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Feline-Friendly Handling

Feline-Friendly Handling

Feline-Friendly Handling

Ilona Rodan, DVM, DABVP (Feline)
Ilona Rodan, DVM, DABVP (Feline)
on behalf of American Association of Feline Practitioners


null FREE
null FREE
Normal Price: FREE FREE


Launch date: 08 Jan 2016
Expiry Date:

Last updated: 02 Mar 2020

Reference: 161798

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Latest User Comments

(9 Sep 2019)
The audio is choppy.
Andrea Wilson (9 Sep 2018)
It was a bit long to retain all of the information for only 5 questions. I think the keys points could have been presented in a shorter amount of time.
Donna Hawker (9 Oct 2018)
I would recommend being able to skip the audio. I like to go back and forth between slides, and not being able to do so make it a challenging. Overall, it is a good explanation of cats and a fear free experience.

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This course is only available to trainees days after purchase. It would need to be repurchased by the trainee if not completed in the allotted time period. This course is no longer available. You will need to repurchase if you wish to take the course again.

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As solitary hunters, cats have a heightened fear response to protect themselves from dangers. Unfortunately everything associated with the veterinary visit, from the carrier to the visit, and being reintroduced to the other cats when it comes home can all spell danger to the cat.

Veterinarians and other veterinary professionals can prevent most fear through understanding what cats need. Recognizing how the individual patient reacts to fear (i.e., attempting to hide, run away, or show aggression) and developing handling techniques specific to the different fear responses improves patient outcomes and prevents human injury.


Understanding the cat
and the causes of its fear surrounding the veterinary visit can help us improve the experience for patients, clients, and team members.
General handling principles
are based on the nature of the cat and its need for a sense of control.
The flow of the exam
should be individualized to each cat, based on what is least fearful and painful for that cat. Usually starting with auscultation of heart and lungs is easiest.
Sample collection in the exam room
and with the owner present is easier for cat and owner, as compared to moving the cat to a treatment area. It reduces fear as well as fear-associated aggression that can be caused by moving the cat to a treatment area.
Ilona Rodan, DVM, DABVP (Feline)

Author Information Play Video Bio

Ilona Rodan, DVM, DABVP (Feline)
on behalf of American Association of Feline Practitioners

Dr. Ilona Rodan established the Cat Care Clinic in Madison, Wisconsin in 1987, a Gold Certified Cat Friendly Practice and AAHA hospital. She continues to practice feline medicine and work as the behavior consultant following the practice sale in 2015. Dr. Rodan is ABVP certified in feline practice since 1995. She started a consulting business, Feline-Friendly Consultations, to support veterinary professionals in handling cats to prevent fear and pain, and improving the practice environment and healthcare for cats. She also presents nationally and internationally. Dr. Rodan is also co-editor of the book, Feline Behavioral Health and Welfare, published in August 2015. Dr. Rodan is a past-president and active volunteer of the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP), and has co-chaired a number of guidelines including the AAFP Behavior, Feline-Friendly Handling, Environmental Needs, and the AAHA/AAFP Pain Management Guidelines. In 2005, she was awarded the AVMA Animal Welfare Award for her leadership and contributions to advancing feline welfare.

Current Accreditations

This course has been certified by or provided by the following Certified Organization/s:

  • AAVSB-Registry of Approved Continuing Education (RACE)
  • 1.50 Hours -
    Exam Attempts: 3
    Exam Pass Rate: 70
    Reference: 249-32539
  • New York State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners
  • 1.50 Hours

Faculty and Disclosures

Additional Contributors

Conflicts Declared

Conflicts of Interest declaration by Author:


User Reviews (158)

