Forums » Feline Medicine

The Feline-Friendly Practice

  • August 11, 2014 3:50 PM EDT
    • In the United States, there are 86 million owned cats and 78 million owned dogs.
    • Almost twice as many cats than dogs never visit the veterinarian.
    • 41% of cat owners visit the veterinarian only for vaccinations. 
    • 39% of cat owners say they would only take their cat to the veterinarian if the cat was sick. 
    • 60% of cat owners report that their cat hates going to the veterinarian.
    • 38% of cat owners report that they get stressed just thinking about bringing their cat to the practice.

    The following videos, produced by The American Association of Feline Practitioners, were created to help veterinary teams make feline-friendly changes to their practices. This series outlines the ways a practice can minimize stress for both the cat and client during veterinary visits. From feline-friendly handling to performing procedures in the exam room, these videos provide a glimpse at how your practice can become more cat-friendly. 



    Trouble viewing this video?  Click here ...

    How to Make Feline Friendly Changes
    Veterinary team members know that it can be stressful for cats and owners to visit a veterinary practice. To help decrease the stress associated with the visit, the AAFP offers Cat Friendly Practice program. This unique program helps practices provide the highest quality of care while showing owners a commitment to address the distinct health needs and special considerations of feline patients.


    Understanding Feline Behavior

    This video describes subtle feline behaviors cues and changes, as well as why it’s important for veterinary team members to be able to read cats effectively. 


    Understanding and Preparing for the Feline Veterinary Visit

    To increase feline preventive care visits, it’s important to reduce the stress associated with veterinary visits. This video provides tips to keep the process calm and unhurried, starting with pre-visit preparations at home and at the practice. It is important to educate your clients on the pre-visit experience as it can be critical to the success of the veterinary visit.


    Being Flexible During the Feline Examination

    Understanding and determining what is the least stressful for the cat and client during an examination is key to reducing the stress associated with each visit and to keep the cat calm. This video explains a number of methods that veterinary teams can implement, including ways to conduct an examination based on the different needs for each cat and client.


    Enhancing the Feline Examination

    Communication is key to building trusting relationships with clients. This video provides tips that can enhance feline examinations, such as narrating the examination and providing emphasis on recommendations and care instructions. The tips mentioned in this video provide a great opportunity to highlight the importance of routine checkups, which can enable earlier detection of diseases or medical conditions.


    Feline Friendly Handling During Veterinary Visits

    The proper handling of cats before and during examinations is critical to creating less fearful cats, calmer clients, and for providing a safe environment for veterinary team members. In this video, Ilona Rodan, DVM, DABVP (Feline Practice) explains a number of techniques that can make visits much easier for everyone involved, including making a cat feel more safe and secure, talking softly and using minimal restraint, and changing your approach to each cat’s different needs. 


    Doing Procedures in the Exam Room

    This video outlines a number of procedures that can easily be performed right in the exam room with proper feline-friendly handling techniques. Elizabeth Colleran, DVM, DABVP (Feline Practice) explains that with proper care, routine procedures that used to be done in the “back of the hospital” can be performed in right the exam room.

    Now You Can Begin to Make Changes in Your Practice
    Did you know that 83% of cats are taken to the veterinarian in the first year of ownership, yet over half of them don’t return? This is why it’s important for veterinary teams to educate cat owners on the importance of routine veterinary care. The AAFP has many resources to help veterinary teams, including the Cat Friendly Practice Program is an easy, comprehensive, step-by-step program to help practices create a solution to this trend. 


    Additional Resources:

    Cat Friendly Practice Program

    CFP Veterinary Practice Brochure