Have you implemented the AAFP-AAHA Feline Life Stage Guidelines?
In light of this information, the CATalyst Council (a national initiative to champion the cat), the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP), and the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) identified the need for wellness guidelines to improve cat health. The goals of the AAFP-AAHA Feline Life Stage Guidelines, published in the January/February 2010 issue of the Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association and available at http://aahanet.org/PublicDocuments/FelineLifeStageGuidelines.pdf, are to
1. Provide optimal healthcare recommendations for cats throughout the different stages of life.2. Provide practical suggestions and tools to facilitate improved veterinary visits.
3. Promote more effective client communication and education about the benefits of regular veterinary care.
4. Enhance the client-veterinarian clinical encounter.
The life stages chosen are intended to focus attention on the physical and behavioral changes that occur during a cat's lifespan, recognizing that individual cats and body systems can age at different rates and that any individual can have a condition not common to that life stage. The life stage classification was developed by the Feline Advisory Bureau and adopted in the 2008 AAFP Senior Care Guidelines.4,5 The stages are
Client education for owners of cats of any age includes the value of a microchip for the cat; ways to prevent and to recognize early and subtle signs of stress, pain, or illness; consideration of healthcare financial planning; and inclusion of pets in home disaster preparedness and estate plans.