Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Stressed by the Vet? Try a Cat Friendly Practice®.

Did you know that the United States is one of the highest ranked cat loving countries? In 2016 Gfk conducted a global study in which more than 27,000 consumers (aged 15 and older) in 22 countries were interviewed online. Results indicated that cats reside in 39% of households in the U.S., ranking below only Russia with 57% and France with 41%.



And according to the U.S. Pet Ownership & Demographics Sourcebook  published by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AMVA), in 2012, 36.1 million households owned cats at that time, with the estimated number of pet cats being 74.1 million.That’s a lot of cats! Which makes me very happy on a personal level. But, that same sourcebook also points out that only 55% of cat owners took their cats to the vet, vs. 81% of dog owners. That statistic is indicative of our beloved felines not receiving the routine medical care they require.  


cat friendly practice
Lola at the vet


In a  2013 Bayer AAFP studyresearchers found that 52 percent of cats in the U.S. had not been taken to the vet in the past year for necessary checkups. They also found that only half as many cats receive annual exams as dogs.These alarming numbers are due to cat owners anticipating unpleasant experiences while taking their cats to the vet, believing their cat hates visiting the vet, and getting stressed out at the mere thought of taking their cat on a vet visit. I can relate to these reasons, and I’m sure many reading this article can as well. 

We cat owners can stop pulling out our hair at the thought of scheduling a vet visit, and dump the guilt trips about missing the visits altogether. In 2012 the American Association of Feline Practitioners  (AAFP) recognized the need for cat friendly veterinary clinics and rolled out their Cat Friendly Practice® (CFP) initiative. The CFP program (which is now in 45 states in the continental U.S., 8 Canadian provinces, 3 Brazilian states, and Mexico), created by expert feline practitioners, provides an opportunity for veterinary practices to elevate care for cats and reduce the stress during the visit. The program assists practices to be more welcoming to cats and owners, while also helping to provide the highest quality care. The CFP program fosters partnerships between cat owners and the practice, so that both are actively engaged in the cat’s ongoing health and well-being.


cat friendly practice
Photo credit: jeffrey beall via flickr

Going to a Cat Friendly Practice has many benefits both the cat and the cat owner. 
  • Each Cat Friendly Practice has at least one designated ‘Cat Advocate’ on staff. This is a knowledgeable professional who ensures that your cat’s care is guided by feline-focused standards. 
  • Staff members are trained in how to approach and handle cats in a gentle, empathetic and caring manner. 
  • Staff members are also trained to recognize subtle, early signs of sickness, fear, or anxiety, and adapt appropriately.
  • An environment has been created that is more comfortable for cats, such as managing noise and offering separate waiting areas for cats and dogs, and minimizing stress during medical procedures. 
  • The veterinary practice is well-maintained and equipped for feline patients (cat sized equipment, soft coverings, feline facial pheromone diffuser, etc.)
  • Procedures are in place to adjust for each cat based on whatever is least stressful for the cat. Exams may be performed in the carrier, on the floor, or in the veterinarian’s lap. 
  • The Cat Friendly Practice certificate on a veterinarian’s wall has to be earned. The practice must meet a comprehensive checklist of performance criteria to verify that staff members are specially qualified and dedicated to making every visit as pleasant as possible and beneficial for you and your cat.
cat friendly practice
_photo-deti via Depositphotos

As I mentioned above, The CFP program fosters partnerships between cat owners and the practice, so that both are actively engaged in the cat’s ongoing health and well-being. I take Lola and Lexy to a feline-only practice. When I was choosing a veterinary practice I was not aware of the CFP program, but I knew I did not want to worry about dogs in the waiting room and I wanted a vet who would be understanding of their emotional needs. I also wanted someone who was knowledgeable and proficient in the area of feline health. My vet definitely ensures that we work together in Lola and Lexy’s health care and views me as an important part of that equation. The environment is very peaceful, which not only calms my cats but me as well. My cats pick up on my energy and if I’m calmer so are they. All of this makes the experience less stressful for the three of us. Aside from getting them into the carriers, but that’s another post.  

