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AAFP Certified Cat Friendly Practice

Willowbend Animal Hospital is Proud to be a Cat-Friendly Practice

Willowbend Animal Hospital is an accredited Cat Friendly Practice (CFP) by the American Association of Feline Practitioners, a feline specialty association comprised of veterinarian professionals passionate about the care of cats who have a special interest in all aspects of feline medicine and surgery.

cat friendly veterinarian

What is a Cat Friendly Practice?

The AAFP seeks to encourage and facilitate good quality veterinary care for cats. However, we recognize that there are unique challenges and difficulties in bringing your cat to a veterinary practice, including:

  • Cats often do not travel well.
  • Cats do not feel safe when they are away from their normal home territory.
  • Cats are highly sensitive to unusual sights, sounds and smells.
  • Most cats prefer quiet and solitude.
  • Most cats are highly susceptible to stress and anxiety.
  • Most cats are highly stressed by dogs and other cats being in close proximity at the practice.
  • Cats need to be handled gently, with care and respect in the practice.
  • Cats have unique medical requirements that Cat Friendly Practices are capable of providing.

The AAFP created the Cat Friendly Practice program to help veterinary practices meet the wide range of unique needs of cats in a veterinary practice setting. An extensive self-assessment checklist was designed to demonstrate that Cat Friendly Practices:

  • Understand the unique needs of cats and have made veterinary visits more cat-friendly.
  • Understand how to approach and handle cats in a gentle, empathetic and caring manner.
  • Have an appropriate standard of equipment needed to investigate and treat feline diseases.
  • Meets a standard for the facilities and care for hospitalized cats.

How Can I Benefit from Visiting a Cat Friendly Practice?

Below are some specific ways in which cat owners can benefit from visiting a Cat Friendly Practice:

  • We make an effort to have a calming environment.
  • Staff is trained to understand the individualized needs of cats including feline specific behavior and facial features.
  • We implement the Feline-Friendly Handling Guidelines to facilitate a more positive experience.
  • We use a slow approach to achieve positive results.
  • We develop an individual plan based on your cat’s specific needs, preferences, and behaviors.
  • We implement ways to make you and your cat be as comfortable as possible.
  • Staff continually obtains education on the most current feline research and guidelines.
  • We will help ensure that you are a valuable member of your cat’s healthcare team and help you understand your cat’s needs and what you can do at home to ensure they get the care they need.
  • We use synthetic feline facial pheromones for a calming effect.
  • We have a feline-only examination room that provides a safe, non-threatening area where cats can be examined calmly and effectively.
  • We have experience to recognize subtle, early signs of fear or anxiety and adapt appropriately.

Additional Information

Tips for taking your cat to the veterinarian:
http://www.catalystcouncil.org/resources/video/?Id=89

AAFP: Getting your cat to the veterinarian:
http://www.catvets.com/cat-owners/behavior-and-care-tips/getting-your-cat-to-the-vet