Cat Friendly Practice silver aafp

Cat Friendly practice

Cat Friendly Practices Promote Quality Care

The American Association of Feline Practitioners have certified us as a Cat Friendly Practice. This designation was made after a rigorous evaluation of standards and quality of care. We are the only Cat Friendly Practice in Huron County. The Cat Friendly Practice program was first conceived in the United Kingdom by the Feline Advisory Bureau. Participating practices in the UK that have become cat friendly have noticed a considerable difference. The AAFP?s Cat Friendly Practice Program was inspired to ensure that veterinary practices in North America are committed to feline healthcare and implementing cat friendly standards.

This program was created to improve the standards of veterinary care for cats in practice settings. Cat Friendly Practices are sensitive to cats? distinct needs and equipped to address their physical and behavioral needs, thereby increasing cat owner knowledge, veterinary visits and ultimately improving the healthcare of cats by educating on the importance of wellness visits and preventative care. The program standards are designed to encourage and facilitate high-quality feline veterinary care while addressing the unique challenges and difficulties associated with bringing cats into the veterinary practice.

Veterinarians and their team members who have achieved Cat Friendly Practice status regard the practice with an entirely new perspective. By adopting a feline perspective in all areas that contribute to care, including the practice environment, staff training, client education and more, the practice culture becomes one in which every person is mindful of constantly improving the experience and care of the feline patient.

Cat Friendly Practices have completed a self-assessment checklist that shows they have incorporated the standard criteria for their practice to be cat friendly. The program standards for the delivery of care to the feline population are research-based and represent the highest standards of feline medical care. Once the practice has met the criteria on the checklist, reviewed educational materials, and designated a Cat Advocate in their practice, their practice will be submitted for approval into the program.

Topic areas addressed in the program include staff training and client communication; waiting room design; feline handling; examination rooms and clinical records; wards/facilities; pain management/operating room and anesthesia; surgical equipment/dentistry; diagnostic imaging/lab facilities; treatment/health and safety; and preventive care by life stages. The Cat Advocate will ensure that the high standards of feline care in the practice are maintained as well as act as the point person for information.

What to Expect From a Cat Friendly Practice

Cat Friendly Practices are sensitive to the needs of both cats and their owners. Cat Friendly Practices consider the unique needs of cats in the waiting and examination rooms, handling of feline patients, attitude and knowledge of staff, and the comfort and concern for cats and their owners.

Staff training and continuing education are key. Within a Cat Friendly Practice, clients will find that the staff is well versed in feline handling techniques and can expertly deal with frightened cats. Furthermore, the staff is well trained in alternate techniques to calm an anxious cat and ensure that exams and procedures do not escalate anxiety.

Staff training focuses on being knowledgeable about the complete cycle of feline life stage issues that require special care and attention. As with humans, health issues change as aging occurs. The frequency of health care visits may need to increase and the course of treatment will be adjusted according to the cat?s individual healthcare plan.

One obvious advantage of a Cat Friendly Practice is a physical environment that is all about the cat including special waiting rooms and waiting accommodations, feline-sensitive examination rooms and ward facilities, and equipment appropriate for cats.

Other areas that are vetted for cat safety and comfort include the operating room and anesthesia, diagnostic imaging, laboratory facilities and dentistry practices.

Click here for House-Soiling: Cat Owner Questionnaire
Click here for tips on getting your cat to the veterinarian
Click here for client brochures for cat owners
Click here for our hybrid cat position statement

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