We are happy to announce that we have achieved Gold Status from the AAFP (American Association of Feline Practitioners) as a Cat-Friendly Practice! Read on below to find out more about what it means for us to be Cat Friendly.
The AAFP created the Cat-Friendly Practice Program to help veterinary practitioners increase the number of visits from their feline patients, elevate their level of care, and reduce the level of stress for cats and owners during their visit.
A Cat-Friendly visit to our hospital starts at home with you. Our staff can educate you on how to help your cat acclimate to the carrier and the car ride so you’re not both stressed out before you even pull in the parking lot. When you arrive at Happy Tails you’ll either be seated in our Cat Only waiting area or taken into our Cat Only exam room. This is a room dedicated to our feline patients that are never used for dog appointments. The room is complete with places for kitty to hide (where we can easily get them back out by simply lifting the lid) or perch such as on our comfy ottoman. We have a Feliway pheromone diffuser to help calm them and use Feliway spray on the comfy towels we use on the exam table.
If your cat needs to stay with us in the hospital either due to illness or for routine procedures like a spay, neuter, or dental you can take comfort in knowing we have separate wards for cats and dogs. Our cat ward is a small room off the treatment area with a large window to allow us to keep a close eye on our patients but with a door that we can close to reduce noises that might stress our patients. We can adjust the lighting so it is not so bright and stressful. There is separate ventilation to prevent any doggie or other hospital smells from bothering the cats. Pheromones are used here as well and calming music from Through A Cat’s Ear to reduce anxiety. A flip-up exam table in the ward means if we have a pet on IV fluids that needs their catheter checked or blood drawn we can do this right in the room where they are staying rather than having to carry them out to a table in the main treatment area where it is a bit louder and scarier for cats.
Finally, and most importantly, all of our Doctors, Technicians, Assistants, and CSRs have been trained in Fear Free and low-stress handling for cats.
Some valuable links for cat owners that would like to learn more:
AAFP website “What is a Cat-Friendly Practice”
Search for Cat-Friendly Practices – Happy Tails Animal Hospital is currently the only certified Cat-Friendly Practice in Vacaville, Fairfield, Suisun, or Dixon.
AAFP YouTube Channel – here you can find videos that will explain more about Cat-Friendly Practices and why it’s so important to take your cats every year for a check-up.