The AAFP launched the Cat Friendly Practice Certification Program earlier this year to provide a framework for creating a positive practice environment for cats. This includes both medical care dedicated to the needs of cats as well as knowledgeable staff members who understand feline friendly handling and nursing care. The goal is to improve the treatment, handling and overall healthcare of cats.
We assessed our approach to the care of our feline patients and completed a self-assessment checklist that shows we have incorporated the standard criteria to be cat friendly. With our current standards and guidelines, we completed the application and were awarded the Gold Status, the highest achievement possible.
As a Cat Friendly Practice, we are committed to continuing to learn ways to make your cat’s visit more pleasant. We also have adapted an environment that is less stressful to cats and meets the unique needs of cats. Here are some of the guidelines we are following as a practice to help with the needs of our feline patients:
- Feline-only exam rooms. We have exam rooms available that are to be used for only our feline patients. This reduces the potential odor from canine patients, which can be stressful for our kitties.
- Use of Feliway and cat-sacs. We utilize multiple techniques to help reduce the stress of our kitties, including Feliway (which is a natural pheromone used to reduce stress) and cat-sacs, which allow our fearful patients to hide during an exam.
- Anesthesia. Our feline patients are treated as individuals and each anesthetic protocol is designed to fit their medical needs.
- Handling techniques. Our skilled technicians are trained to handle our feline patients with techniques that reduce their stress.
Dr. Carolyn Apker, Dr. Laura Durant-Elliott, and Sarah Krats, CVT have also been designated as the Cat Advocates of the Animal Wellness Center. These individuals will ensure that the high standards of feline care in the practice are maintained.
For more information on the Cat Friendly Practice program, visit www.catvets.com.