The American Association of Feline Practitioners and International Society of Feline Medicine recently released the new Feline-Friendly Nursing Care Guidelines.
The intent of the guidelines is to provide veterinary teams with resources and recommendations to implement basic nursing care concepts with feline patients. The document defines nursing care as any interaction between a cat and veterinary team in a clinic, or between a cat and owner at home, that promotes wellness or recovery from illness or injury and addresses the patient’s physical and emotional well-being.
“By looking at each section of the guidelines, a clinic can begin to understand fear and stress from the cat’s perspective; make changes in protocol that will decrease stress in exam rooms, perioperative areas, and during hospitalization; avoid things that annoy cats; and counsel owners on how to behave in the exam room so as to soothe their cats rather than contribute to stress,” wrote Drs. Hazel Carney and Susan Little, co-chairs of the guidelines panel.
They continued, “These guidelines are comprehensive and may seem daunting. However, even small improvements and incremental progress in feline nursing care can pay immediate dividends and start building a culture of skilled and compassionate feline care. We firmly believe that as veterinarians understand, utilize, and adapt these techniques to their practices, they will improve the comfort and health of our cat patients.”
The guidelines appeared in the May issue of the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery and are available at www.catvets.com/guidelines.