American Association of Feline Practitioners

Veterinary professionals passionate about the care of cats

Senior Care Guidelines

2009 AAFP Senior Care Guidelines

Download - Senior Care Guidelines
Download - Summary Document
Download - Client Brochure 

These 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 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 2009. 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. 

Register - Senior Care Guidelines Course.

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