Las Vegas, Nev., Western Veterinary Conference, Feb. 18, 2008 ” The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) today announced the successful outcome of the CATalyst Summit, which was held Feb. 5-6 in Palm Springs, Calif., with initial underwriting from Pfizer Animal Health. Attendees were led by AAFP and represented more than 30 leading organizations and companies including the American Animal Hospital Association, the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Cornell Feline Health Center, Morris Animal Foundation, Winn Feline Foundation and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
These key influentials gathered to discuss how to improve health care for felines, increase responsible pet ownership, enhance the stature of cats and enrich lives. They all agreed there are alarming statistics about the cat that need to be addressed and, as a result, developed an action plan that includes the following five elements:
- Continue to Collaborate Across all Channels
- Develop Feline Life-Stage Guidelines (for veterinarians and pet owners)
- Create Cat-Friendly Veterinary Practices
- Brand the Cat
- Produce a Consumer Awareness Campaign
A steering committee has been formed to determine the structure and organization of CATalyst to carry out the action plan established at the Summit.
“The passion and energy shared by all the participants at the CATalyst Summit was awe-inspiring,” Jane Brunt, DVM, Summit chair and past president of the AAFP, said. “Throughout the meeting, we kept in mind that it’s all about the cat, and as a result participants from so many areas of the feline world agreed on how we can do our part to help cats.”
As an immediate outcome of the Summit, the AAFP and the American Animal Hospital Association announced their plan to partner on developing feline life-stage wellness guidelines for veterinary professionals. Winn Feline Foundation will coordinate the writing of a consumer version of the guidelines with the assistance of writers on its media committee. This effort will be underwritten by Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc.
The CATalyst Summit was first announced as the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) released the 2007 U.S. Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook, which showed an increase in the cat population coupled with a decline in veterinary visits for cats. Jim Flanigan, Director of Marketing for the AVMA, presented the Sourcebook data along with findings from the Perceptions and Attitudes of Pet Owners study from BNResearch. These studies concluded that cats from households with both dogs and cats were seen by the veterinarian significantly less often than dogs from these same households.
“The CATalyst Summit brought together a significant cross section of organizations and industry to overwhelmingly declare the need to elevate the standard of care for cats,” Dan Kramer, senior marketing manager, Pfizer Animal Health, said. “Now that the action plan has been unanimously endorsed, it is up to all parties, industry, the veterinary profession, enthusiasts and charitable organizations to become engaged and support these standards. Only together can we make a difference, and it is the responsibility of each of us to make this happen.”
More information about The CATalyst Summit is available at the event Web site, www.catalystsummit.org. Companies and organizations interested in sponsorships and more information can contact Lea-Ann Germinder, APR, at 816-822-0192 or at [email protected].
About AAFP The American Association of Feline Practitioners improves the health and well-being of cats by supporting high standards of practice, continuing education, and scientific investigation. They endeavor to do all things necessary to promote the interests, to improve the public stature and to increase the knowledge of veterinarians in the field of feline medicine and surgery. This includes evaluating the standards of feline medicine and surgery, encouraging and promoting feline research, promoting understanding and good will among its members, and cooperating with veterinary and cat organizations. For more information, visit www.catvets.com.
About Pfizer Animal Health Pfizer Animal Health is dedicated to improving the safety, quality, and productivity of the world’s food supply by enhancing the health of livestock and poultry; and in helping companion animals live longer, healthier lives. For more information, visit www.pfizerah.com.