2010 AAFP/AAHA Feline Life Stage Guidelines
The Feline Life Stage Guidelines have been developed in response to alarming statistics reported in the 2007 American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) US Pet Ownership and Demographics Sourcebook. The Sourcebook showed that the number of cats kept as pets outnumber dogs, yet they receive significantly less veterinary care. Further studies have indicated that an inability to recognize signs of illness or injury is a key factor as to why cat owners are unaware of their cat’s medical needs.
The concern of a stressful veterinary visit for both cat and owner has also been cited as a contributing deterrent to veterinary visits for cats. These Guidelines offer practical strategies that veterinary practices can integrate into their daily routines to help alleviate common stressors and work more successfully with an anxious cat. The Guidelines address healthcare recommendations specific to the life stage of the feline patient, and emphasize educating clients about behavior and environmental issues that promote a healthy life style. Acting in partnership with cat owners about this information will further enhance the client - veterinary bond.
The AAFP/AAHA Feline Life Stage panel members include: Ilona Rodan, DVM, Dipl., ABVP Feline, Guidelines Co-Chair; Amy Hoyumpa Vogt, DVM, Dipl. ABVP Canine & Feline, Guidelines Co-Chair; Scott Brown, VMD, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM; Marcus Brown, DVM; Tony Buffington, DVM, MS, PhD, Dipl. ACVN; MJ LaRue Forman, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM; Jacqui Neilson, DVM, Dipl. ACVB; Andy Sparkes, BVetMed PhD DipECVIM MRCVS.
The AAFP and the AAHA continue to work to promote excellence in feline medicine and to provide veterinarians with tools and strategies to provide the best care.