Welfare Position Statements
From time to time Feline Practitioners will respond to emerging new knowledge or issues that are of concern to veterinary professionals caring for cats. These position statements represent the view of our association. Position Statements are below (click on title to read full statement)
General Principles of Feline Welfare
These 12 principles guide our association's approach to position statements that address feline welfare...
Free-Roaming, Abandoned, and Feral Cats - 2012
The AAFP supports the welfare of all cats, and strongly supports public education and efforts to promote responsible care of unowned, abandoned, and feral cats. Ignoring this population has implications for the welfare of the cats themselves, public health, wildlife and ecosystems.
Positive Reinforcement of Cats - 2012
Positive reinforcement is defined as giving a reward – something that is desirable for the individual – to increase the likelihood of that behavior recurring.* Cats learn best through positive reinforcement.*
Environmental Enhancement of Indoor Cats - 2011
Cats are highly intelligent, naturally curious and active creatures that we have chosen to take into our homes as pets. In order to respect the natural behavioral tendencies of the cat we are obligated to provide a suitably stimulating environment.
Transport of Cats - August 2010
The primary welfare concerns with transportation of cats are saftey, alleviation of fear, and prevention of stress. The following principles are recommended to ensure the process of travel is a postitive experience for cats and their owners.
Early Spay and Castration- June 2010
The American Association of Feline Practitioners supports neutering early in life as a safe and effective method of decreasing cat overpopulation, and confers long-term medical and behavioral benefits to the individual cat.
Veterinary Hospice Care for Cats - June 2010
Palliative or hospice care is a relationship-centered philosophy all veterinarians can use in practice. Hospice care provides a loving alternative to prolonged suffering either in the isolation of an intensive care setting or without treatment at home.
End of Life Issues in Feline Medicine - December 2009
It is the ethical and moral responsibility of every veterinarian to advocate the welfare of the patient. This is the veterinarian’s primary responsibility.
Respectful Handling of Cats to Prevent Fear and Pain - November 2009
To create pleasant veterinary visits and keep cats calm, the veterinary team must understand normal cat behavior, body postures associated with fear in cats, how cats learn, training cats to carriers, and respectful and effective patient handling.full statement pdf 7 pages
Welfare of Shelter Cats - November 2009
Special note: The following AAFP Position Statement is meant to represent ideal goals in shelter environments. The AAFP recognizes many shelters will be unable to achieve all of these recommendations due to resource limitations.full statement pdf 2 pages
Hybrid Cat Statement - November 2009
The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) opposes the deliberate breeding of nondomestic cats to domestic cats with the purpose of producing exotic looking or novel hybrid cats.full statement pdf 2 pages
Ownership of Non-Domestic Felids - November 2009
By definition, non-domestic felids are wild, exotic and untamed. Wild and exotic cats are dangerous animals and only trained, regulated, and qualified professionals with facilities to meet the welfare needs of these cats should keep them.full statement pdf 2 pages...
Identification of Cats - April 2008
The American Association of Feline Practitioners strongly believes that cats should carry both visible and permanent identification so that they may be returned to their owners if they become lost or stolen...click on title for complete statement
Statement on Confinement of Owned Indoor Cats - December 2007
This AVMA (AAFP) policy statement strongly encourages owners of domestic cats in urban and suburban areas to maintain them indoors, or allowed outdoors only if strictly supervised or in a properly constructed and maintained outdoor enclosure...click on title for complete statement
Statement on Feral Cats - December 2007
The American Association of Feline Practitioners strongly supports efforts to humanely control the feral cat population... click on title for complete statement
Statement on Declawing - November 2007
The American Association of Feline Practitioners strongly believes it is the obligation of veterinarians to provide cat owners with complete education about and alternatives to feline onychectomy. Declawing is highly controversial and client education about all options often provides clients with good alternatives...click on title for complete statement
Feline Welfare Committee
The Feline Welfare Committee of the American Association of Feline Practitioners was formed to better address feline-only welfare issues important to the AAFP membership, and to formulate Position Statements on relevant welfare issues.