Telehealth
for Cats

About Telehealth for Cats

Strengthening feline adoption from animal shelters and retention through virtual veterinary care

 

The virtual veterinary visit pilot is a cooperative initiative between CATalyst Council, Lincoln Memorial University, and the SPCA Serving Erie County to improve health care for cats and increase veterinary visits. It is estimated that at least 50% of companion cats have never seen a veterinarian, a staggering statistic that can be attributed to a variety of reasons including the difficulty of transport, access to and cost of care, and a lack of familiarity with cat needs among cat caregivers. The LMU virtual veterinary visit pilot aims to combat these obstacles by leveraging technological advancements and engaging veterinary student stakeholders.

 

Phase one of the pilot will involve connecting the owners of newly adopted cats through the SPCA Serving Erie County with LMU veterinary students during their shelter medicine rotation to educate cat-adopting owners on proper feline care and make the first virtual visit meaningful. In Phase Two, CATalyst Council will provide its Connect to Care platform to facilitate the digital transfer and storage of shelter pet health records to cat adopters and their consulting veterinary students.

 

The program will:

  • Remove the need for stressful handling through the virtual visit
  • Provide resources, information, and recommendations specific to cats’ normal behavior and needs
  • Use the opportunity to identify other cats in the household in need of care
  • Discuss Cat-Friendly® Veterinary Practices and Professionals

 

CATalyst Council recognizes the imperative value of telehealth and believes that telemedicine benefits all stakeholders in cat health and welfare:

  • The cat can meet a veterinarian on its own terms without external stressors associated with transport.
  • The cat owner can establish a relationship with a veterinarian in a familiar setting in a familiar manner using a familiar format.
  • The veterinarian will gain the ability to address environmental situations and human-animal interaction to establish the need and foundation for a physical examination.
  • The local, state, and national communities of veterinary and animal welfare individuals and organizations will collaborate to solve community cat challenges. Underserved and resource-restricted cat owners will have access to appropriate and professional care for their companions.

 

For more information, contact CATalyst Council.