The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Cat Friendly Practice® (CFP) Program. Established in 2012 by the AAFP and the International Society of Feline Medicine (ISFM), these professionals designed the CFP Program to elevate care for cats by enhancing the environment and experience of a veterinary visit to reduce the stress for the cat, cat owner, and the veterinary care team. The CFP designation shows that the veterinary practice has committed to provide the highest standards of care for cats and assures cat owners that a practice has taken extra time and effort to consider each cat’s experience and care.
Admit it–if you love reading and talking about cats, sharing cat stories, and (especially) providing good cat care for your special felines, the companion CatFriendly.com website is right up your alley(cat). Sorry…couldn’t resist.
In their continued effort, back in 2017 AAFP announced the launch of a “cat friendly” Internet destination, with content written by feline veterinarians. Mee-WOW! Believe me, if your cats could read, that’s where they’d hang out. And since they can’t read (and you have control of the mouse *s*) I urge you to take an eye-blink look at CatFriendly.com. The site includes a searchable database for you to “Find a Veterinarian or Practice” to help you locate an AAFP member veterinarian or Cat Friendly Practice® in your neck of the woods.
JUST ANOTHER CAT WEBSITE?
Now, y’all know I provide lots of cat care (and dog care) and behavior information here on the Bling, Bitches & Blood blog, as well as in my books. And I know a boatload of wonderful “cat journalists” members of the Cat Writers’ Association who research and provide accurate cat information and advice in a variety of ways. That info ONLY works when you also partner with a veterinarian. I’m proud that my book MY CAT HATES MY VET won the Fear Free Pets Award,and the AAFP Cat Friendly Award from the Cat Writers Association.
But too many cat caretakers avoid going to the vet at all because of the angst involved. I even wrote a short booklet about the issue, with some tips how to overcome the kitty angst (and your own!). So I’m already preaching the Cat Friendly message.
When looking for solid, credentialed information, it’s always important to know your source. You can never have too much GOOD information to get you started, and having a website designed, vetted and written by feline specialists takes all the guesswork out of the equation. So I’m delighted to have another resource to share. Trust me, your cat will LOVE you for this!
WHAT YOU’LL FIND AT CatFriendly.com
AAFP recognizes that folks often begin looking for answers to their cat questions by asking “Dr. Google.” That’s why they’ve created CatFriendly.com to provide veterinary-approved, credible information–while still encouraging you to seek veterinary advice and care. Here are some of the information topics the site covers:
Cat Care at Home
Healthy & Wellness
Why Does My Cat….?
The Toy Box (offers the opportunity to share photos, take quizzes, and other fun stuff!)
Find a vet
10 Years of Cat Friendly Practice
“Over the last decade, the foundation of the AAFP’s Cat Friendly Practice® Program has been at the forefront of advancing feline healthcare,” said Heather O’Steen, AAFP CEO. “The Cat Friendly Practice® Program provides a simple, step-by-step guide on how to create a veterinary environment and experience that reduces stress and puts feline patients at ease so that veterinary professionals can provide the highest level of care and build long-lasting client relationships. We are thrilled to have reached this milestone and applaud our members who have made this commitment and earned a CFP designation.”
To learn more about the Cat Friendly Practice® Program, visit catvets.com/cfp.
Cat caregivers can locate a Cat Friendly Practice® or a Cat Friendly Veterinary Professional by visiting catfriendly.com/find-a-vet.
Today, we have many more options to find solid information, and provide the best care possible for our kitty friends. Applause and purrs to the AAFP and the Cat Friend Practice initiative–and the new resource website for us all. Please share this great information far and wide!
I have attended every Cat Writers Association event since the beginning that celebrates cat writing awards, and almost missed the 23rd Annual Conference and Awards Banquet this past weekend. Part of that was concern about my two aging pets. Magical-Dawg at age 10 and Seren-Kitty now 21 years old are not in ideal health, and I know my colleagues understand the pets must come first.
With some gentle purr-suasion, though, I was convinced to make an appearance. So I flew to Myrtle Beach on Friday for an overnight stay, to attend the awards banquet and some of the Saturday sessions before returning home. Boy, I’m glad that I did! With 240 entries and 42 awards presented, for writers like me, this is the a-CAT-amy awards.
