Bayer HealthCare Animal Health and the American Association of Feline Practitioners Partner to Improve the Health of America's Cats

Collaboration aims to better understand and overcome barriers to routine veterinary care for cats

Sep 21, 2012, 08:30 ET from Bayer HealthCare LLC from ,American Association of Feline Practitioners

SHAWNEE, Kan. and HILLSBOROUGH, N.J., Sept. 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Bayer HealthCare LLC Animal Health Division and the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) today announced a new partnership designed to improve healthcare for America's cats. The partnership, which will work to uncover and remove the obstacles to routine veterinary care for cats, was announced at the AAFP's 2012 medical conference in Seattle.  

"Like dogs, cats require regular veterinary healthcare and, without it, there is a significant risk to their health," said Donna Stephens Manley, DVM, president of AAFP and principal veterinarian at Manley Veterinary Services in Chapel Hill, N.C. "Through the combined efforts of AAFP and Bayer HealthCare, we want to improve the healthcare provided to cats and overcome the barriers that veterinarians have encountered regarding routine visits for cats. If cats are seen more regularly, better care can be provided, especially relating to preventative care."

The impetus for this partnership was the Bayer Veterinary Care Usage Study, according to Ian Spinks, President and General Manager, Bayer HealthCare LLC's Animal Health Division, North America. Among Bayer HealthCare's strong portfolio of products are parasite solutions for cats and dogs.

The Bayer HealthCare study found that one-third of cats owned by respondents had not seen a veterinarian during the previous year, despite the fact that 95 percent of surveyed veterinarians cited the need for cats and dogs to have at least one well-visit, or physical examination, annually.

The study also found the decrease in cat visits to veterinarians was in part attributable to "feline resistance," a catch-all term defining the hiding, aggression, vocalization, and stressed/fearful behavior cats exhibit when put in the carrier and transported to unfamiliar surroundings—in this instance, the veterinarian's office. Unwilling to do battle with their pets, cat owners become more comfortable with longer time between exams. This can be especially harmful for older cats, which are more prone to diabetes, kidney failure and cancer than dogs.

"Bayer HealthCare looks forward to partnering with the American Association of Feline Practitioners to explore and address the reasons why pet owners seek veterinary care less frequently for their cats than for their dogs," said Spinks. "We will then share those findings and recommendations, which, in turn, could help keep more cats healthy across the country."

About the American Association of Feline Practitioners

The American Association of Feline Practitioners improves the health and welfare of cats by supporting high standards of practice, continuing education and scientific investigation. The AAFP has a long-standing reputation and track record in the veterinary community for facilitating high standards of practice and publishes guidelines for practice excellence which are available to veterinarians at the AAFP website. Over the years, the AAFP has encouraged veterinarians to continuously re-evaluate preconceived notions of practice strategies in an effort to advance the quality of feline medicine practiced. The Cat Friendly Practice program is the newest effort created to improve the treatment, handling and overall healthcare provided to cats. Its purpose is to equip veterinary practices with the tools, resources and information to elevate the standard of care provided to cats. Find more information at

About Bayer HealthCare

The Bayer Group is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, nutrition and high-tech materials. Bayer HealthCare, a subgroup of Bayer AG with annual sales of EUR 17.2 billion (2011), is one of the world's leading, innovative companies in the healthcare and medical products industry and is based in Leverkusen, Germany. The company combines the global activities of the Animal Health, Consumer Care, Medical Care and Pharmaceuticals divisions. Bayer HealthCare's aim is to discover, develop, manufacture and market products that will improve human and animal health worldwide. Bayer HealthCare has a global workforce of 55,700 employees (Dec 31, 2011) and is represented in more than 100 countries. Find more information at

Forward-Looking Statements

This release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer Group or subgroup management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Bayer's public reports which are available on the Bayer website at The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.

SOURCE Bayer HealthCare LLC; American Association of Feline Practitioners