At Aristokatz we are always striving to be up to date on all things kitty, and Dr. Katz and Vet Tech Nicole have both attended conferences this year for continuing education. We think the Environmental Needs Guidelines presented at the AAFP virtual e-Conference are important and timely for all cat owners to understand, and we will be presenting this information in a multi-part series in the newsletter.
(Adapted from the AAFP and ISFM Feline Environmental Needs Guidelines, Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery.)
Guidelines rationale: A cat’s level of comfort with its environment is intrinsically linked to its physical health, emotional wellbeing and behavior. Having a basic understanding of your cat’s species-specific environmental needs and how cats interact with their environment will provide a foundation for addressing these fundamental requirements.
Environmental needs: Addressing environmental needs is essential for the optimum health and happiness of your kitty. Environmental needs include not only the cat’s physical surroundings (indoors or outdoors; in the home environment or at the veterinary practice) but also those affecting social interaction, including their responses to human contact.
Five ‘pillars’ framework: The Guidelines are organized around five primary concepts (‘pillars’) that provide the framework for a healthy feline environment. Understanding these principles and the unique environmental needs of the cat will help veterinarians, cat owners and caregivers to reduce stress, the incidence of stress-related disorders, and unwanted behavior in their feline patients and pets. The recommendations in the Guidelines apply to all pet cats, regardless of lifestyle.
Nicole, our resident Vet Tech and Kitty Whisperer, sums up why it is so important to create an ideal environment for our feline friends.
Reduces problem behaviors and stress related illness
Helps vets and owners identify disease quicker
Helps us improve cat care at the veterinary practice
Easier handling of cats at home and at the vet office
Strengthens the bond between you and your kitty
Reduces stress in multi-cat households