CATalyst Council Forms to Address Feline Health Care
Organization Seeks Broad Industry & Allied Support
AVMA Annual Convention, New Orleans, La., July 19, 2008
Building on the momentum of the CATalyst Summit in early February of this year, the CATalyst Council, Inc. announces its formation to address alarming statistics about feline health care and welfare in the United States. Dan Kramer, senior marketing manager, Pfizer Animal Health will serve as chair.
“At the CATalyst Summit, the entire feline industry came together and in one voice declared the current situation as unacceptable while painting a very optimistic path to making a positive difference. The CATalyst Council is simply the next step in putting these plans into action. I am very proud of the many companies, organizations and individuals who have been so proactive in their desire to make a difference, and we welcome everyone who has an interest in the outcome to join us in a broad-based initiative to raise the standard of care for all cats,” said Kramer.
The full board of directors of the CATalyst Council includes: Dan Kramer, senior marketing manager, Pfizer Animal Health as chair, Robert Rohde, president of Dumb Friends League as vice chair; Dr. Jane Brunt, CATalyst Summit chair and past-president of the American Association of Feline Practitioners as corporate secretary and Cal Morgan, president, Society of Animal Welfare Administrators as treasurer. Other board members include: Dr. John Albers, American Animal Hospital Association; Dr. Christine Jenkins, Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc.; Dr. Jack Stephens, Pets Best Insurance; Dr. Alexis Nahama, VCA Animal Hospitals; Dr. Patricia N. Olson, Morris Animal Foundation; and Steve Dale, nationally syndicated pet columnist and radio show host. The American Veterinary Medical Association is in the process of naming the AVMA representative to the CATalyst Council board.
“I am pleased to continue forward with this initiative that is so important to the lives of cats. As CATalyst Summit chair and now as secretary of the newly formed CATalyst Council, I believe that by working together, we can all make a difference. It truly is all about the cat,” said Dr. Brunt.
Feline health is a prominent concern in the animal health industry. The 2007 U.S. Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook revealed an owned cat population of 81.7 million, almost 10 million more than domesticated dogs. In 2006, 36 percent of those 81.7 million cats did not visit a veterinarian compared to only 17 percent of dogs. Cats are twice as likely as dogs to not to see a veterinarian, leaving many undiagnosed and untreated for illness, disease, pain and discomfort.
“The statistics regarding feline health can’t be ignored, and it is clearly time for allied animal health and welfare organizations to come together for this cause. Our mission is to improve health care for our feline companions, encourage responsible pet ownership, enhance the stature of cats and enrich lives,” said Robert Rohde, president of the Dumb Friends League and vice chair of CATalyst Council.
More information on the CATalyst Council will be available at www.catalystsummit.org.
CATalyst is a national initiative to champion the cat in light of troubling statistics released by the American Veterinary Medical Association that show an increase in the cat population coupled with a decline in veterinary visits for cats. At the CATalyst Summit in February 2008, held by the American Association of Feline Practitioners with underwriting from Pfizer Animal Health, key influentials from more than 30 leading organizations and companies gathered to discuss how to improve health care for felines, increase responsible pet ownership, enhance the stature of cats and enrich lives. During the summit, attendees responded to the issues raised in feline health and well-being, and created an action plan to continue to collaborate across all channels, develop feline life-stage guidelines (for veterinarians and pet owners), create cat-friendly veterinary practices, brand the cat and produce a consumer awareness campaign. The CATalyst Council, Inc., a not-for-profit corporation headquartered in Kansas City, was launched to provide the structure to implement the plan.