Why was the CATalyst Council created?

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Simply, America needs to change how it thinks about the feline community.

Cats are some of the most misunderstood animals on the planet. While they’re supposed to be the nation’s most popular animal, it just doesn’t seem that way. They often never get human companionship and are thought of as independent, aloof and cold, content to hide under the bed all day and not wanting to take part in family activities. The truth is that cats are affectionate and crave human attention.

Many think cats can’t be trained, but they are highly trainable; that means many problems that could be easily resolved often results in them being abandoned or surrendered to shelters.

Here are some very alarming statistics:

• American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) estimates that there are 81.7 million owned cats versus 72 million owned dogs, yet the reported number of cat visits to the veterinarian has declined.

• The Society of Animal Welfare Administrators (SAWA)says there is a higher number of cats than dogs surrendered to shelters nationwide, increasingly so in these economic times of financial strain and home foreclosure.

• ASPCA estimates that the number of feral (stray) cats in the United States is estimated to be in the tens of millions. Many communities still opt to control populations using outdated methods, including lethal elimination or relocation. Not only are some of these methods horribly cruel, they are also highly ineffective. The ASPCA says it’s time to focus on feral cats in the fight to end animal cruelty and endorses Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) as the only proven humane and effective method to manage feral cat colonies.

The organizations that formed CATalyst believe that cats deserve better care, hence its mission to elevate the status of the cat and reverse these trends. CATalyst was also formed to ensure that cats get their due recognition as America’s most popular companion animal. CATalyst is committed to research, education and promotion of its initiatives, mission and programs.

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