The Mission and History of the AAFP
The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) improves the health and welfare of cats by supporting high standards of practice, continuing education, and scientific investigation.
Statement of Purpose
The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) is a professional organization representing feline practitioners who are passionate about the care of cats. The AAFP is dedicated to advancing the field of feline medicine and surgery by setting the standards of feline care through the publication of practice guidelines, position statements, and by providing continuing education.
Through publications, education, and thriving relationships with other organizations, the AAFP engages the veterinary community and its members by facilitating the exchange of scientific data and ideas.
In 1970, at the American Veterinary Medical Association meeting in Las Vegas, an informational meeting was held for a new interest group, the American Association of Feline Practitioners. Dr. Alvin Kaplan brought together a group of veterinarians that had a strong interest in feline medicine for one single goal, to improve the field of feline medicine.
The Association was officially established in 1971, with 25 members. By 1974, with the assistance of Dr. Barbara Stein, Dr. Fred Scott and Dr. Bill Hardy, the Association grew to over 200 members, and was officially incorporated. Throughout the years, the Association continued to grow as a respected institution in the field of feline medicine. It has partnered with other well-respected veterinary associations and organizations to move its mission forward.
The AAFP works to improve the standards of feline health, in part by providing its members with progressive research and valuable resources which include, but are not limited to, peer-reviewed scientific research in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, breakthrough continuing education offered at the AAFP Conferences and other feline tracks, and the well-respected and highly utilized practice guidelines and position statements compiled by the AAFP.
In recent years, the AAFP has established a reputation as a leader in the field of feline medicine. To that end, the Association has recently launched several new initiatives to improve and standardize the delivery of feline veterinary care. One of the highlighted endeavors being developed by the AAFP is the Cat Friendly Practice (CFP) program. This program provides support to veterinarians by outlining strategies for introducing changes in the delivery of care that incorporate a better understanding of the cat's distinct needs and behaviors.