Guidelines address feline environmental needs

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The American Association of Feline Practitioners and International Society of Feline Medicine released new guidelines on feline environmental needs in the March issue of the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery. 

The Environmental Needs Guidelines were established to address the needs of cats in any environment—including homes, veterinary practices, and animal shelters. The guidelines are organized around the following five pillars that form the framework for a healthy feline environment, regardless of the cat’s lifestyle.

  • Provide a safe place.
  • Provide multiple and separated key environmental resources: food, water, toileting areas, scratching areas, play areas, and resting or sleeping areas.
  • Provide opportunity for play and predatory behavior.
  • Provide positive, consistent, and predictable human-cat social interaction.
  • Provide an environment that respects the importance of the cat’s sense of smell.

According to the guidelines, “Understanding these principles and the unique environmental needs of the cat will help veterinarians, cat owners and care-givers to reduce stress, the incidence of stress-related disorders, and unwanted behavior in their feline patients and pets.”

The Environmental Needs Guidelines are available at