I’ve written about this incredible initiative before, and promised to keep everyone up to date. I was honored to take part in the CATalyst Summit in February 2008, hosted by the American Association of Feline Practitioners with support from Pfizer Animal Health. Results of recent surveys were discussed, which showed that almost 10 million more cats are owned than d*gs (81.7 million cats). Yet in 2006, 36 percent of cats did not visit a veterinarian compared to only 17 percent of d*gs. That’s not good for d*gs, but it’s cat-astrophic for cats! Cats are twice as likely as d*gs to not to see a veterinarian. That means many don’t get the health care they need, and treatable illnesses go undiagnosed and untreated. Cats never complain. They just hide under the bed. And die. So following the summit, the CATalyst Council (www.catalystcouncil.org) was formed to further the goals of that meeting. These include collaboration, developing feline life-stage guidelines (for veterinarians and pet owners), creating cat-friendly veterinary practices, and make it “cool” to care for your cat (among other things). So what’s new, pussycat? Well, the Council has formally announced its headquarters will be based in Kansas City with my colleague Lea-Ann Germinder (www.germinder.com) as the agency of record. Feline practitioner and expert Dr. Jane E. Brunt has been named the Executive Director. Hurray! She was instrumental in getting this effort off the ground, so I’m very pleased to hear this news. If you want a list of movers-and-shakers in the world of feline health, you can start with the rest of the Council. These are folks that not only know cats and health issues, they truly care about our pet companions and want to help. They include Dan Kramer as chair (from Pfizer Animal Health); Robert Rohde vice chair (from Dumb Friends League); and Cal Morgan treasurer (Society of Animal Welfare Administrators). Board members include Dr. John Albers (American Animal Hospital Association); Dr. Christine Jenkins (Hill’s Pet Nutrition); Dr. Jack Stephens (Pets Best Insurance); Dr. Alexis Nahama (VCA Animal Hospitals); Dr. Patrica N. Olson (Morris Animal Foundation), and my colleague, columnist and radio host Steve Dale (http://www.stevedalepetworld.com). The AVMA is in the process of naming a representative to the Council as well. The first annual CATalyst Council strategic session will be held in Kansas City immediately following the Central Veterinary Conference--this week! So I’ll soon have more good cat news to post. Stay tuned.
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