LA, London (18 June 2013). A team of internationally recognized feline experts including veterinarians and feline scientists co-chaired by Dr Sarah Ellis from the University of Lincoln, U.K. and Dr Ilona Rodan, Director of Cat Care Clinic, Wisconsin, U.S.A. were invited by the International Society of Feline Medicine (ISFM) and the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) to compile guidelines for veterinarians, owners and those working with cats on how to meet the environmental needs of the domestic cat. The new guidelines appear in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, published by SAGE.
A cat's level of comfort within its environment is intrinsically linked to its physical health, emotional well-being and behavior. Thus, meeting the environmental needs of the cat is an absolutely essential part of our care-taking role of this companion animal. The guidelines provide readers with a basic understanding of the cat's species-specific environmental needs including how cats interact with their environment as well as providing practical based advice on how to meet these needs.
Co-chair, Dr Sarah Ellis said "Just as we do for medical decisions relating to cats, the decisions we make on the environment we provide for our cats must be based on information produced from a solid evidence base in order to ensure we are providing the highest possible welfare standards for our cats. Over the period of nearly a year, the panel compiled, reviewed and consolidated all available research in this area to provide a reader-friendly, evidence-based set of guidelines allowing veterinarians, owners and those working with cats to easily access this information and advice all in one place."
The authorship panel has organized the guidelines around five primary concepts (named as 'pillars') that provide the framework for a healthy feline environment. Such pillars comprise providing:
- a safe place
- multiple and separated key environmental resources
- opportunity for play and predatory behavior
- positive, consistent and predictable human-cat social interaction
- an environment that respects the important of the cat's sense of smell
Co-chair Dr Ilona Rodan said "As a veterinary practitioner, I find these guidelines to be the support that we need to help prevent and even resolve many behavior problems. If we understand the cat and its needs, and educate our veterinary teams and clients about how to live with these beloved pets, we can keep cats healthier and happier."
"AAFP and ISFM Feline Environmental Needs Guidelines" by Sarah L H Ellis, Ilona Rodan, Hazel C Carney, Sarah Heath, Irene Rochlitz, Lorinda D Shearburn, Eliza Sundahl and Jodi L Westropp, published in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery.
The Guidelines can be freely accessed here.
SAGE is a leading international publisher of journals, books and electronic media for academic, educational, and professional markets. Since 1965, SAGE has helped inform and educate a global community of scholars, practitioners, researchers, and students spanning a wide range of subject areas including business, humanities, social sciences, and science, technology and medicine. SAGE has principal offices in Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore and Washington DC. http://www.
The Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery is an international journal, and the official journal of both the International Society of Feline Medicine (ISFM) and the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) aimed at both practitioners and researchers with an interest in clinical veterinary healthcare of domestic cats. This journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).