There are millions more owned cats than owned dogs in the United States, yet cats visit veterinarians less often than dogs. One reason for this is the stress of getting the cat to the veterinarian and the experience associated with the visit itself for both the cat and the owner.
With the number of people choosing cats steadily increasing, the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) has initiated a program to improve the health care and overall well-being of the growing feline population. A Cat Friendly Practice (CFP) is committed to learning ways to make the visit more pleasant for your cats and to help you learn ways that you can contribute also. When Animal Medical Clinic became a Cat Friendly Practice in 2012, we adapted an environment that is less stressful to cats and meets the cat’s unique needs. As a Cat Friendly Practice, we hope to encourage more cat owners to bring their feline family members in for veterinary care and improve the health and quality of life of cats.
Here are some of the guidelines we are following as a practice to help with the needs of our feline patients:
- Feline exam rooms have Feliway diffusers that produce a synthetic copy of feline facial pheromones, used by cats to mark their territory as safe and secure.
- Our staff is knowledgeable about the understanding of cats and ways to gently handle them.
- Our practice has the ability to hospitalize cats in a comfortable setting.
- Commitment to continuing education for feline medicine, surgery and all other aspects of cat care.
“We are committed to providing quality care to our patients. When we heard about AAFP’s Cat Friendly Practice Program, we knew it was time to take a fresh look at the practice to determine what could be done to make the veterinary visit more positive for cats and cat owners,” said Dr. Stephanie Carraway of Animal Medical Clinic. “We evaluated every aspect of the practice and its environment from the perspective of the cat. We can proudly say that from the minute they walk through the door, our patients and clients will be part of a welcoming, comfortable experience that will ultimately lead to the improved health of our feline patients.”