The AAHA-Accredited Animal Practice

As a pet parent the health of my kitties is extremely important to me. Getting them the best medical attention available is a part of this. With that in mind, taking my cats to an AAHA– (American Animal Hospital Association) accredited hospital is a must.

What does taking your cat to an accredited hospital mean to you and your anipal? According to AAHA,

“It means your hospital holds itself to a higher standard, and that your pet is receiving care at a hospital that has passed the highest standards in veterinary care. To become accredited, companion animal hospitals undergo regular comprehensive evaluations by AAHA veterinary experts who evaluate the practice on approximately 900 standards of veterinary care.”

"Hey, who stole my tail."Veterinary hospitals are not required to hold accreditation from the AAHA. Only about 12 to 15 percent of veterinarians in the U.S. and Canada are accredited. Our vet, Vinton Veterinary Hospital, is AAHA accredited. Do you know if your vet is accredited?

Most pet parents can tell when they visit a small animal veterinary practice if it is more dog-centric, cat-centric or if both species are treated with the same care and concern. They also know how traumatic a vet visit can be, especially for cats.

If your vet has only one waiting room and your cat is constantly being sniffed by a big dog or subjected to barking and yapping, her level of stress immediately sky rockets. For this reason, as I’ve reported in other posts, our vet comes to the house for our yearly round-up of vaccinations and physical exams.

The AAFP Cat Friendly Practice

But when one of our kitties becomes ill, as Fiona did recently, an actual visit to the vet is necessary. And though visiting the vet’s office is still a traumatic experience, our vet has gone above and beyond by becoming an American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) Cat Friendly Practice. Our vet is only one of four CFPs in our area and the only one with a SILVER ranking.


cat friendly


What You Can Expect from a Cat Friendly Practice?

Staff members of a Cat Friendly Practice have been trained in how to approach and handle your cat in a kind, empathetic and caring manner. The immediate goal is to minimize your feline’s stress, which probably began before you left home at the moment you placed them in their carrier. In order to accomplish this and provide a cat-specific level of care, CFPs have:

  • established a waiting room that reduces stress and includes a feline-only area and appointment times. (Our vet has completely separate waiting rooms for cats and dogs.)
  • staff trained to understand individualized needs of cats, including feline-specific body language and facial and behavioral clues.
  • implemented cat-friendly handling techniques to facilitate a more positive experience. (If our vet needs to leave the examination room to perform tests, our kitty is always gently wrapped in a warm blanket to help her feel secure.)
  • a feline-only or feline-centric examination room that provides a safe and non-threatening area where cats can be examined calmly and effectively. (Our vet has cat-only exam rooms, Feliway diffusers and thick, cushioned pads and warm blankets or towels on the metal exam tables.)
  • experience to recognize signs of anxiety and/or fear in their feline patients and adapt accordingly.

cat friendlyAdditionally, the Cat Friendly Practice has the appropriate and smaller-sized equipment to meet all the needs of feline treatment and care.

To learn more about Cat Friendly Practices or find one near you, go to The link is above.

Fiona Updates her CKD Treatment

Hi all. Well, I am being a total stinker. I spew Maalox all over my humans, kitchen countertops and walls each day when they try to squirt some in my mouth. And I absolutely will not let them come near me with a needle. My humans are doing all the things everyone has suggested and more, but I am having none of it. I scream, flail, wiggle, gyrate, lash out and generally turn into a cyclone of pure cat energy. Not bad for a six-pound light weight! Right? I also spit out my pills over and over again. Mom rubs my throat and croons, “nom, nom, nom” in my ear to no avail.

I got packed up in the PTU yesterday and hauled to the vet so they could give me my subQ fluids. I was a purrfect angel puss there.

When I got home I did require a bit of self medication. I spent some quality time rubbing my face all over one of our new catnip toys…pure bliss!

I’ll be going back to our vet office on Saturday (pffft!) as Dad won’t be home. Mom knows she isn’t going to try to do fluids on her own. Good call on her part. I wouldn’t want to have to hurt her.

Thanks for your continued purrs and prayers.

Purrs and paw-pats, Fiona

Sources for information included in this post: and