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A study published recently in the July 1 edition of the Journal of the American Veterinary Association reveals that a cat-friendly veterinary practice makeover can increase the number of feline visit, revenue per client, and total practice revenue.

The study was based on 17 practices that set forward to determine whether a year-over-year decrease in veterinary cat visits might be able to be reversed.

Jane Brunt, DVM, CATalyst Council executive director, told the DVM360.com, “It takes a commitment and some really significant work on their behalf. They can do it. You can change.”

The cat-friendly makeovers for participating practices included staff education training along with marketing and client communications strategies. Emails were sent and surveys asked clients why they did not bring their cat for regular vet visits. Forty-four percent of responders said veterinary care was too expensive, with another 13 percent revealing transport of the cat is too difficult. Sixty percent revealed that preventative care is the primary reason to bring their cat to the vet.

One suggestion made to combat these results is to create a cat-only waiting area. The study further revealed that 83 percent of cat owners also own dogs. Though 97 percent of primary-pet dogs in a household visited the vet over the previous 12 months, only 80 percent of primary-pet cat households did the same.

Television monitors with camera equipment were set up in the participating practices to view streaming video in the waiting rooms. Cat-related content for client education and entertainment was provided in 30-minute video loops. Clients also received direct mailings with special offers for pet food and pet health insurance, amongst others.

Five strategies for cat-friendly practice makeovers are revealed by visiting http://www.catalystcouncil.org.

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