Mission and History

The Mission and History of the AAFP

The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) supports its members in improving the health and wellbeing of cats through high standards of practice, continuing education, and evidence-based medicine.

Vision Statement

We are the trusted leaders in feline health and wellbeing for the veterinary community and cat caregivers.

Core Values

Mission and Member-driven: We work collaboratively and demonstrate a constant commitment to the best interests of our members.

Science-based: We lead with science, providing trusted and evidence-based information. We support veterinary teams in their education and awareness of feline health and welfare, increasing the standards of care for cats, and encourage the ongoing pursuit of knowledge.

Professionalism: We uphold high standards for the endeavors of the Association on behalf of our members and the community, acting with integrity, honesty, and respect in all of our individual pursuits and collective initiatives.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access: We commit to convene and nurture a diverse community of individuals, and respect the dimensions of diversity among us and the populations we serve. We further value the differences in ideas, perspectives, and people in our community in order to foster an environment of inclusion in pursuit of excellence in feline medicine and surgery.

Accountability: We practice prudent financial decision-making and accountability, as well as demonstrate commitment, passion, and leadership to our members.

Respect: We practice positive and effective communication, promote individual and organizational growth, work as a cohesive team, and support leadership decisions to be one voice for the Association.


In 1970, at the American Veterinary Medical Association meeting in Las Vegas, an informational meeting was held for a new interest group, the American Association of Feline Practitioners. Dr. Alvin Kaplan brought together a group of veterinarians that had a strong interest in feline medicine for one single goal, to improve the field of feline medicine.

The Association was officially established in 1971, with 25 members. By 1974, with the assistance of Dr. Barbara Stein, Dr. Fred Scott and Dr. Bill Hardy, the Association grew to over 200 members, and was officially incorporated. Throughout the years, the Association continued to grow as a respected institution in the field of feline medicine. It has partnered with other well-respected veterinary associations and organizations to move its mission forward.

The AAFP works to improve the standards of feline health, in part by providing its members with progressive research and valuable resources which include, but are not limited to, peer-reviewed scientific research in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, breakthrough continuing education offered at the AAFP Conferences and other feline tracks, and the well-respected and highly utilized practice guidelines and position statements compiled by the AAFP.

In recent years, the AAFP has established a reputation as a leader in the field of feline medicine. To that end, the Association has recently launched several new initiatives to improve and standardize the delivery of feline veterinary care. One of the highlighted endeavors being developed by the AAFP is the Cat Friendly Practice (CFP) program. This program provides support to veterinarians by outlining strategies for introducing changes in the delivery of care that incorporate a better understanding of the cat’s distinct needs and behaviors.