So that animosity doesn't kill the cat, marketing efforts are afoot to rebrand felines as more glam than granny. Veterinarians, scholars, non-profit and animal-welfare organizations have joined forces for the initiative, which aims to supplant such dubious tropes as "crazy cat lady'' with the more appealing "catalysta.''
The international effort, highlighted at the recent annual meeting of the American Veterinary Medical Association, is motivated by a decline in feline veterinary visits, coupled with grave overpopulation problems that are seeing three-quarters of cats in U.S. shelters euthanized.
"We're always overrun with cats. Unfortunately, society does look at them as disposable, which is a battle we deal with on a daily basis,'' says Stephanie McDonald, executive director of the Edmonton Humane Society. "We're just desperate to save their lives, through whatever clever means we can use.'' Statistics show cats are significantly less likely to receive medical services than dogs, less likely to have pet insurance, and have only a one in four chance of finding a permanent home after landing in a shelter.
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