American Association of Feline Practitioners

Veterinary professionals passionate about the care of cats

Cat Friendly Veterinary Advocate Program

 

The Cat Friendly Veterinary Advocate (CFVA) Certificate includes core principles behind the Cat Friendly Practice® program including understanding cats and feline behavior, reducing stress during the veterinary visit, feline-friendly handling and hospitalization, and how to make the routine wellness visit a positive experience for the cat and client. This certificate will provide a solid background for understanding why Cat Friendly strategies and tactics are integral for better feline care and a more positive experience for the cat, cat owner, and entire veterinary team. This certificate encompasses four education modules.

Enrollment Fees

Members: $39
Non-Members: $69

  • 4 Modules
  • 2 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.

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

TThere 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 Advocate is designed for all others except veterinarians and technician/nurse. This includes front office staff, assistants, managers, groomers, breeders, volunteers, industry representatives, non-profit staff, and others in the veterinary industry. 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 a 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.

Yes! We invite all students and faculty to sign up for 50% off enrollment rates using one of the two discount codes below.

  • Student promo code: CertStudent
  • Faculty promo code: FacultyCert

You will have 90 days to complete the modules, which includes watching each module, taking a quiz, and earning a passing score of 80% or greater, in order to earn your certificate. Reduced rate of enrollment is valid for students with .edu email addresses ONLY. Validation is required.

We recommend students that have direct experience in working with cats in a practice setting to take the Veterinary Professional Certificate level, and all others take the Advocate level.

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. This program will be included on the AAVSB’s Website as program number 249-44194. Please contact the AAVSB RACE program at race@aavsb.org should you have any comments/concerns regarding this program’s validity or relevancy to the veterinary profession OR contact the AAFP Headquarters for further information at info@catvets.com.

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.