AAFP’s Feline Anesthesia Guidelines Aim to Make Anesthesia Safer for Feline Patients


Every cat parent I know worries when a cat  has to go under anesthesia, including me. Even though I’ve assisted with all sorts of anesthetic procedures and surgeries in my years working in veterinary clinics, and even though I understand how it all works and what constitutes safe anesthetic practice, it still doesn’t completely take the worry out of it. Knowing what to expect when your cat has to undergo anesthesia, and knowing the right questions to ask at your veterinary clinic prior to the procedure so that you can be sure that  your cat’s anesthesia will be done in the safest possible way, can help ease the worry factor.

Varying standards of care

One of the problems with safe anesthesia is that standards of care can vary widely from one veterinary practice to the next. While I would hope that no veterinarian will ever knowingly put an animal’s safety at risk, I’ve heard from far too many people about questionable standards of care at their veterinary practice when it comes to anesthetic procedures. This may be particularly true for mixed practices. Cats are not small dogs, and there is evidence that cats undergoing anesthesia have a higher mortality rate than dogs due to their unique physiology and small size.

Guidelines to ensure safer anesthesia

The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) just released its first Feline Anesthesia Guidelines to the veterinary community with the goal of ensuring safer anesthesia for feline patients.

The guidelines address specific causes of disparities and ways of avoiding complications associated with monitoring, airway management, fluid therapy, and recovery. Additionally, the guidelines discuss other important aspects of feline anesthesia, including perianesthetic anxiety and stress, perianesthetic monitoring by physical and electronic means, the role of underlying diseases such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), and the correct use of anesthesia equipment.

One size does not fit all

I find it particularly reassuring that the guidelines stress that each cat is an individual. “By proactively developing an individualized anesthetic plan that considers the uniqueness of each feline patient and recognizing that ‘one size does not fit all,’ the experience for the cat can be improved and the outcome successful. It is our hope that these guidelines will become the practice’s go-to resource and each team member will have a new awareness of all the tools and techniques available to them,” said Guidelines Co-Chairs Susan M. Gogolski, DVM, PMP, DABVP (Canine/Feline) and Sheilah A. Robertson, BVMS (Hons), PhD, DACVAA, DECVAA, DACAW, DECAWBM (WSEL), MRCVS in a joint statement.

To access the guidelines, supplemental resources, and client brochure, visit: catvets.com/anesthesia.

To access the AAFP’s consumer site with anesthesia information for cat parents, visit: catfriendly.com/anesthesia.

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The Conscious Cat is an award winning website published by writer and cat expert Ingrid King, author of Buckley's Story and Purrs of Wisdom. Here at The Conscious Cat, we're passionate about cats. Our mission is to educate cat guardians so that every cat, and every cat's human, can have a happy, healthy life together.


On this site, you will find expert advice from a seasoned cat consultant. The Conscious Cat features articles on cat health, cat nutrition, cat behavior, cat lifestyle, pet loss, and, of course, pictures of cats. We'll bring you product and book reviews, as well as news from around the cat world.

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And let's not forget, we have a soft spot for tortoiseshell cats and their unique personalities, also known as "tortitude."

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Mews and Nips: A Follow Up on Accidental Cat Dad


Last month, we told you about Paris Zarcilla, a film maker based in London, who went upstairs to get a sweater out from under his bed. He found a tuxedo cat and her four kittens where the sweater should have been. And she wasn’t his cat. Zarcilla is documenting his find, and subsequent experience of falling in love with the little family, on Twitter in a series of adorable and funny tweets accompanied by precious photos and videos.On his GoFundMe page, he writes “Their purity, their majesty. It’s magic. Frankly, they’ve pulled me from a dark place and into their light. The daily lessons I learn from them are illuminating, infinite and far reaching. And these lessons are not just about cat fatherhood but also aspects about myself. I’m going to love and protect them until they need me no more and that’s the least I can give them.” I find myself visiting Zarcilla’s Twitter feed whenever I feel I need a little lift in my day.

If you missed any of the stories featured on the Conscious Cat this week, here’s a recap: Continue reading…

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This post contains affiliate links*

One of my favorite summer pleasures is spending time outside with a good book. Whether it’s on my deck, in a sidewalk cafe, or a park, there’s just something about reading outdoors that makes one of my favorite pastimes even more special. I like to read a lot of different genres, but of course, a large part of my summer reading list is made up of cat books.

You can find plenty of suggestions for your reading list in the book section on this site. Today, I’m sharing a couple of favorites that make for great summer reading. Continue reading…

Tail It Pet GPS Tracking Device Winner


Congratulations, The Island Cats! You’re the winner of a Tail It Pet GPS Tracking Device.

Look for an email from Ingrid.*

For more information about Tail It, and to save up to 54% on early bird pricing, please visit Tail It’s Kickstarter campaign.

*Winners are selected by random drawing. Winners need to provide a physical address to which the prize will be mailed within 72 hours of receipt of notification e-mail or announcement of winner’s name(s) on The Conscious Cat. If this information is not received within the timeframe stated, an alternate winner will be chosen.

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Radagast Pet Food, Inc. of Portland, OR is recalling three lots of Rad Cat Raw Diet Free-Range Chicken Recipe because testing results indicate they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. The Company is also recalling one lot of Rad Cat Raw Diet Pasture-Raised Venison Recipe because testing results indicate it has the potential to be contaminated with Shiga Toxin producing E. coli O121. This voluntary recall is being conducted out of an abundance of caution. Continue reading…

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