Go Back
(9 Sep 2019)
The audio is choppy.
Andrea Wilson (9 Sep 2018)
It was a bit long to retain all of the information for only 5 questions. I think the keys points could have been presented in a shorter amount of time.
Donna Hawker (9 Oct 2018)
I would recommend being able to skip the audio. I like to go back and forth between slides, and not being able to do so make it a challenging. Overall, it is a good explanation of cats and a fear free experience.
Dr Sheryl Gilbert-McDonald D.V.M. (9 Feb 2018)
Pertinent, logical information presented in a concise manner.
Dr Thomas Pasdo (9 Dec 2016)
Good course. Picked up a few helpful hints.
Susan Gibbs (9 Apr 2018)
Speaker was scattered and repetitive
Dr Andrew Waymire DVM (9 Apr 2017)
The information and presentation were exceptional. There were audio issues around the first 1/3-- I maybe around slide 25?-- that were present in about 4 or 5 slides, where the presenter could not be heard for large portions, but otherwise this was a fantastic course. I also had a concern with one of the questions on the exam-- I may have missed the subtle distinctions, but the question was related to the best way to appraoch the cat. Three of them said "come from behind or the side." One I counted off becaues it said always start from the back and go forward, when in reality we should be flexible and start at the least painful area. The other two were very similar, but one indicated that approaching from the side would make the cat aware of your presence but you would not "be a threat"-- which seemed wrong, because in reality you may be less of a threat but probably not "no threat." The other said to only handle when necessary, which seemed reasonable, although I understand some stroking of the head and neck can be beneficial.
(8 Sep 2019)
I found this course very helpful and the extra resource links throughout the presentation was a lovely touch. Not only will this course help me throughout my veterinary school learning and in practice, but with my own cats. Thank you!
(8 Sep 2019)
The videos were highly repetitive. The overall material covered was not bad, but it was the same thing averaging a three times repeat. Additionally, it is highly similar to material covered in other feline handling resources. There should be the option to take a pre-test or skip through some of the materials.
(8 Mar 2019)
Good information, but could have been presented in less time.
Dr Rambabu Sambangi DVM (8 Jan 2017)
Good information
(8 Feb 2019)
Very good information, but the voice-over is sometimes less clear than text on the page might be.
Sharon Jones-Gilmore (8 Feb 2018)
lots of good images
Mrs Amy Short-Jones CVT (8 Feb 2017)
This webinar included many picture examples and great tips to improve our handling of feline patients.
(7 Sep 2019)
very informative, loved the presentation.
(7 Sep 2019)
Very informative course. A little long, but as a visual learner I appreciated the slideshow.
Mrs Mary Esterhammer-Fic (7 Jan 2017)
I got a lot out of this course. I love cats but have never really felt confident with fearful/fractious cats. I have been a tech for a number of years and the vets at my practice are great with cats, but there were a lot of tips in this course that can be very useful to everyone. Thanks! This was well-organized, clear and interesting.
Mrs Shauna Behling MA (7 Jan 2017)
Excellent course.
(7 Feb 2019)
Very good course with lots of interesting insights!
Ms Summer Miner (7 Feb 2017)
Dr Barbara Fanning DVM (7 Dec 2016)
Very informative but we had difficulty understanding her words. The entire presentation sounded muffled.
Dr Hannah Wadsworth (7 Apr 2018)
Good information on cat handling techniques to use in clinic.
Ms Jennifer Duke (7 Apr 2017)
This was a very useful course. I didn't know there were other ways to calm cats down or how to restrain but not make the cats uncomfortable. This course was informative and went at a nice pace.
Jessica Seibel (6 Sep 2018)
Very Useful information and clearly demonstrated.
Mrs Crystal Gerarden (6 Nov 2017)
very informative
Ms Stephanie Voelker (6 Nov 2017)
very helpful information
Dr Nile McGhie (6 Nov 2016)
Fantastic goals/standards of care to strive for, can't wait to share with my team!
Mrs Cheryl Cragg (6 May 2017)
Thank you for having these courses available online.
Mrs Denise Dobrowolski (6 Jan 2017)
Very interesting and informative.
Mrs Jennifer Johnson BSc. RVT (6 Jan 2017)
Quite informative. For those of us that have a natural ability to read and handle cats it is helpful for us to realize and verbalize things that we instinctively knew. It is also a terrific way to introduce vets and technicians that are new to or uncomfortable with feline handling.
(6 Feb 2020)
Very repetitive information. Could have been done in half the time. Speaker stops and begins again many times.
Miss Julia Snyder RVT (6 Feb 2017)
I thought it was a very good CE. Covered some of the things I already knew and also gave me ideas to make the practice I work out more feline friendly.
kaeley scott (6 Apr 2017)
Dr Era Jo Moorer (5 Jun 2018)
Good information on causes of cat fear and how to minimize it.
Mrs Miranda Jensen RVT (5 Feb 2017)
This was my first Webinar, and I found it very helpful
Ms Kathleen Smith RvT (5 Dec 2016)
I am newly working with cats and learned quite a few new approaches to cat handling. thanks