One of the best parts of the annual event is reconnecting with colleagues and friends like PetWorldInsider folks (above), and networking with pet products companies. This year, I had little opportunity to visit the exhibit hall, but gave and received as many hugs and greetings as possible.
Shojai Mentor Award recognizes the CWA member who has helped someone else achieve writing/publishing goals.
Wins, Wins Everywhere!
Muse presented by Conference Co-Chair Sharon Melnyk
The Friday night banquet offers a chance to BLING UP. In addition to being nominated for several awards, I also sponsored and presented the SHOJAI MENTOR AWARD (above), this year given to longtime CWA member Paul Glassner.
Muse Medallion presented by CWA Contest Chair Arden Moore
MUSE MEDALLION WINS!
I was delighted to receive recognition for my Herald Democrat newspaper column, P’ETiQuette. These medallion categories are judged by three professional CWA members, and the highest of their composite score selects the winner. It always means so much to be recognized by peers.
My second Muse Medallion recognized a cat behavior blog contributions I write for PetSafe.com Paw Print Blog. This Bling, Bitches & Blood Blog also was nominated so actually, I got to compete with myself!
The prize didn’t fit in my suitcase so I’m still waiting for it to be shipped.
FEAR FREE PETS AWARD
I’ve talked about the Fear Free Pets initiative before and I believe so much in this program, I’ve become Fear Free Certified, too. The program inspired me to write one of my quick tips books MY CAT HATES MY VET: Foiling Fear Before, During & After Vet Visits–and that booklet last Friday night won the Fear Free Pets Award, mee-wow! The prize comes with a $2000 cash award, plus that whimsical mirror shown above (Peeping Toms, LOL!). I was excited to receive the award from Dr. Elizabeth Bales (left) and CWA President Marci Kladnik (left).
Dr. Ken Labrecht and “Bug” presents the AAFP Cat Friendly Award
AAFP CAT FRIENDLY AWARD
Not only did MY CAT HATES MY VET win the Fear Free Pets award, it also was recognized by the American Association of Feline Practitioners with the Cat Friendly Award of $500 and a certificate. The Cat Friendly Practice initiative seeks to make veterinary practices “feline friendly” to increase cat health visits.
To celebrate these honors, I’ve made the Ebook version FREE for the next few days (until Friday). So please tell everyone to get a copy of the free book here and get rid of the HISSES surrounding vet visits.
The Hartz Every Day Chewable Vitamin Award
Finally, an editorial about caring for aging cats received the Hartz Award of $500 and a gorgeous glass engraved trophy. Since I have a 21-year-old kitty, this is a topic very close to my heart. My friend and colleague, contest chair Arden Moore (below, left) presented the trophy that evening.Next year’s event will soon be announced. If you love cats, it’s a conference and cat writing contest you don’t want to miss!
Many of y’all know that I’m a member and one of the founders of the Cat Writers Association. This year, I’m also helping with organizing our annual conference, which this year will take place in conjunction with the BlogPaws.com conference in June. And yes, YOU ARE INVITED, ya don’t have to be a member of either or both organizations to attend. Lots of great writerly and blog-istic learning ops, as well as many dogs, cats ferrets and other companion animals in attendance.
A highlight of the CWA conference is the awards banquet for the best published cat work of the contest season, and the AAFP — American Association of Feline Practitioners — is one of our sponsors.
I’m delighted that our CWA president Marci Kladnik took the time to interview CWA member Dr. Elizabeth Colleran about the AAFP, cat friendly practices, working with CWA members, and getting some cat-astic info out to writers to share with their cat loving peeps. Dr. Colleran will also be a panelist at the CWA Conference in June but here’s a preview taste. Enjoy this 30 minute video interview (and yes, I couldn’t resist…I added a few questions myself).
I learned some fun stuff about cats that surprised me–take a minute and post your surprises in the comments, too. Oh, and feel free to share the video! Don’t the cats deserve to get their story told? 🙂