Eighty-three percent of hospitals surveyed saw increased visits from being a Cat Friendly Practice

The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) announced yesterday the results of its 2018 Cat Friendly Practice (CFP) Survey. The results are encouraging, including a 99% satisfaction rate among participants.

Launched in 2012, the CFP 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.

Of the veterinary professionals who took the survey: 

  • 98% would recommend the CFP program to other veterinary professionals
  • 88% state the CFP program has positively impacted their team morale when handling, treating, and caring for cats
  • 81% received positive feedback from clients on implementing the program
  • 80% have increased visits because they are a Cat Friendly Practice

Seventy-nine percent report increased practice revenue since implementing the CFP program, and 80% say they’ve acquired new feline patients due to their CFP designation.

Survey respondents reported the following as the top benefits they’ve experienced from participation in the CFP program:

  • Less stress for feline patients
  • Higher satisfaction among current clients
  • Shows clients you care about their feline pets
  • Improved client retention or more frequent visits by existing cat clients

The AAFP currently has 1,213 certified CFPs, with another 335 in the process of certification.

AAHA-accredited Prescott Valley Pet Clinic in Prescott Valley, Arizona, has been a certified CFP since 2014, and Hospital Administrator Nikki Frost says certification has “absolutely” made a difference.

Frost compares the certification process to becoming AAHA accredited: “It’s a lot of education, a lot of improving practice protocols and procedures,” Frost says. “Once your team has that much buy in and that much time invested in training and improving, it really communicates itself to your clients.”

For the past three years, Prescott Valley Pet Clinic has been part of Kitty Palooza, an annual Prescott Valley event dedicated to cat rescue and adoption. Frost says they were asked to take part in the event specifically because of their CFP certification.

An unintended benefit: “Some of the rescue [agencies] in the area weren’t familiar with CFP,” Frost says, but they got up to speed, fast. After the event, “They talked to their potential adopters differently about us,” and that led many of those new cat owners to bring their pets to Prescott Valley Pet Clinic for care.

Regardless of where they’re coming from, Frost says the hospital’s percentage of feline patients has grown since CFP certification.

“[Certification] gives clients more confidence in bringing their cats to the hospital. They don’t want their pets to be stressed out,” Frost notes. And it’s not just the cats: “[The clients] don’t want to be stressed out, either” she laughs.

CFP certification has a way of calming everybody down.

Photo credit: © iStock/Vasyl dolmatov