What is the CATalyst Council?

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The CATalyst Council is a non-profit entity, created by groups in veterinary medicine, shelter/animal welfare, and related industry entities. They represent a broad range of diverse stakeholders in feline healthcare and welfare. In fact, many participated in the CATalyst Summit. The Council intends to make a difference in the way the United States sees and thinks about cats.

The CATalyst purpose addresses the desire to change society’s image of cats as aloof and not needing human contact or care. The council’s vision is to raise the level of care and welfare of cats by cat owners, supported by the veterinary care, preventative medicine, and cat specific products.

The CATalyst Council evolved from another grassroots effort. Although cats are the nation’s most popular pets, it hardly seems that way. They are less likely than dogs to receive basic veterinary care or be treated as family members. A survey by the American Pet Product Manufacturers Association reveals that more than one-third of the country’s 90 million cats have not been to a veterinarian in the past 12 months. T

They’re also far less likely than dogs to wear identification tags, and estimates from The Humane Society of the United States show that only two to five percent of lost cats brought to animal shelters are reclaimed by owners. Countless more are dumped, abused and unwanted cats are forced to survive in the wild.

Moreover, most of the resources devoted to funding medical research on companion animal diseases go to other species, and resources for animal control in many communities are for dogs only.

So, recently, the Cat Fanciers Association developed a program called “Re-branding Felix” to help change America’s perception of these animals. Leaders in animal welfare, veterinary medicine, the pet products industries and higher education sat down to look at ways to elevate the perceived value of cats in society at a recent summit.

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