Andrea Villarreal Alvarez (4 Sep 2018)
Slides presented do not directly answer questions. Youtube information videos are not in complete agreement with post exam.
Bill Hah (4 Dec 2016)
This topic is very important to a cat patient. It will reduce a lot of stress on the care takers in the cat hospital. It was truly good lectures to take. I learn a lot out of it. Thanks so much.
Dr Andrea Yakel (4 Apr 2018)
It was repetitive, but the information was very good.
Miss Sarah Ashauer (31 Oct 2017)
A lot of good techniques to help with fearful cats!
Dr Thomas Cogley DVM;Ph.D (31 May 2018)
The Dr gave many important methods to examine and work with the feline patient that are not in books!
(31 Mar 2019)
very helpful and good information
Miss Kaitlin Parson (31 Dec 2017)
That was great!!
Miss Balko Wendy E. (31 Dec 2017)
I enjoyed this webinar- it was very informative. I gained lots of knowledge I can take back to my practice to help my cat clients be less stressed and make it easier on both of us.
Brian Templeton (31 Dec 2017)
Interesting discussion/review of low stress cat handling.
(31 Aug 2019)
Information was useful however could have been delivered in far shorter time
Dr Erin Richards (30 Oct 2019)
I love that this topic is getting more coverage and increased understanding. I felt this webinar was a bit long and slow at times, but appreciate the videos and useful photos. There were some new tips and considerations, but a lot of the information I have learned previously. I appreciate the discussion on what to do with young, untrained cats to options for the older, already had poor experiences in the past patients.
Dr Francesca Griffin DVM (30 Nov 2016)
This course provided numerous tips / suggestions on how to minimize stress when examining cats. Thank you.
Alexandra Beall (30 Mar 2017)
This is a very good presentation on the least stressful ways to handle a cat that comes into the clinic. I think it could be beneficial to take it a step further and discuss the antagonistic cat that comes into the clinic where the nice approaches have been tried, but that cat is severely opposed to handling.
Haroutun Aruchyan (30 Dec 2017)
very helpful
Dr Michael Fixler (30 Dec 2016)
great course
Hayley Moore (30 Aug 2018)
Excellent information - thank you
Shauna Cyr (30 Aug 2018)
Helpful in presenting some new tips on handling fearful and aggressive cats
(3 Sep 2019)
This course did not need to be an hour and 30 minutes to discuss Feline Handling
Ms Kristiana DellaPosta CVT (3 Nov 2016)
if the links posted in slides could be active for automatic redirection to particular information
Dr Elizabeth Boynton DVM (3 Aug 2018)
Good information
Mrs Sarah Lodl CVT (3 Apr 2017)
Great information! I would have preferred a faster speed of delivery.
Mrs Samantha Maietta (29 Mar 2017)
Britta May (29 Mar 2017)
Caroline Niederman (29 Jul 2018)
Information was a bit repetitive lots of good pictures.
Adam Kee (29 Dec 2017)
audio quality is poor, slides don't display most of the things talked about
(29 Aug 2019)
to long it could be condensed
(29 Aug 2019)
Course has a lot of content just for 5 questions at the end. I think the content can be shortened to an hour or less, and possibly 10 questions instead of 5. Quality of sound recording can be better as well, was difficult to hear at times. In full screen mode some of the slides were cut off and I had to scroll every time it changed.
(28 Sep 2019)
Well presented course with excellent information that is useful.
(28 Nov 2018)
The links to videos that can be shared with others in the practice and resources for clients (esp. carrier training) were particularly helpful.
Dr Hannah Findlay DVM (28 Nov 2016)
Very helpful.
Dr Robert Pierce DVM (28 Jan 2018)
Good presentation
Ms Kristi Williams LVT (28 Feb 2017)
I learned a few better ways to handle a cat and look forward to using them.
Ms Emily Peden RVT (28 Feb 2017)
Great information on feline handling
(28 Aug 2019)
Very informative course. However, it would have been appreciated to allow one to read along during the course because the audio on the videos were too slow.
(28 Aug 2019)
There is a lot of information to absorb for 5 questions. It is good information though.
(27 Sep 2019)
too long of course for only 5 questions
William Belt (27 May 2018)
Some of the options on the exam required more clarity.
Stephanie Comstock (27 Mar 2018)
Although very informative , I feel this webinar was also very repetitive. Dr. Rodan covered the exact same techniques and theories in multiple places - often using the same verbiage and images.
Dr Stephen W. Long,DVM dvm (27 Jun 2018)
excellent information on cat psychology and subsequint safety
Julie Hunt (27 Jun 2018)
She has some practical tips!
Miss Tierra Tyson (27 Aug 2019)
Very Repetitive!
(26 Nov 2019)
Good, detailed information for making cat visits less stressful on the cat, the client, and the veterinary staff.
Jessica Cardoso (26 Jan 2018)
As a recent Veterinary Technician graduate this course has helped in further understanding why certain actions we do can make cats more fearful or aggressive. It has given me new knowledge on how to better perform venipuncture and restrain for other procedures on fearful cats.
Dr Suzanne Slagel (26 Jan 2017)
Very good & thorough review.
Mrs Tracy Morante (26 Jan 2017)
I absolutely loved this!
