Hoffman Estates Animal Hospital has earned a prestigious distinction: The American Association of Feline Practioners’ (AAFP) awarded them cat friendly certification, according to an article in the Barrington Courier-Review. AAFP only awards this distinction to practices that go through rigorous training to ensure their treatment of cats meets very specific criteria.
According to AAFP’s website, the criteria that vet practices must meet to earn cat friendly certification are:
- Laying the groundwork for delivery of care to the underserved feline population;
- Identifying trends and information necessary for understanding cats;
- Acknowledging the necessary role the owner plays when visiting the vet;
- Supporting veterinarians and teams in their efforts to create a cat friendly environment;
- Outlining strategies for introducing the changes in delivery of care that incorporate a better understanding of cats’ unique needs.
They also say that, when a practice decides to apply for cat friendly certification, they create an environment that specifically addresses the needs of cats, which are different from the needs of dogs and other animals. The practice completes a self-assessment, implements new standards and programs, goes through online modules, and completes a checklist.
Also, at least one vet at the practice must be a member of the AAFP. There are many other criteria that the practice has to meet also, which can be viewed here. Once they’ve completed every step, they can then apply for their cat friendly certification.
According to the Barrington Courier-Review piece, Hoffman Estates Animal Hospital sought the certification in part to encourage cat owners to make vet visits more regular. “A lot of people don’t think their cat needs to be seen every year,” said Ashley Landowski, a vet tech at the hospital. “We’ve seen a big difference.”
They also want to be sure that cat owners know cats can, and do, hide everything. Because of this, cat owners often don’t know when their cat is sick until the symptoms are obvious, at which point it’s much harder to treat the illness because it’s usually severe by that point. Annual, or semi-annual, checkups can mean the difference between fairly easy treatment of something, and a long, difficult treatment or even a terminal diagnosis.
To find out if there’s a vet hospital with cat friendly certification near you, click here and enter your zip code.