American Association of Feline Practitioners

Veterinary professionals passionate about the care of cats

Cat Friendly Veterinarian Program

 

Welcome to the Cat Friendly Veterinarian (CFV) Certificate. The CFV Certificate is the most advanced level of the certificate program and is intended for veterinarians. The additional modules in this program will explore different aspects of feline medicine in order to provide a comprehensive review, as well as tips and strategies for diagnosing, treating, and managing cats. This certificate includes all nine modules and in-depth information on feline health care.

Enrollment Fees

Members: $119
Non-Members: $229

  • 9 Modules
  • 5 CE hours
  • All modules must be completed within 90 days of enrollment

Modules

Understanding what sets cats apart from other domesticated animals is key to their care. This module explores unique feline traits, behavioral instincts, cat owner perceptions, and common misconceptions about feline veterinary visits. Learn tips and strategies to decrease stress and provide a better veterinary experience for cat, cat owner, and the veterinary team.

+ Module 2: The Veterinary Experience for Cats and Cat Owners

This module focuses on re-imagining the veterinary experience from the cat’s point of view, and identifies opportunities to soothe rather than stress. This includes an understanding about how the visit starts at home, reducing stress during the waiting room experience, and creating a safe haven for cats in the practice. We will also explore teaching opportunities that empower cat owners to make informed and positive decisions that extend beyond their visit.

+ Module 3: The Examination Room

In this module, you will dive into the important considerations for cats in the examination room. From aesthetics to practical tools, we will walk you through the components to develop a Cat Friendly environment. We will explore the benefits of Cat Friendly Handling and how to adapt your technique to the unique responses of each cat. Finally, we will explore the physical examination and learn useful tips to make it more successful.

+ Module 4: Feline Hospitalization

In this module, we explore Cat Friendly strategies to incorporate into our standard hospitalization practices in order to improve the overall experience for cats. We will consider the challenges facing a hospitalized cat and a discover how to optimize the cage and ward setting. Handling cats in a hospital setting comes with its own unique set of best practices and you will gain a better understanding about how to tailor your approach to create a Cat Friendly experience.

+ Module 5: Cat Care at Home

This module explores the complex feline needs that need to be met within a cat’s home territory. We identify the basic pillars of an ideal environment and where cat owners can assess and elevate their surroundings. A “one-size-fits-all” approach does not apply to feline care, and we will learn how cat’s behavior can signal a specific need and troubleshoot problem areas within the home. We will look at patient history, nutritional needs and feeding behaviors, elimination patterns, and interaction with other cats to customize recommendations for clients at home.

+ Module 6: Life Care for the Cat

This module takes a closer look at the individualized needs of the cat over time. We will visit a cat at each stage of their development and discuss balancing their needs as well as the capabilities of the client. We will take a closer look at a senior cat’s needs including the recognition of normal aging changes and early detection of disease. Additionally, we’ll identify strategies and tactics to improve feline nursing and palliative care to minimize stress and improve patient outcomes.

+ Module 7: Feline Medicine – Fundamentals

Preventive healthcare is critical in helping cats live long, healthy lives. This module explores the fundamentals of risk assessment, parasite control, zoonotic disease, and vaccination needs in cats. We will review the therapeutic considerations for feline fluid therapy. Understanding how to help owners make informed decisions is also critical to feline preventive care.

+ Module 8: Feline Medicine I – Pain Management, Toxicology, Chronic Kidney Disease

This module will cover several areas of medical care and practice. We will explore feline pain management including recognition and treatment. We then explore the value of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), their various dosing methods and efficacies, and common adverse drug events. We then turn to the cat’s unique sensitivities to common drugs and household substances to better identify and remediate environmental hazards. We will also conduct a detailed review of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and the challenges it presents to cats.

+ Module 9: Feline Medicine II – Diabetes, Hyperthyroidism, and Retroviruses

This module will identify the challenges and best practices for managing feline diabetes mellitus, hyperthyroidism, and retroviruses. We will explore how stress can impact diagnostic test results for diabetes and how stress can affect retrovirus management and outcome. We will learn to identify and follow best practices for the management of these conditions, while supporting the bond between the cat and cat owner.

Benefits of Obtaining the Certificate

  • Enhances your ability to fulfill client and patient needs
  • Builds confidence in working with cats
  • Demonstrates a personal commitment to feline health
  • Helps clinics develop talent and understanding of cats
  • Reinforces the important role feline knowledge and understanding plays in the practice
  • Increases the ability to showcase feline expertise while contributing to professional development efforts
  • Offers transferable tools and knowledge you can take with you throughout your career

Upon Completion of the Certificate

You will have access to an online Resource Center which provides:

  • Supplemental professional and cat owner resources for each module
  • Marketing resources to help you highlight your hard work on obtaining the certificate such as logos, certificates, email signature templates, social media content, sample text for your website and newsletter, and more
  • Additional resources will continue to be added

AAFP Members will also have the certificate noted in their Find a Veterinarian and Practice search profile on catfriendly.com.

