American Association of Feline Practitioners

Veterinary professionals passionate about the care of cats

Feline-friendly Handling (Updated)

Feline-friendly Handling (Updated)


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If you have not taken the previous Feline-friendly Handling Webinar, we encourage you and your practice team to utilize this free online resource.

Understanding the cat is the foundation of feline-friendly handling. Cats are unique in that they are the only solitary hunter that can live amicably with people. They still however retain the behaviors of their wild ancestors, with strong protective mechanisms and keen senses to protect against perceived threats. Preventing feline stressors in veterinary practice prevents the negative emotions that trigger undesirable behavior responses. Feline-friendly handling also addresses all patients, including those that remain difficult to handle despite our best efforts, increasing human safety and job satisfaction while enhancing feline welfare.

Objectives for this webinar include:

  • Learn the reason behind different feline behaviors in the veterinary practice
  • How to prevent feline stressors that cause undesired behavior responses such as aggression
  • Hiding or the cat's ability to feel hidden is an important coping skill in an unfamiliar environment
  • Remaining in their desired location and position helps reduce fear, pain, and other negative emotions.
  • Stroking over the cat's preferred areas of touch – the pheromone-producing facial glands – helps to control head movement and replaces scruffing.

Speaker Bio

Ilona Rodan, DVM, DABVP (Feline) 

Dr. Ilona Rodan is the founder of the Cat Care Clinic, a Gold Cat Friendly Practice® in Madison, Wisconsin, serving as owner and medical director for over 28 years. She is a board member of the American Association of Feline Practitioners, co-chair of its Cat Friendly Practice® committee, and co-chair of several guidelines and welfare position statements. Dr. Rodan has been ABVP certified in feline practice since 1995. She started Feline-Friendly Consultations concentrating on handling techniques and environmental changes for veterinary professionals and founded Cat Behavior Solutions for veterinary referrals of frustrating feline behavior problems.

In 2005, Dr. Rodan received the AVMA Animal Welfare Award for her leadership and contributions to feline welfare. She is a co-editor and co-author of the book, Feline Behavioral Health and Welfare, published in 2015.


RACE Credits 

This program 249-33702 is approved by the AAVSB RACE to offer a total of 1.00 CE Credits (1.00 max) being available to any one veterinarian: and/or 1.00 Veterinary Technician CE Credits (1.00 max). This RACE approval is for the subject matter categories of: Scientific using the delivery method of Non-Interactive-Distance. This approval is valid in jurisdictions which recognize AAVSB RACE; however, participants are responsible for ascertaining each board's CE requirements.