What is a cat friendly practice?

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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.

Additional information can be found in the
CFP Cat Owner Brochure.

Click the video below to find out how CFPs can reduce stress of cat visits:


Click the video below to see why cats need routine veterinary checkups: