“Cat day” doubles new and reactivated patients seen by Ohio practice
It is common knowledge that most veterinary practices have more canine patients than feline patients. This is disheartening considering that according to various North American estimates, more cats are owned as pets than dogs. One of the constant challenges our industry faces is how to get cats into the practice for the important preventative care they need.
Pam and her team at Monroe Family Pet Hospital in Monroe, OH came up with a great idea and used their VetSuccess reports to help with their plan. They designated an entire day at their hospital as “Cat Only Day.” No dogs were allowed in the building. Any urgent cases where dogs needed to be seen that day were brought in through the back door, avoiding the reception and exam room area where most of the cats were. The promotion for this day was a free exam for all cats with a requirement of either a vaccination, a fecal test or lab work.
Two weeks prior to the event, the team used their Lapsing Patients Report to call the owner of every lapsing cat listed, with an invitation to schedule an appointment for their cat. They sent three email blasts to all their clients (even ones without any cats as patients, in case they had a secretly hidden cat at home!) and also promoted the event on their social media pages. The night before, they sprayed Feliway on towels and placed them in their exam rooms. Vendors participated by donating vaccinations or pitching in to buy giveaways. The practice negotiated with their outside laboratory for free fecal tests. Some vendors set up barbecues in the parking lot to grill food for the clients. The team wore cat ears and painted whiskers on their faces. They even had local rescue organizations out front with kittens for adoption.
By the end of Cat Day, 56 cats had a physical examination. At least 10 cats were booked to have dentals performed. Utilizing data from their monthly Practice Overview Reports from the past four months, we can see the impact this event had on their active feline patient count. The graph clearly shows us that during September, the practice had the highest number of new and reactivated feline patients in four months.
Pam had some great insight into the importance of events like this. “Cats are not in-your-face pets, and their subtle changes as they age are the only sign you will see. Not many clients like to bring them to the vet. However, once you get them into your clinic, half the battle is won. Cat Day was our chance to educate our clients. We must be proactive instead of reactive in this industry, and we can’t if we can’t get them into the clinic. The days of waiting for the door to swing are over.”
They had such an amazing turnout at this event that they plan to do it again in six months! Check out their Facebook page to see photos of the event.
Thanks to Monroe Family Pet Hospital for sharing this great story with us!