changes in behavior and cat-fights will soon be a thing of the past!"

It's time for an "inFURvention!"
Beginning Wednesday, July 18 through Friday August, 17, pet owners are invited to upload their "real" cat videos to www.inFURvention.com, with the tag "#inFURvention" to be considered in need of an "inFURvention" from Stilwell. One pet owner and "inFURvention" video will be chosen to win a year's worth of free preventive veterinary care from Banfield and a special at-home visit with Victoria Stilwell who will give professional insight into the best tips and tricks to getting your cat out of the house and into the veterinarian's office.

"One of the biggest barriers to cats receiving veterinary care is actually getting them to the hospital," said Dr. Jeffrey Klausner, chief medical officer for Banfield Pet Hospital. "Unfortunately, cats typically don't show signs of illness until it is too late; therefore it is important for cats to receive twice-yearly veterinary visits in order to prevent, as well as diagnose and treat illnesses before it's too late. Through 'inFURvention,' we hope to educate pet owners about the importance of routine veterinary visits, and let them know it doesn't have to be a fight to get their cat to the vet."

Tips and tricks to eliminating the cat-fight!
Basic training tips can ease cats', as well as cat owners' fears and hesitations when preparing for a trip to the veterinarian. Banfield's medical team and Stilwell both recommend scheduling appointments later in the day for a quieter, calmer experience for felines. It is also important to remember that cats are sensitive to smells, so creating a pleasant environment in the carrier is key to helping cats cope with the trip, as well as including familiar objects such as a comfortable blanket to make felines feel more at home.

For a full list of tips and tricks to overcoming cat resistance, visit Banfield Pet Hospital online at www.banfield.com. Cat owners are welcome to submit a video for the "InFURvention" program at www.inFURvention.com with the tag "#InFURvention" beginning July 18 through August 17 for a chance at an at home visit with Animal Planet's Victoria Stilwell.

About Banfield® Pet Hospital
Founded in Portland, Ore., in 1955, Banfield is the largest general veterinary practice in the world. In 2007, Banfield joined the Mars, Inc. family of businesses, and today we are more than 800 hospitals strong in neighborhoods across the United States. More than 2,600 veterinarians at Banfield are committed to giving pets the highest quality of veterinary care. Banfield hospitals offer a full range of comprehensive medical services, computerized medical records, preventive care plans for pets and extended operating hours. Banfield Pet Hospital helps extend the lives of millions of pets each year through Optimum Wellness Plans®. For journalists seeking more information, please visit our press room at http://www.banfield.com or contact our Media Hotline at 888-355-0595.

*According to the 2011 study commissioned by Bayer HealthCare LLC, Animal Health Division and conducted by Brakke Consulting in collaboration with the National Commission on Veterinary Economic Issues

**Research based on 2.5 million pets

SOURCE Banfield Pet Hospital



RELATED LINKS
http://www.banfield.com
http://www.inFURvention.com

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