 

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FAQ

There is a Cat Friendly Certificate for each person within the veterinary profession who sees cats in practice or has an interest in feline behavior, medicine, and welfare. The Cat Friendly Veterinarian Certificate is only offered to veterinarians. The program is offered as an individual certificate to AAFP members and non-members. The certificate helps you stand out, stay current, and make an impression on clients that lasts.

You do not need to be a Cat Friendly Practice® to enroll in the certificate program. Obtaining the certificate will help you learn more about being cat friendly and how to start implementing strategies right away. For a current Cat Friendly Practice®, the certificate will contribute to your continued learning and offer a new way to on-board staff, train, and provide well-rounded cat friendly information.

Yes! There are multi-individual discounts available starting at three individuals. The individuals may enroll in any one of the three Certificate levels. The discount tiers are:
  • 3-4 individuals: 10% off each
  • 5-7 individuals: 15% off each
  • 8-12 individuals: 20% off each
  • 13-19 individuals: 25% off each
If you would like to take advantage of a discount, please have only ONE person complete the Cat Friendly Certificate Program Multi-Individual Discount form found HERE. After you submit the form, it will then be submitted to AAFP headquarters for review. Once approved, the appropriate discount code will be emailed to the individual designated on the form. Please disseminate the discount code to the individuals that are part of your multi-individual discount. They will apply the code upon check out of their certificate program. Only one discount may apply.

The Cat Friendly Certificate Program is a one-time course that focuses on feline-specific skills and knowledge and offers practical tools for each veterinary staff member. It reinforces your commitment to feline medicine and practice while showcasing your confidence to feline owners. It gives you the tools to properly educate your clients and display your commitment to feline medicine.

The Cat Friendly Certificate Program can make an immediate impact in the way in which you interact with cats and owners! Whether you are a Cat Friendly Practice®, in the process to become one, or are not sure if you qualify for the Cat Friendly Practice Program, you can obtain the certificate and learn more about how to become cat friendly and start implementing strategies right away. Front office staff will be able to use their CFVA certificate and take a fresh look at the administrative, waiting room, and client/patient experience. Technicians and nurses can use the tools gained in their CFVP certificate to refine their skills in handling and interacting with their cats and clients. Veterinarians will be able to showcase their in-depth feline knowledge and skills on feline health care.

This Certificate Program is ALL about cats and thus the content is able to go into more depth for feline-specific care and considerations. Many feline experts have contributed to the Program which encompasses a comprehensive collection of the cat friendly tools, resources, and education the AAFP has built over the years. The Cat Friendly Certificate program was created with both professional education and flexibility in mind. The certificate does not expire and will remain with you throughout your career to help you stand out, showcase your interest in feline care, and make an impression. Additionally, more content may be added over time which will be shared with you.

The program has been approved for 5 credits for CFV, 3.5 credits for CFVP, and 2 for CFVA.

The American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB) RACE committee has approved this program as meeting the Standards adopted by the AAVSB. The RACE program number for this Individual Certificate Program is 249-44194.

The Cat Friendly Certificate Program consists of nine core modules. Participants will engage in a number of these modules based on their role in the veterinary practice:

  • Cat Friendly Veterinarian (CFV) – Modules 1-9
  • Cat Friendly Veterinary Professional (CFVP) – Modules 1-7
  • Cat Friendly Veterinary Advocate (CFVA) – Modules 1-4

Each module will include a video presentation, followed by a quiz. Supplemental resources are also available for reference. With a passing score of 80% or greater you complete the module and may move on. You may take the quiz as often as you wish. Once all modules are completed, you will earn your certificate which will be available along with your badge and additional resources by logging in at catvets.com/certificateprogram.

Over the years, the Cat Friendly Practice® (CFP) program has furnished veterinary professionals with the resources to elevate the standard of care provided to cats, and more specifically, to reduce the stress of veterinary visits for cats, their caregivers, and the entire veterinary team. CFPs receive feline-focused education and other benefits, such as continuing education and marketing support. The CFP program enhances other veterinary programs because the content can be more in-depth because it is feline-specific – just about cats! In launching the new Cat Friendly Certificate programs, the AAFP will broaden the Cat Friendly program to all staff and expand its reach in order to greatly enhance feline healthcare.