Help Clinics Identify “Secret Cats”
Increasing feline preventive care canvalso improve practice health
By Wendy S. Myers
Every veterinary hospital has hundreds of feline patients that are missing preventive checkups. An American Association of Feline Practitioners 2013 study revealed that 52 percent of cats have not received a preventive care exam within the last 12 months.1 Because half of U.S. cats live indoors, pet owners often assume their feline friends live in a perfectly protected world and don’t need regular veterinary care.2
Partner with clinics on a campaign about overdue cats
Have the practice manager run a report to identify feline patients that are three to 12 months overdue for preventive care or rabies vaccination. Send a combination of email and postal notices to these clients. Offer an incentive for cat owners such as a free rabies vaccine or dose of preventative. To help you plan your marketing budget and to create a sense of urgency among cat owners, limit the free offer to the first 50 respondents.
Here’s a sample email for clients with cats that are overdue for rabies vaccination:
Dr. noticed that your cat, , is overdue for preventive care. Changes in your cat’s health can occur quickly. During a preventive care exam, Dr. will assess which vaccines, preventatives and diagnostic tests that needs.
Teach receptionists to ask about cats at home when clients call to schedule dogs’ exams
Today, 41 percent of dog owners have cats, with the average cat owner having two cats per household.5 When a client calls to schedule her dog’s exam, the receptionist should check the reminder status of all pets in the same household in the practice-management software. If a cat is overdue for preventive care, ask the client to schedule an appointment now.
For more strategies on increasing feline visits, order our webinar on “Strategies to Get Cats Back.” For $99 per hospital, the webinar includes one hour of continuing-education credit, unlimited playback, a handout and a CE certificate. Order at www.csvets.com/cart/webinars/strategies-to-get-cats-back/.
1. Half of American Cats Don’t Get Regular Veterinary Care, Veterinary Practice News, July 2013. Accessed 08-18-13 at www.veterinarypracticenews.com/vet-breaking-news/2013/07/26/half-of-american-cats-dont-get-regular-vet-care.aspx.
2. Dodman, N. The great debate: Indoor versus outdoor cats. Accessed 05-13-13 at http://www.petplace.com/cats/the-great-debate-indoor-versus-outdoor-cats/page1.aspx.
3. AAHA Veterinary Fee Reference, 9th edition, AAHA Press 2015; p. 82.
4. Virginia Department of Heath, Office of Epidemiology 2014 Positive Animal Rabies Cases Ending: December 28, 2013. Accessed at www.vdh.virginia.gov/epidemiology/DEE/Rabies/documents/statistics/2014%20WeeklyReport.pdf on 03-27-15.
5. AVMA. U.S. Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook. 2012 ed. Schaumburg, IL: American Veterinary Medical Association; 2007:1-27. Accessed on 05-01-15 at https://www.avma.org/KB/Resources/Statistics/Pages/Market-research-statistics-US-Pet-Ownership-Demographics-Sourcebook.aspx.