American Association of Feline Practitioners

Veterinary professionals passionate about the care of cats

Veterinary Professionals

The Cat Friendly Practice® Program - Elevating Feline Care

Created by experienced feline practitioners, the Cat Friendly Practice® (CFP) Program is leading the worldwide movement to make veterinary care less stressful for cats and their caregivers.

Established by the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) and the International Society for Feline Medicine (ISFM), CFP is a global initiative designed to elevate care for cats by enhancing the environment and experience, as well as reducing stress for the cat, caregiver, and also the entire veterinary team.

The program consists of 10 topic areas outlined in an online self-assessment 125-point checklist. This will guide your practice in setting the standard of providing optimum feline care and achieve a CFP Silver or Gold status. Many of the techniques and criteria contained in the practice checklist are readily achievable because they focus on approach and creativity. The program does not require remodeling of your practice, but provides creative solutions for you to help decrease stress during feline care visits. The most important step is to recognize that there is a need to make these adaptations in order to provide a better experience for cats, their caregivers, and your team.  

Elevate the Delivery of Feline Care

The Cat Friendly Practice Program seeks to transform and elevate the delivery of feline veterinary care by:

  • Laying the groundwork for the delivery of care to the underserved feline population.
  • Identifying trends and baseline species information essential for understanding cats.
  • Acknowledging the essential role of the cat owner in the veterinary visit.
  • Providing support to veterinarians and their teams to create a Cat Friendly practice environment.
  • Outlining strategies for introducing changes in the delivery of care that incorporate a better understanding of the cat's distinct needs and behaviors.
  • Consider every aspect of the experience for the cat and client, and how to adjust each visit.

Survey Results

Benefits of the Cat Friendly Practice® Program* 

  • Less stress on feline patients and staff. 
  • Demonstrates how much you care about your patients.
  • Higher satisfaction among current clients. 
  • Increased staff knowledge and expertise in clinic. 
  • Highlighted practice listing on AAFP cat caregiver website
  • Gain more new feline patients. 
  • Lower reported feline-associated injuries


Cat Friendly Practice® Sets You Apart

  • Designation is a recognized symbol of excellence. 
  • Create a more calming environment and minimizing stress for cats, clients, and staff. 
  • Belonging to a worldwide program that is dedicated to creating the best experience for each individual cat which demonstrates your practice's commitment to elevating the standard of care for cats. 
  • Access to online marketing toolkit including CFP logos, advertising and promotional items, social media visuals, educational presentations, client resources, and more ways to help promote your designation to prospective clients.
  • Exclusive ongoing access to educational resources for clients and staff. 

 How to Get Started | Next Steps


Join the AAFP 

There must be at least one AAFP veterinarian member in your practice to access the Cat Friendly Practice® Program resources. AAFP membership has several other wonderful benefits including a subscription to the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery (JFMS), Feline Specific CE Webinars and Education, Newsletters, Practice Guidelines, and more. Obtaining your CFP designation is FREE with AAFP Membership. See the full list of benefits and join the AAFP.

(As of January 1, 2021, applications for the Cat Friendly Practice® will require that the practice confirm they do not perform elective declawing procedures.)


Access Your Resources

Once an AAFP Member, you receive access to the Cat Friendly Practice® Checklist, Guide, and other materials in the Member Center. 


Build Your Team 

Enlist another team member or launch a team of cat advocates to work on completing the checklist. Once completed, submit your online application for review and you'll soon be on your way to becoming a designated Cat Friendly Practice®.


Ongoing Training

Don't forget that ongoing training for staff and new team members is critical. Also, remember that the designation needs to be renewed every three years and a veterinarian needs to remain an AAFP member for your CFP status to be active.


Still not sure if you can complete the criteria or if Cat Friendly Practice® is right for you?
We can help! Email or call (800) 874-0498. Since each veterinary practice is different, there's no "one way" to complete the program. A few misconceptions we often hear are that practices think they can't become a Cat Friendly Practice® because of space issues, they are not in a position to make business decisions, or they have difficulty getting fellow staff members on board with the plan. Luckily, there are alternative approaches and solutions for each of these reasons so that all practices can take the leap forward and become a Cat Friendly Practice®. There is also the Cat Friendly Certificate Program which can help individuals start their Cat Friendly journey and start to see huge benefits in their feline appointments.


More Information and Benefits

Creative Solutions

CFP Veterinary Practice Flyer

Frequently Asked Questions


Cat Friendly Certificate Program

*as reported by designated Cat Friendly Practices® from 2021 survey results. 

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