Click Here to download the Senior Care Guidelines.
Note: This link will take you to the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery website where you can view these guidelines for free. To print, hover your mouse near the bottom of the page.
Click Here to download the Senior Care Guidelines Summary Document.
Click Here to download the client handout – Friends for Life, Caring for Your Older Cat.
Note: Additional printed copies of this booklet can be acquired from our industry partner, Purina Veterinary Diets, by using the form available by clicking here.
The guidelines are dedicated to Dr. Jim Richards, in memoriam, the co-author of the original AAFP Senior Care Guidelines. Two of Dr. Richard’s favorite sayings were: “Cats are masters at hiding illness” and “Age is not a disease.”
These guidelines help focus attention on recognition and treatment of the problems our stoic cats develop with age.
The Senior Care Guidelines address a broad range of issues including medical, behavioral, and lifestyle considerations. They will assist veterinarians in delivering consistent high quality care to older cats while ensuring optimal quality of life. Early detection of disease is a cornerstone of best care for all of our pets and this is particularly important when it comes to the older cat. Cats are masters at hiding their signs of illness and a cooperative effort is needed between the veterinarian and owner to maximize the quality of life we can give our senior cats. Educating owners to help them develop an awareness of the signs of illness is critical. Preemptive testing to detect metabolic signs of disease will help owners start treatments earlier and give their cats the longest, best quality of life that they can. The discussion of comfort and quality of life issues is further addressed to facilitate recognition and subsequent management of the pain that accompanies many geriatric diseases.
AAFP would like to thank Nestle Purina Pet Care, Merial, IDEXX, Nutramax Laboratories, and Abbott for their sponsorship of these guidelines and their commitment to help AAFP develop projects that will improve the lives of cats. AAFP continues to work to promote excellence in feline medicine and to provide veterinarians with tools and strategies to provide the best care.
AAFP Launches Senior Care Guidelines Course
The AAFP partnered with the VetMedTeam, an online education provider, to develop a course based on the Senior Care Guidelines which were produced back in 2008. The veterinary practice team plays a pivotal role in the health and well-being of cats as they age. It is crucial that every practice sets up feline aging protocols regarding physical examination, diagnostic recommendations, medical management, and client education. This free course was designed to help train every member of the veterinary practice team.
Click Here to register for the Senior Care Guidelines Course.