Why Choose a Cat Friendly Practice?

Cats deserve to feel calm and secure when visiting the vet. As a certified Cat Friendly Practice, Old Derby Animal Hospital goes above and beyond to make sure your feline family member is getting the care they need, when they need it. The benefits of bringing your feline to a Cat Friendly Practice include:

  • A less stressful experience for your cat—and for you
  • Knowing your cat is in the care of a knowledgeable, highly-skilled team that understands their needs
  • Higher quality care for your cat
doctor and technician examining cat at our cat friendly practice in Hingham, MA

What is the Cat Friendly Practice Program All About?

The Cat Friendly Practice Program was established by the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) with the goal of helping more cats live longer, healthier lives. Many cats don’t see their vet as often as they should, which increases their risk of developing life-limiting illness and other issues.


Because veterinary visits can be stressful for cats, the Cat Friendly Practice Program helps veterinary teams learn and implement solutions to reduce or even eliminate stressors often found in animal hospitals. This includes loud noises, the presence of dogs, and a barrage of unfamiliar smells, for starters.

technician holding cat
blue quotation marks

My parents & I can't thank the entire staff enough for the care & compassion they had for our Cat Pumpkin!! We had her for 20 yrs. she adopted us from Old Derby 20 yrs ago she started & ended her life there ! The care she received was great everyone was helpful!!

Sue Z.

How We Implement Cat Friendly Solutions at Our Practice

There are several important steps to becoming a Cat Friendly Practice. After all the steps are complete, an animal hospital or clinic can officially claim certification. When you and your cat visit us, you can expect a more calming environment that includes:

  • A waiting room with a “cat only” area, with pheromone-treated towels to place over the carrier and separation from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the waiting room
  • Team members who can recognize and identify subtle signs of pain/illness in cats, along with specific behavioral and facial cues
  • A cat-only exam room that includes a feline pheromone diffuser to make the space less foreign
  • Taking care to minimize noise and speaking in lower voices
  • Treats used as distractions and positive reinforcement to make treatment easier
  • Less restrictive handling techniques so our feline patients do not feel threatened or trapped
  • Cat-only hospitalization and boarding areas
  • Equipment and facilities (pain management, anesthesia, surgery, dentistry, etc.) suitable for feline care

We’re also happy to offer tips you can follow at home to make prepping for a vet visit less stressful. Just talk to us at your cat’s next visit or give us a call at (781) 749-2800!