Seventy-nine percent of hospitals surveyed say being a Cat Friendly Practice pays off. Literally.

The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) announced last week the results of its 2017 Cat Friendly Practice (CFP) Survey.

Launched in 2012, the Cat Friendly Practice program is a worldwide collaboration of feline experts who provide guidelines with recommendations specifically for cats. The AAFP was the first major veterinary organization in North America to implement a coordinated approach to minimize stress associated with veterinary visits for cats, caregivers, and the veterinary team.

The goal of the new survey was to take an in-depth look at how the program’s doing. The results are encouraging, including a 99% satisfaction rate among participants.

Of the veterinary professionals who took the survey:

  • 98% would recommend the CFP program to other veterinary professionals.
  • 92% state the CFP program has positively impacted their team morale when handling, treating, and caring for cats.
  • 80% received positive feedback from clients on implementing the program.
  • 80% have increased visits because they are a Cat Friendly Practice.

79% report increased practice revenue since implementing the CFP program.75% say they’ve acquired new feline patients due to their CFP designation.

Survey respondents reported the following as the top benefits they experience from participation in the CFP Program:

  • Less stress for feline patients
  • Higher satisfaction among current clients
  • Display of care for their feline patients
  • Improved client retention or more frequent visits by existing cat clients

The 2017 CFP Survey demonstrates that participating veterinary practices and cat owners are pleased with the results and positive impact upon implementing the CFP program.

As of January 17, 2018, the AAFP has designated 1,190 Cat Friendly Practices

AAHA-accredited All Pets Animal Hospital and 24-Hour Emergency Care in Katy, Texas, has been a certified Cat Friendly Practice for a couple of years now, and Hospital Administrator Charly Kronberger, LVT, CVPM is a believer.

“It's been a tremendous learning experience,” Kronberger said. “It has really opened the eyes of some of our young and our old employees. It's amazing.”

Among other things, Kronberger says, All Pets built a special cats-only exam room in the hospital, located upstairs in what she describes as a remote area of the building to reduce stress in feline patients., designed according to AAFP best practices. "We are utilizing pheromone-infused towels immediately when they walk into the practice and it has really made a difference in the way that our cats are handled. I think the clients are tremendously appreciative of it."

All Pets is also considering the possibility of having cat-only clinic hours, to make the whole hospital more conducive to keeping cats calm.  Kronberger says they've also increased the number of house calls for certain cat patients. “The owners just prefer that, and they're willing to pay for it.”

Kronberger says while she hasn't done any specific measurements, there’s been a definite uptick in business due directly to their Cat Friendly Practice designation.

“We market it on our website and on our social media,” Kronberger says, adding that clients mention having seen the CFP designation online when they come in."

Kronberger says, “The cat business is a tremendous opportunity for any practice. We’re trying to capitalize on that.” And she says their Cat Friendly Practice designation is really helping them do it.

Learn more about the AAFP and the CFP program here.

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