In case you didn’t know, the Animal Hospital of Sussex County in Augusta, NJ is a cat friendly clinic, which is great for all those cat owners out there. But what does that really mean? Sure, places can claim to be “cat friendly” but are there actually different accommodations for cats? Are there specific criteria that make a clinic fit into this category? Is there an organization that manages which clinics meet their designations to be awarded this recognition?
The answer to all of these questions is yes – and we’re here to help explain why.
Meet the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP)
The American Association of Feline Practitioners, also knows as the AAFP for short, is a professional organization that represents feline veterinarians and practitioners who are passionate about the care of cats. They set the standard of care for feline medicine and surgery by setting the standards of feline care through the publication of practice guidelines, position statements, and by providing continuing education.
That’s pretty serious stuff! And it’s good that they’re serious about cats, because we are too. It’s the AAFP that reviews and determines if a clinic meets their specific criteria to qualify as a cat friendly clinic, and we’re proud to have received this distinction from them.
Cat Friendly Clinic Criteria
You can read the full owner’s brochure at the link above about being a cat friendly clinic, but to make things easier, we also summarized some of the key points here – all of which the Animal Hospital of Sussex County meets.
- A specific waiting room / area that reduces stress for cats such as a cats-only waiting room, or a barrier blocking visual contact with other pets such as dogs, that can increase stress levels in cats
- Ongoing training and education for the clinic staff on feline medical care, behavior, communication, and feline-friendly handling techniques
- Feline specific exam rooms that have a safe non-threatening area where cats can be examined calmly and effectively.
- Feline-trained staff who recognize subtle, early signs of sickness, fear, or anxiety, and adapt appropriately.
- Veterinary facility with specific equipment, settings, etc., to make cats feel more comfortable and meet their needs.
- Focus on providing a safe, low-stress environment for the cat from when they walk in the door and throughout the entire exam
If you are a cat owner, knowing if your veterinarian and clinic is cat friendly – and certified as such by the AAFP – is incredibly important! It’s good to know that the Animal Hospital of Sussex County is certified as a cat friendly clinic, and we’re more than just that, we’re cat lovers too. So purr away!
So don’t stress any more about bringing your cat to the vet. Schedule your cat’s regular checkup and make sure they’re happy and healthy!