With a new year upon us, many of us make resolutions to help improve our lives. One resolution which the International Society of Feline Medicine (ISFM) is hoping veterinary clinics will make is to improve the lives of cats by becoming more cat friendly.
By the end of 2016, ISFM reported that it now has 369 UK clinics accredited on its Cat Friendly Clinic programme, with a total of 732 worldwide in 29 different countries. This is a 40% increase on the year before and ISFM hopes that this trend will continue, with a further 3,650 clinics having expressed their interest in the scheme. In the USA where the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) license the programme from ISFM, there are over 1,000 accredited Cat Friendly Clinics.
Set up in 2012, the programme was developed to raise the standards of care and welfare of cats in the veterinary clinic, and to provide veterinarians with practical solutions to problems that they often face when dealing with their feline patients. In addition, the programme is designed to boost business by strengthening the bond between the clinic and its feline clients.
Four years on, the programme has become a well-recognised global standard in feline veterinary care, and in October was the 2016 winner of the Veterinary Record Innovation Award. Going forward, ISFM is delighted to have six new partners for the programme, Boehringer Ingelheim, Ceva Animal Health, Elanco, Idexx Laboratories, Merial and Royal Canin, and looks forward to working with these companies to expand the programme further. Boehringer Ingelheim said of their involvement, ‘We are passionate about the lifelong wellbeing of cats, and are proud to support the ISFM Cat Friendly Clinic Programme. We share a common goal with ISFM to ensure that all cats receive optimal veterinary care throughout their lives, with regular, stress-free health checks and preventive healthcare, and with early diagnosis and treatment of disease.’ Ceva said of their partnership, ‘We are proud to be a sponsor of the Cat Friendly Clinic Programme, as it perfectly matches Ceva values in regards to elevating feline wellbeing and health. The comprehensive programme brings a full set of innovative resources to support, educate, and raise the level of care of feline patients.’
Dr Andy Sparkes, Veterinary Director of the International Cat Care, ISFM’s parent charity, said, ‘We are delighted to see how many clinics around the world have focused on becoming cat friendly and we can only expect this to grow again in 2017 with our new partners on board. We are looking forward to a very cat friendly 2017!’
For clinics interested in the scheme, ISFM provides a wealth of information on its website www.catfriendlyclinic.org, including an extensive library of photographs from already-accredited clinics to provide inspiration and ideas. With a little imagination and a willingness to adopt a feline-friendly attitude, plus three levels of accreditation to aim for, achieving cat friendly clinic status has never been more straight-forward.
Jo Vuckovic, Digital Communications Manager
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Notes to editors:
About the International Society of Feline Medicine (ISFM)
ISFM is the veterinary division of International Cat Care. ISFM aims to provide a worldwide resource for veterinarians on feline medicine and surgery.
About International Cat Care (iCatCare)
A charity dedicated to the health and welfare of cats.
The International Cat Care vision: All cats, owned and unowned, are treated with care, compassion and understanding.
The International Cat Care mission: To engage, educate and empower people throughout the world to improve the health and welfare of cats by sharing advice, training and passion.