Is it time to bring your cat in for their yearly visit? Are you dreading it? FEAR NOT: Oak Tree Veterinary Hospital is certified as a Cat Friendly Practice (CFP)!! We are the only veterinary practice with this certification from the American Association of Feline Practitioners in the Heights area. So what does this mean?
The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP), which creates veterinary standards of care for cats, established this program dedicated to treating cats’ physical, emotional and behavioral needs. Cats are the most common pet, with many more owned than dogs in the US (86 million cats versus 78 million dogs). But, when it comes to a cat’s health it does not seem to be a high priority among cat owners. Dogs receive more consistent and regular veterinary health care with twice as many cats never visiting a veterinarian than dogs.
AAFP, and veterinarians like us, saw this trend and decided to act by initiating the CFP program. The most common reason pet owners do not bring their cat into a veterinary clinic is due to stress by both the cat and their owner. Cat Friendly Practices are sensitive to cats’ specific characteristics and equipped to address their physical and behavioral needs. Oak Tree Veterinary Hospital had to meet over sixty criteria ranging from staff training to standards of care, in order to become certified. We have changed the way we interact with your cat, from the moment you enter the hospital until you walk out the door. The entire practice staff have been trained on feline-friendly handling and destressing techniques and how to create a low stress environment.
So how does a CFP differ from a conventional veterinary practice? Well, we try to let your cat make the calls. That means that each cat is individually assessed to determine how stressed they are and how we can reduce their stress in our approach and handling. We use towels sprayed with calming pheromones, low lite rooms, and food treats to make the visit a more positive experience. We have an area off of the waiting room where you and your cat can wait without being alarmed by canine visitors. Our hospital ward has also undergone a changes with the addition of new medical equipment and cat specific environment changes. We don’t stop there. We all undergo continuing education to keep on top of the most recent guidelines, both medical and behavioral. This means we can keep you informed on what is best for your cat.
The decision to seek out a Cat Friendly Practice is an important step. As humans, we take great care in searching for health providers who meet our needs. You can do the same for your pets. The changes that have been made in our practice not only helps our feline patients but also our canines. Dogs get stressed too and not every dog is the same in their medical needs. We understand that bringing your pet to the vet is not an activity you may anticipate with joy, but it is vital to their well-being. Please call us to get more information on the how you can make your cats visit easier and less stressful. You may also visit http://www.catvets.com/cat-owners/caring-for-cats/ for more great information. Cats do not live longer, happier lives when they never visit their doctor (http://www.catvets.com/cfp/cat-owners).