If your veterinary practice displays this logo, 



that means they have qualified to be a Cat Friendly Practice by the American Association of Feline Practitioners. You can find a Cat Friendly Practice in your area by searching here
Is your practice cat friendly? If it were would you take your cat to the vet more often? 
Dawn





24 comments:

  1. I wish there were more cat friendly practices! I know how much most kitties dislike going.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow, that's interesting that more dogs receive vet care than cats. I will have to check and see if our vet is a cat friendly practice. I'm guessing not, but they do a nice job of making it comfortable and safe for kitties.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wonderful post! We are happy to say our vet has been a CFP participant from the start and we hope more become so in our area soon!

    ReplyDelete
  4. We go to a cat only Vet and it is very comfortable there. If only there wasn't that car ride!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Our vet isn't a CFP vet unfortunately. They do offer cat hours where they will only make appts for cats. We checked and there is a CFP vet not too far from us. Question is, do we want to switch vets.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Our vet's isn't a CFP, but he's pretty cat friendly. He's also dog friendly and I've even seen him be deer friendly.

    ReplyDelete
  7. We think dat's pawsum. And we're glad lots of peeps have those. We wish we did. 'Course we wish we ha good VETs too. But wishin' don't make it so. :( Anyways, great posty. Maybe someday we'll get one. Big hugs

    Luv ya'

    Dezi and Raena

    ReplyDelete
  8. You want to hear something funny? Our new vet isn't specifically certified as cat friendly, but they are much better with cats than our old cat-only vet was!! Our current vet has separate waiting rooms for cats and dogs, and the vet techs are always nice and talk to us before they shove their hands in the carrier and grab us out. Yes, we like this vet better.

    ReplyDelete
  9. When we lived in both CA & TX, we had a cat-only vet and it was wonderful. Here in PA, the closest cat-only vet is in Philly, about a 45-minute drive, which is just too long in my opinion for a kitty. I never knew about CFP. I just looked them up in my area and see a few. I just switched vets about a year ago when a practice opened that is walking distance from my house (and they're very nice). I'm definitely going to consider this however.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I just checked and the closest is 21 miles away. Too far to make the cats go in the car, I guess we have to suffer with dogs in the waiting area.

    ReplyDelete
  11. There are few things I like less than taking Bear to the vet. He howls the entire trip ... the entire time at the vet ... and it hurts me to see him so incredibly stressed out.
    I think some people don't realize cats need care like we do. So many times, I've heard from lifetime cat owners, "Cats get cancer?" "Cats need their teeth taken care of?" "Cats get diabetes?"
    Not to mention the cost. As us cat bloggers know, there are daily appeals for help with vet costs. By mentioning the costs, I'm not saying care is expensive relative to value ... I think most vets are beyond reasonable in terms of cost, but for people who sit on the fence about getting their cats care, I'm sure it weighs heavily on the final decision. Especially since most cats aren't insured like us humans. That we're used to paying only copays and deductibles means the care of our pets seems more expensive than it really is.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Great post! Really wish we had more cat friendly vet clinics here in England.

    Purrs xx
    Athena and Marie

    ReplyDelete
  13. We all get pretty stressed goin' to see the doctor even though we have like THE BEST DOCTOR EVER. I usually shed all over Peep #1 when I'm there. I shed so much, she could knit a sweater! purrs

    ReplyDelete
  14. I would give anything to find a cat friendly practice. Mine, both of them I have used here in town have been dog -centric to the core. The "techs" that were hired in the first one were largely high school student age and they roughly scruffed my cat till I caught them at it. One wanted to lift Katie out of her carrier that way AND carry my adult 11 1/2 pound cat that way to the "back room" I said NO! The large dogs barking loudly and prolonged in the cavernous waiting room terrified my cat. Now, the techs at the practice we go to are good but they still scruff. Katie will never be a good girl again at the vet.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Yay! Our vet is on the list! Dr. M. is the best, and we love her and the care she gives to our kitties. :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. We have a few cat-friendly practices in our city, but they charge so much more it's crazy. Our vet does seem to manage appointments well though, so we rarely encounter a dog in the waiting room.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I've never heard of this, but what a great idea! I take my cat to a cats-only clinic as well, and they're wonderful. They even have live birds there in a large display between the two exam rooms for the cats to look at!

    ReplyDelete
  18. What an amazing concept and terrific idea.

    ReplyDelete
  19. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  20. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  21. United States is one of the highest ranked cat loving countries? interesting!
    ------------
    دعامة القضيب

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for your comment! We love meowing with you!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...