by Janet Blue on January 8, 2016

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



Tara Jones January 18, 2016 at 4:49 pm

I just brought home my first little kitten and I love your suggestion to find a vet that has a cat-friendly practice. I didn’t even know that that was a certification option! I’m going to look for one in our area, but obviously, the most important thing to me is making sure that I find a wonderful office with a wonderful veterinarian that responds to Boots with love and care regardless of whether they are CFP or not.

Kitty Cat Chronicles January 10, 2016 at 5:13 pm

Our vet is AAHA accredited, but not an official cat-friendly practice. We used the website to find the closest cat-friendly practice to us and the closest one is 60 miles away.. too far to go! But we love our vet very much – they may not be officially a cat-friendly practice but they are very friendly to us and treat us very well! Fiona — you should give your parents an easier time when they are giving you your medicine and fluids. You know they are just trying to help you get better. We understand though — we hate taking medicine too!!! Anyway, Sampy sends his love and kisses to Astrid, and we all send our love and hugs to all! XO

Ellen Pilch January 8, 2016 at 8:22 pm

Fiona, your parents just want to make you better so maybe you could cooperate. Good idea to self medicate with catnip too.
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The Island Cats January 8, 2016 at 6:19 pm

We wish our vet was more cat friendly. They’re trying…having cat only hours and using feliway. But they still seem to be more dog centric.

Fiona, you gotta be better about taking your meds. Maybe you would do better if your medicines were compounded into flavored medicines. That what we do with some of ours that we don’t like to take.
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BeadedTail January 8, 2016 at 6:15 pm

Our vet is AAHA accredited but not cat friendly. We already knew that though. Fiona, we’re so sorry you’re going through so much trouble with your meds! We hope you start realizing it’s helping you so they aren’t so bad.
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Annabelle January 8, 2016 at 1:42 pm

OH Fiona we are so sorry. Some of us kitties just will not take medication. Mom was looking at something called the cat bag which if you google it it may be of help to you. I don’t know but our Mom was thinking of buying one for us in case she needed it.
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The Menagerie Mom January 8, 2016 at 12:56 pm

My vet is AAHA-accredited and very cat-friendly, and I am so grateful for it. Fiona, although you’re still giving your mom and dad a hard time, at least that means you’re feeling well! Continuing to purr and pray for all of you (including you, Mom and Dad!).
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Deziz World January 8, 2016 at 12:33 pm

Ifin only. (sigh) No vets in over a hunnerd miles round here are accredited. They only care ’bout da money and know they wuldn’t pass, so it’s always a bit stressful fur everypawdy to go to da VET here. Weez glad Fiona has sum spunk. Mommy sez a lot of times dat be da bestest medicine. And hers also been thinkin’ and sayin’ dat da humans offen wanna fight fur da kitty much more than da kitty wants to fight. Quality of llife is far more purrtant than livin’ but not livin’. Ifin ya’ know what we mean. Sissy be goin’ to da VET today so we know weez gunna be stressed out round here. Weez sendin’ purrayers.

Luv ya’

Dezi and Lexi
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Brian Frum January 8, 2016 at 12:18 pm

Our Vet is a cat only practice and we love it! Purrs to you sweet Fiona. You do need to cooperate girl, it’s really not that bad.
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Colehaus Cats January 8, 2016 at 11:40 am

Our humans feel very lucky to have a cats-only vet practice in town who they have been going to since 1989! They say they did the mixed animal vet once or twice and will never go back (Mom shudders to think of those awful experiences). Sending purrs to you, Fiona!

Peaches & Paprika January 8, 2016 at 6:47 am

Heart goes out to you guys but finding a cat friendly vet IS a blessing,especialy given what’s going on.. Purrs to you little spitball, and hoping you have time between your treatments that bring you some joy…!
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Sammy January 8, 2016 at 5:27 am

Oh Fiona! I know you don’t like this new routine with your SubQ and pills and tummy medication but really dear girl it’s EVER so important – you’ll feel a lot better if you cooperate! It’s not fun being held or stuck with a needle I know but in the end, you will see if you don’t fight it, it’s over before you know it! I’m sending you POTP every single day as are all of us who want you to feel better…….I’ll start sending EXTRA POTP and maybe that will help!!!

Love, Sammy
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Summer January 8, 2016 at 5:04 am

Fiona, I wish you made things easier for your humans – it’s only for your own good! I give our vet an Average in cat friendliness. They are good but not perfect.
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Hannah and Lucy January 8, 2016 at 4:06 am

We are able to choose which vet we want to see and always try to get the same one as she knows all about us and we like her – if she is on a day off we have got another one who have seen but we prefer Diane.
Luv Hannah and Lucy xx xx

Toby January 8, 2016 at 4:04 am

On the plus side, Fiona is feeling well enough to fight back!!
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Pipo/Minko/MrJackFreckles January 8, 2016 at 2:28 am

We have separate kitty exam rooms and separate waiting rooms in our vet, and they are separated by a wall, even with their own doors. They come to each kitty and lay a towel sprayed with feliway on it over the carriers or onto the lap if the kitty is not in a carrier…wow, we don’t know if they are accredited but they sure take care of us!

Dog-guy had his own area there when he went…but here is a good one..if they all go at the same time..yup meowmy has taken all three of us at one time(!), then the kitties of the dog owner has to take them into the dog area..the premise being that the kitties should be used to doggies…but, um maybe to the family doggy but not all those strange ones. We suggested that if both species come at the same time,the kitties should wait in their carriers on the kitty side and then go into the exam rooms with the doggy they know. They thought that might even work…sounds like they are living a learning curve over there.

Lone Star Cats January 8, 2016 at 12:36 am

Sendin ya purrs Fiona!
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Caren Gittleman January 8, 2016 at 12:24 am

We are blessed to have a “cat-friendly” practice….we adore our Vet and have been clients since our Angel Bobo was 12 (not long after I moved to Michigan)…..hoping all goes well for you at the Vet this weekend!
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