Fast feline-friendly fixes


Fast feline-friendly fixes

Employ these easily executed efforts for keeping cats more content in your veterinary practice.
Jan 22, 2018

Finding feline-friendly facilities often requires careful consideration from concerned clients. Progressive practices practice patient, positive, purrfect care for all sorts of fine felines: finicky, flighty, ferocious, fearful and feisty. However, many positive, progressive practices feel that being feline-friendly costs copious quantities of cold currency to create construction, which causes chaos instead of courting cats.

So how can you make fixes for felines without purloining your pocketbook? Ahead are some fast feline-friendly fixes that captivate cats and clients without a need for copious quantities of currency.


Take existing spaces and imagine how to use them for more than one purpose. Be flexible. Can’t afford to designate a cats-only room? Designate one as a part-time cat room using a removable sign. When you know you have feline patients coming, put the sign up, clean out the dog smells and set out your cat things.

Cats-only room, for now. (All photos courtesy of Dr. Michael Nappier)Don’t have space or need for a full-time cat ward? Flexible, dividable kennel spaces and simple curtains can create part-time cat spaces.

Hey dogs, pay no attention to what's behind the curtain.

Divide and conquer kennel space.


Friendly facades

How many of our spaces project a dogs-only mentality just by how they look? Are all your posters and artwork dog-centric? Put up some cat pieces to show cat clients they are important too.

A starry night, feline style.What about your treat jars—all dog cookies? Try something creative! Catnip is easy to grow inside, and your patients and clients will go wild for it.

Plants can thrive under grow lights. (It's catnip, we swear!)


Make sure your clients can see how focused you are on caring for their cats. Designate cat carrier parking spaces to keep the kitties off the floor and away from dogs.

A special place for carriers, no parallel parking necessary.Write down your cat standards of care in a checklist or other form so that the entire practice is always on the same page. You can even post it so clients can see exactly how concerned you are about their cats’ health.

Let cat clients check out your checklist.Make it official! You do the best you can for your cat patients—get recognized for it. AAFP’s Cat Friendly Practice program recognizes outstanding cat practices with formal certification and doesn’t require huge financial or remodeling investments.

Show off your feline savvy certificate.

Fluffy and fun

Show your clients how much you love cats and love your practice. Get rid of the dirty old cat gloves and fish nets. Instead, get some big fluffy towels. The most versatile of restraint devices, they leave your dexterity intact and can go from cuddle to cat capture in the blink of an eye.
Comfy confinement.

Considerations for cats promote ear-resistible team camaraderie.

Ear thermometers work great for fearful cats that would really resent a rectal temperature. Last but not least, you enjoy what you do, let it show! If clients and cats know you love your job and their cats, they will love you back!

Michael Nappier is assistant professor of community practice in the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine in Blacksburg, Virginia.