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What are cat-friendly practices, and why are they so important?

Cats need veterinary care as much as any other pet, however a recent survey of cat owners indicated that most would not bring their pet cat to a veterinary clinic as often as dog owners bring their dogs.

Several reasons were found for this:

  • Perception that cats do not need veterinary care
  • Cats often “find” their owners and come with no instructions on health care, vs. dogs which are typically purchased from a breeder or shelter, and with guidance on preventive care
  • Getting the cat to the veterinary facility is stressful and the cat has an unpleasant experience
  • Cats are viewed as more independent than dogs and more of a pet vs. companion
  • Cats often hide signs of illness until health problems are advanced
  • Cats may often live to geriatric years without health care, making routine care seem unimportant; dog owners are expected to seek regular care as part of responsible pet ownership.

In response to these findings, the American Association of Feline Practitioners developed the concept of and methodology for Cat-Friendly Veterinary Practices.

As a feline exclusive practice, Especially Cats embraces these concepts.

  • Our waiting area is quiet and comfortable; no barking dogs!
  • Our examination rooms are designed to make your cat’s visit less stressful.
  • Feline pheromones are used to help your cat stay calm.
  • We use a gentle and considerate approach to physical examination and restraint.
  • Our staff are trained to recognize fear and stress in your cat, and adapt to help your cat remain calm.

We can also advise you on ways to make your cat’s trip to the clinic less stressful. Check out the AAFP’s video on how visiting a Cat Friendly Practice can make a visit to the veterinarian less stressful, or click to view the AAFPs brochure on “Why You And Your Cat Will Love a Cat Friendly Practice.” Should you have any questions about how to make the experience better for your cat, please ask our staff.

Contact Us

Especially Cats Veterinary Hospital


1339 Taraval St San Francisco, CA 94116

Clinic Hours

Monday – Friday: 8:00am – 5:00pm
Saturday-Sunday: Closed