Cat care in crisis: A dvm360 Leadership Challenge

Cat care in crisis: A dvm360 Leadership Challenge

As the most popular pet in North America, cats represent a tremendous opportunity for the veterinary profession. So why aren't more cats getting adequate care? This unprecedented package from the dvm360 portfolio takes a look at the reasons--and what you can do about it. (With an educational grant provided by Zoetis)
Apr 24, 2014
By staff

Cats. They’re cute and cuddly—except when they’re on your porch gloating over a dead rat. They’re aloof and standoffish—except for when they sit on your keyboard and headbutt your chin. Their owners think their pets are healthy—except for when they’re in your exam room crying over the diagnosis.

The veterinary profession has heard a lot about the crisis of cat care in the last few years, but never has there been such a broad and deep examination of the state of feline healthcare as this dvm360 Leadership Challenge, “Cat care in crisis,” supported by an educational grant from Zoetis. This cross-publication, multimedia investigation is carried out by dvm360, Veterinary Economics, Veterinary Medicine and Firstline.

Below you’ll find coverage, analysis, solutions and tools from your favorite veterinary journals, plus Web-exclusive content from But first ...

Here's the one cat video your clients need to see
The fortunes of the cat are changing, thanks in no small part to the Internet, and it’s time for a new feline image. You can help “rebrand” the cat with this short video designed with your clients in mind.

Click the "share" icon in the top right corner to share this video with your clients on Facebook or Twitter, or click the "get code" icon to embed it on your own website.

C is for cost: Cat care in crisis
The most significant reason veterinarians don’t see more cats is cost. Cat clients are cost-sensitive and difficult to get through the door—but they're also a virtually uptapped market. Here's how to get past clients' bias against spending money on veterinary services.

Country cat, city cat: Veterinarians employ different approaches
The obstacles to regular care are often the same for the scruffy barn cat as the pampered high-rise feline. The solution may be to use different tactics to get culturally different cat owners to comply.

Why cats rule the Internet
Explore the varied reasons cats are so popular online and how you can use this cultural phenomenon in your veterinary practice.

Capturing cat clients: A Google+ hangout hosted by dvm360
Recently industry analyst John Volk and renowned feline practitioner Dr. Susan Little, DABVP, gathered for a Google+ hangout with Veterinary Economics editor Brendan Howard. The discussion, "Capturing cat clients," is supported by an educational grant from Zoetis and archived on YouTube so you can watch at your convenience.

25 ways to entice more cats to your clinic
Crucial changes to client communication, practice protocols and team education to improve feline medicine at your practice. Plus, a handy online checklist to help track what you've done, what you're doing and what you need help with.

How cat-friendly is your practice?
A brand-new BizQuiz that tests your hospital's cat-titude.

Talking to your practice's 'mission-driven' clients
Working better with rescue groups, feral cat caretakers and more to improve your relationship with local nonprofiteers.

Veterinary hospital design with felines in mind
Start here for cat-friendly hospital design resources and success stories.

Checklist: 25 ways to increase cat visits
If you want more feline patients flocking to your veterinary hospital, see how many of these cat-friendly concepts you can implement in practice.

A comparison of cat owners vs. dog owners
A recent study conducted by Bayer Healthcare Animal Health in collaboration with the American Association of Feline Practitioners and Brakke Consulting, Inc. uncovered the differences between dog owners and cat owners and looked at how those differences affect clients' attitudes toward veterinary care.

5 ways to connect with cat owners
Get more cat clients in your door—and keep them coming back—with this feline-friendly advice.

Client handout: What is good healthcare for cats?
Help clients understand what good healthcare means for their cat—in the veterinary hospital and at home.

Practice tool: Feline report card
Fill in the blanks with the information clients need about their cat's visit to the veterinarian.

Making the first veterinary visit count for cats
Here's how your team can help lock in a lifetime of care for cats.

Sample scripts: How to respond to cat owners who resist veterinary care
Review the common phrases cat owners utter when you suggest routine veterinary care for their cats. Then use these scripts to improve compliance.

Phone skills: How to attract cat owners when they call your practice
Consider these common cat owner conundrums and learn how to offer help on the phone--and ultimately lock in a veterinary visit to promote the pet's health.

Leap to the aid of forgotten felines
Use these tools and advice to make sure cats are represented in your veterinary practice.

Client handout: How to habituate your cat to a carrier
This step-by-step guide will educate cat owners about how to help their cats adjust to a cat carrier for trips to the veterinarian.

Cat crisis phone checklist: How veterinary receptionists can help
When cat owners call your veterinary practice, follow these tips to welcome them to your cat-friendly environment.