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American Association of Feline Practitioners Releases End of Life Educational Toolkit

Julia Rivera//May 24, 2021//

Sleeping gray cat lies on the red carpet. The cat is comfortable.

American Association of Feline Practitioners Releases End of Life Educational Toolkit

Julia Rivera //May 24, 2021//

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Press release: The American Association of Feline Practitioners

The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) has released an online End of Life Educational Toolkit to provide information to help facilitate a peaceful and painless transition for a cat at the end of their life. This digital Toolkit aids veterinary professionals in preparing a well-planned process to honor the life of the cat by offering guidance and valuable information. 

The euthanasia appointment is the last opportunity a veterinarian has to serve a patient, and it will have a lasting impact on the caregiver. This digital Toolkit provides in-depth information in an easy-to-read format that covers various options and contingencies to consider when working with caregivers concerning this crucial step in the relationship with their cat. Additionally, the Toolkit addresses many of the tough questions needed to be considered when working through difficult or unexpected circumstances in euthanasia for the caregiver and the veterinary team. “Successful end of life feline care is about more than just medicine; it is about creating a peaceful transition for our patients and their owners,” stated AAFP Task Force Chair Wendy Simpson, DVM. “The AAFP Task Force is committed to compassionate end of life care and is pleased to offer a new educational resource for veterinary professionals to help guide them through this practice.” 

The End of Life Toolkit addresses several key aspects of the euthanasia process, such as early Quality of Life discussion, decision making, the euthanasia experience for both veterinary professionals and caregivers, the euthanasia process, and how to support a client through final arrangements and beyond. “The End of Life Toolkit covers topics such as recommended sedatives and anesthetic protocols for cats, and strategies for setting up the practice environment with comfort in mind,” noted Dr. Wendy Simpson.

Veterinary professionals can easily view, download, and print (PDF format) the End of Life Toolkit from the AAFP’s website. Navigating the Toolkit is simple, with section tabs focusing on the different areas of content including decision making, euthanasia experience, euthanasia process, final arrangements, frequently asked questions (FAQs) and client resources. The Toolkit also provides a list of additional reading materials and resources for veterinary professionals. 

The AAFP also provides additional resources to help cat caregivers understand more about euthanasia, quality of life, and end of life decision making. The AAFP welcomes the endorsement by the International Association for Animal Hospice and Palliative Care (IAAHPC) for the End of Life Toolkit.

The American Association of Feline Practitioners improves the health and welfare of cats by supporting high standards of practice, continuing education, and evidence-based medicine. As a trusted leader in the veterinary community, the AAFP has a long-standing reputation and track record for facilitating high standards, including guidelines for practice excellence and educational resources. Over the years, the AAFP has encouraged veterinary professionals to continuously re-evaluate preconceived notions of practice strategies in an effort to advance the quality of feline medicine practiced. Launched in 2012, the Cat Friendly Practice (CFP) Program was created to improve the treatment, handling, and overall healthcare provided to cats. Its purpose is to equip veterinary practices, teams, and individuals with the tools and resources to reduce stress associated with the visit and elevate the standard of care provided to cats. Launched in 2020, the Cat Friendly Certificate Program now provides this education to individual veterinary professionals. Cat Friendly Homes is the AAFP’s cat caregiver educational resource which is powered by feline veterinarians and includes a monthly newsletter, The Cat Column.