The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) has announced endorsements of the Cat Friendly Practice (CFP) Program by CATalyst Council, Cat Healthy, and the Association of Shelter Veterinarians. The program is a global initiative designed to elevate care for felines by reducing stress for the cat, their caregiver, and the entire veterinary team, according to the AAFP.
The CFP program, launched in 2012, currently includes more than 1,100 clinics in North and South America. It provides tools to integrate the feline perspective into clinics’ physical environments and the delivery of medical care, focuses on increasing the standard of feline care, educating practices about feline patients’ needs, decreasing the stress of veterinary visits, and ensuring each cat receives the highest quality, according to the association.
To earn the CFP designation, veterinary clinics must meet specific criteria, such as embracing gentle and respectful handling of all cats, providing adjusted procedures to make veterinary visits less stressful for cats and their caregivers, and training staff to understand the individualized needs of cats.
“Visiting the veterinarian can be stressful for both cats and their caregivers,” said Elizabeth Colleran, DVM, MS, DABVP (Feline), co‐chair of the CFP committee. “So often regular check-ups are postponed and consequently, illnesses and diseases are not caught until they are in an advanced state. The Cat Friendly Practice program helps clinics make changes to decrease stress on cats, caregivers, and the veterinary team in order to provide a more calming environment and facilitate a better veterinary experience.”
“CATalyst Council connects people and organizations to transform the health, welfare, and value of companion cats through our programs focused on connecting cats to care,” said Jane Brunt, DVM, executive director. “By endorsing the AAFP’s Cat Friendly Practice program, we are supporting a program that is advancing feline care by providing tools and feline-specific education to the veterinary community.”
“The Association of Shelter Veterinarians believes in advancing and supporting shelter medicine and the AAFP’s Cat Friendly Practice program provides the structure and resources to support shelter veterinarians to ensure cats receive proper veterinary care in a less stressful environment, as well as educating those adopting cats about the importance of routine check-ups,” said Elise Gingrich, DVM, MPH, MS, DACVPM, DABVP (Shelter Medicine Practice), president.
“Cat Healthy is focused on species-centric care—dedicated to how cat owners would like to engage using consumer centric digital marketing/technologies and the shared values of caring for my cat,” said Susan Groeneveld, managing director. “We believe the Cat Friendly Practice program is a wonderful tool for species centered care.”