Feline practitioners support early spay/neuter and hospice care

Published on August 18, 2010
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The American Association of Feline Practitioners, in June, released position statements supporting early spay and neuter of cats and hospice care for cats.

The AAFP supports early spay and neuter "as a safe and effective method of decreasing cat overpopulation" that "confers long-term medical and behavioral benefits to the individual cat," according to the new position.

One section of the statement addresses veterinarians' responsibilities and duties. Citing the AVMA policy on "Dog and Cat Population Control," the AAFP position notes that each veterinarian should decide the best age to spay or neuter each cat. The AAFP position goes on to urge veterinarians to educate clients on the benefits of early spay and neuter of cats.

Additional sections of the statement address cat overpopulation, the benefits of early spay or neuter to individual cats, opposition to early spay and neuter, public education, and endorsement of early spay and neuter by various organizations—including the AVMA.

The other new AAFP position states that the association "supports hospice care as an important resource that allows clients time to make decisions and prepare for the impending loss of a terminally ill cat companion."

The statement lists situations that merit hospice or palliative care. Sections of the statement cover welfare considerations, a five-step plan for discussing and delivering hospice care, and other considerations.

The AAFP positions on early spay and neuter and on hospice care are available with other AAFP statements here.