AAFP, AAHA develop new guidelines for feline healthcare

The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) and the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) are pleased to announce the release of the AAFP/AAHA Feline Life Stage Guidelines. Published in the January, 2010 issue of the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery and the Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association, the guidelines provide important information promoting appropriate wellness care for cats.

The Feline Life Stage Guidelines have been developed in response to alarming statistics reported in the 2007 American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) US Pet Ownership and Demographics Sourcebook. The Sourcebook showed that the number of cats kept as pets outnumber dogs, yet they receive significantly less veterinary care. Further studies have indicated that an inability to recognize signs of illness or injury is a key factor as to why cat owners are unaware of their cat’s medical needs.

The concern of a stressful veterinary visit for both cat and owner has also been cited as a contributing deterrent to veterinary visits for cats. The guidelines offer practical strategies that veterinary practices can integrate into their daily routines to help alleviate common stressors and work more successfully with an anxious cat. The guidelines address healthcare recommendations specific to the lifestage of the feline patient, and emphasize educating clients about behavior and environmental issues that promote a healthy life style. Acting in partnership with cat owners about this information will further enhance the client - veterinary bond.

The AAFP/AAHA Feline Life Stage panel members includes: Ilona Rodan, DVM, Dipl., ABVP Feline, Guidelines Co-Chair; Amy Hoyumpa Vogt, DVM, Dipl. ABVP Canine & Feline, Guidelines Co-Chair; Scott Brown, VMD, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM; Marcus Brown, DVM; Tony Buffington, DVM, MS, PhD, Dipl. ACVN; MJ LaRue Forman, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM; Jacqui Neilson, DVM, Dipl. ACVB; Andy Sparkes, BVetMed PhD DipECVIM MRCVS.

The need for Feline Life Stage Guidelines was identified by the CATalyst Council, a national initiative to champion the cat in light of troubling statistics released by the AVMA regarding the level of health care for cats. The American Association of Feline Practitioners and the American Animal Hospital Association would like to thank Boehringer Ingelheim, Merial Ltd, Pfizer Animal Health and IDEXX Laboratories for their sponsorship of these guidelines and their commitment to help the veterinary community develop projects that will improve the lives of cats. AAFP and AAHA continue to work to promote excellence in feline medicine and to provide veterinarians with tools and strategies to provide the best care.
Review the guidelines here

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