The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP), with initial underwriting from Pfizer Animal Health, is launching a landmark event, The CATalyst Summit, Feb. 5-6, 2008, coinciding with the AAFP Winter meeting in Palm Springs, Calif. Steve Dale, nationally syndicated pet columnist and radio program host, and Karyn Gavzer, an internationally known speaker and expert on veterinary practice management, will moderate the event. Germinder & Associates, Inc. is the managing agency for the initiative.
The Summit will assemble key influentials including other leading companies that have a significant vested interest in championing the health and well-being of the cat. Several affiliated leading organizations have already committed to attending the Summit, which is expected to lay the groundwork for a national initiative to champion the cat.
“The AAFP and Pfizer Animal Health are first and foremost seeking to improve the health, enriched well-being and welfare of owned cats by breaking down the barriers to veterinary care, and expand the number of responsible cat-owning households. As veterinarians who share a passion for providing the very best care for cats, it is ultimately our goal to do all things necessary to raise the status of the cat,” said Jane Brunt, DVM, Summit chair and past president of the AAFP.
This initiative is being unveiled as troubling statistics released by the American Veterinary Medical Association in the U.S. Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook show an increase in the cat population coupled with a continued decline in veterinary visits for cats. The percentage of cat-owning households that received no veterinary care in 2006 was 36.3 percent, compared to 17.3 percent of dog-owning households. There are an estimated 82 million cats in the United States, yet cats are twice as likely as dogs not to see a veterinarian. As a result, many feline diseases or illnesses go undiagnosed and untreated.
“These alarming statistics are a call to action,” said Valerie Creighton, DVM, president of the AAFP. “I think, as a profession, we have to make sure that cats’ medical needs are adequately addressed.”
Among the issues to be considered at The CATalyst Summit are:
- The status of the cat in the veterinary clinic and the pet owner’s household ” why are the cat’s needs still going unmet?
- How can the existing stereotypes regarding cats in today’s media be rectified?
- Why are the numbers of cats increasing while veterinary visits are declining?
- What can organizations do to reverse these trends?
- How can veterinarians and allied organizations raise the bar for existing cat owners to improve feline care?
- How do these partners combine their strategies and efforts to elevate the benefits of cats as pets?
- Is a public campaign a solution?
“Acknowledging the problem is a start but without corresponding action, we only maintain the status quo. In order to truly raise the bar, it is essential that everyone who works with cats gets involved in this campaign,” said Dan Kramer, senior marketing manager, Pfizer Animal Health. “We look forward to partnering with the AAFP and other organizations and companies who are dedicated to enhancing the lives of cats.”
Information about The CATalyst Summit can also be found at the event Web site, www.catalystsummit.org, the AAFP’s newly launched Web site, www.catvets.com, or by calling 1-877-4CATALYST. Companies and organizations interested in sponsorships and more information can contact Lea-Ann Germinder, APR, at 816-822-0192 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To schedule an interview with Dr. Jane Brunt, CATalyst Summit Chair, please contact Leanne Breiby at 816-822-0192 or email@example.com.
About AAFPThe 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 welcome all who are veterinary professionals passionate about the care of cats. Included in its mission is to improve the public stature of cats and to increase the knowledge of veterinarians in the field of feline medicine and surgery. For more information, visit www.catvets.com.
About Pfizer Animal HealthPfizer Animal Health, a division of Pfizer Inc, is a world leader in animal health, committed to providing innovative medicines and vaccines for companion animals and livestock. Pfizer Inc discovers, develops, manufactures and markets leading prescription medicines, for humans and animals, and many of the world’s best-known consumer products. For additional information on Pfizer, visit www.pfizerah.com.