Pet Safety, Treatment & Care

Fear Free/Cat Friendly Certified: Why These Qualifications Are Best for Your Cat

One reason that some cat parents might not take their cats to the veterinarian is that their cat exhibits fear or stress when going to the vet. One way to help your cat feel safe, welcome, and comfortable is by taking them to a Fear Free or Cat Friendly Practice. Discover what these certifications are and how they can better the care of your cat.

What Is the Fear Free Certification Program?

The Fear Free Certification Program helps both pet parents and veterinarian clinics provide the best care for their animal by minimizing fear, anxiety, and stress. Through a series of eight modules, veterinarians and staff members learn to understand pets’ emotional wellbeing while visiting the vet. Most staff members complete the certification process, then if the hospital chooses they can become a Fear Free Certified Hospital. A Fear Free Certified Hospital implements Fear Free protocols throughout the whole hospital to ensure fear, anxiety, and stress stay minimized.

As fear toward the vet often starts with certain signs or triggers, the Fear Free Certification Program targets these various triggers at every step of the process. The modules in the program target fear triggers from places such as:

  • Transportation
  • The waiting area
  • Exam rooms

As veterinarians and staff implement the principles they learn in these modules, this will result in a transformation from fearful and stressed to happy and relaxed. Additionally, vets will now have access to educational resources and marketing tools, as well as a directory listing them as a Fear Free Certified Professional and/or hospital.

Once pet parents learn that a veterinarian is Fear Free certified, this can give pet parents the confidence and assurance they need to bring their pet in and help their pets stay calm. In return, Fear Free professionals can give their pet patients the quality care they need, with better safety and emotional well being for both the pet and the veterinary team.

What Is the Cat Friendly Practice Certification Program?

The Cat Friendly Practice certification program is specific for cats. Developed by the American Association of Feline Practitioners and the International Society for Feline Medicine, the Cat Friendly Practice certification program ensures that cats will feel less stress and fear while visiting the vet. This program targets both cat parents and veterinarians.


For veterinarians to become Cat Friendly certified, they must complete ten topics. These topics target things such as:

  • Feline handling
  • Pain management
  • Feline preventative healthcare

Veterinarians who complete this training will help both cat patients and parents. They do this by providing positive, stress-free care for cats. These veterinarians can help cats become happier, cat parents become more satisfied, and the clinic become more knowledgeable. In addition, vets will have exclusive access to educational resources and promotional materials. Vets will also have an online listing that designates them as Cat Friendly certified.

Cat Parents

Cat parents can benefit from this program as well. If you go to a Cat Friendly vet, you can expect:

  • Better care for your cat
  • Deep understanding of your cat’s behaviors
  • Specialized equipment for cats

That way, you can know that your cat is in the best hands possible.

How Can You Know If a Vet Is Fear Free or Cat Friendly Certified?

If you want to take your cat to a Fear Free or Cat Friendly vet, then you have two ways to know if they are certified or not.

First, you can simply see if they are by visiting them. For example, Fear-Free vets can wear their certification on clothing, put their certification on business cards, or put the certification logo on their website or clinic walls.

Second, if you want to find certified vets for these programs, simply use the directory listings provided on the certification websites.

Ready to give your cat the best care from certified vets? Turn to 1st Pet Veterinary Centers, we are both Fear Free Certified, and a Cat Friendly Practice. We look forward to serving your cat’s needs.