The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) has certified the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine’s (CVM) General Practice Service as a Feline Friendly Practice with Silver Status. GP provides primary care, first opinions, surgery and dentistry services for faculty, students and staff. NC State is just the ninth college of veterinary medicine in the country to achieve silver status for feline care.
The AAFP pioneered the program to provide a framework for creating a positive practice environment for cats, including medical care that supports the cat’s unique needs and knowledgeable staff members who understand feline-friendly handling. This includes special waiting rooms or waiting accommodations, feline-sensitive examination rooms and ward facilities, and equipment appropriate specifically for cats.
Indeed, NC State recently dedicated a new feline-only exam room. The clinical staff includes GP intern Stephanie Williams, who has attained board certification in feline practice. She joins clinicians Brenda Stevens, who is board certified for both canine and feline specialties, Kelli Ferris, Abi Taylor and Amy Snyder.
The increased focus on feline care has arisen for several reasons. While there are actually more feline companion animals than dogs in the United States, cats have less access to veterinary medicine. According to the AAFP:
- Almost twice as many cats than dogs never visit the veterinarian
- 58% of cat caregivers report that their cat hates going to the veterinarian
- 38% of cat caregivers report that they get stressed just thinking about bringing their cat to the veterinarian.
- 56% of cat caregivers would have brought their cat to the vet more often had they known it could have helped to prevent problems.
In response to these issues, the CVM’s General Practice Service is dedicated to creating a better environment for supporting the healthcare needs of cats and their owners. In fact, cats now account for 30% of all visits to General Practice, with the goal of increasing that level even more. In addition, the Service offers travel and carrier training advice for owners to further reduce the stress of their visit. Please visit the GP website for more information on this. Hospital administration has been very supportive of this program.
As a result, members of the CVM community who own cats can feel confident that their feline companions will receive excellent care designed specifically to meet their needs from the facilities, clinicians and excellent support staff in the General Practice Service.
~Steve Volstad/NC State Veterinary Medicine