Amber Garner (26 Dec 2017)
Very educational course, practical, helpful videos
Stephanie Lidholm (26 Dec 2017)
This course was very helpful since we all deal with quite a few fearful cats. Definitely recommend it
Mr David Dailey (26 Dec 2016)
Thanks for the course, it was very informative.
(26 Aug 2019)
Course is long-winded for only 5 questions on the exam.
(26 Aug 2019)
I wish I didn't have to stay on the video the whole time. I am not sure if my computer had a glitch or it was the wifi or etc, but the video replayed the same slide three times and did not let me move forward. Also having an opportunity to skip forward and go back would be nice. Some people learn in different orders, so you could have like a chapter outline on the side and allow people to navigate their choice of videos or slides.
Ms Kristi Leslie (26 Aug 2018)
I thought the course was informative and helpful on how to properly restrain felines
Maria Bosch (25 Oct 2018)
Could have been more concise.
Mrs Hannah Zimmerman (25 Jan 2017)
Very good!!
ronald ha (25 Aug 2018)
a lot of unnecessary slides.
(24 Oct 2019)
This was a very helpful and informative course!
Kristy Johnson (24 Mar 2018)
Good info.
Dr David Loehndorf (24 Jan 2018)
This course is very thorough in addressing how to provide a friendly environment to reduce the fear experienced in cat patients.
Dr Mary Cho (24 Jan 2017)
This is a must lecture for a 100% dog person like me. Very detailed information but not boring at all!
Dr Kendi Horner DVM (24 Feb 2017)
Very helpful, I will be putting some of these tips to good use
Dr Mary Kloer DVM (24 Feb 2017)
Good review of feline friendly handling.
Miss Marissa Taylor CVA (24 Aug 2018)
Wonderful course! Very easy to follow; perfect ratio of photos to wording - making notes easier by not having to pause every slide. Maybe go a slight bit more in depth with specific handling methods (for example, acupressure point), add additional photos from various angles or proximities to the patient, or even diagrams. Other than that, "purr"fect course!!
(23 Mar 2019)
Some topics were too repetitive making the presentation longer than it needed to be.
Dr Stephani Hautau DVM (23 Dec 2017)
This course offered helpful tips on improving both feline handling and stress levels, as well as tips for clients to try at home to help promote a more contented cat.
Sarah Grote (22 Jan 2017)
Very useful information.
Dr Debra Burkholder-Closurdo DVM (22 Jan 2017)
A very thorough review of the subject.
Nicholas Linzner (22 Aug 2018)
This sounded like an unprepared phone consultation.
Stephanie Rigley (22 Aug 2018)
Information was great and very informative! The presentation could have been more concise and interactive.
Paloma Venegas (22 Aug 2018)
The course was not very stimulating. I think a better module would be the use of videos, not a slide show with voice-over.
Rachel Rex (22 Aug 2018)
Very informative and detailed.
Dr Peggy Miyasaki DVM (21 Mar 2017)
all practitioners need to see this
Ms Jodi Kublin CVT (21 Dec 2017)
good information
(20 Nov 2018)
This course gave me great information. I learned many skills and techniques that I can use on my own cat and future services.
Mrs Carly Kavanagh RVN (20 Jan 2017)
Very Useful E-learning, cat handling/stress/fear often gets overlooked in busy veterinary practices, Great perspective and bigger picture of combining factors causing stress and fear. Recommneded
Ms Leila Mussa RVT (20 Jan 2017)
Great info, a little repetitive on some things
(20 Aug 2019)
Very long winded.
gretchen legaspi (20 Aug 2018)
This course is very informative and can definitely assist people who are fearful of handling cats. It gives one a good breakdown of how to approach fearful cats and how to make sure you and the cat are both safe.
Dr Ileana Rivera-Mujica (2 Nov 2016)
excellent guide for handling cats
Mrs Heather Downes (2 Feb 2017)
A very thorough summary of cat behaviour, and I feel better-equiped to handle cats successfully in the clinic
Ms Kristina Carrick (2 Dec 2016)
I learned some things about handling cats and I will try them at work.
Anne Morse (2 Apr 2018)
The video was informative, the speaker seemed to have some scattered thoughts. It was definitely not scripted or rehearsed. I haven't gotten there yet but people that have completed this before me have been unable to print their awarded certificate due to some glitch in the systems asking for a license number for the speaker.
Dr Melissa Theyyunni DVM (19 Nov 2019)
Good overview of best cat handling practices
Angie Trapp (19 May 2017)
Great information I learned a lot about fearful cats.
Dr Robert Wiegert (19 Jan 2017)
Valuable content, helpful tips for daily use.
Dr Sid Gustafson DVM (19 Feb 2017)
Thank you! Horses and cats share many behavioral traits and handling strategies!
Joseph Looney (19 Aug 2018)
This was an informative course made by a passionate individual with good intent. The next version should feature enhanced audio.
Helena Howell (18 May 2018)
This course covers why cats are fearful, when fear starts and how best the vet team can handle and prevent fearful interactions in the exam room.
Mrs Lisa Cisler (17 Nov 2016)
Very good information.
Mr Geoffrey DeShazer (17 Nov 2016)
This was very informative and helpful to how both Vets, techs and owners can contribute to cat friendly visits to the hospital.
(16 Sep 2019)
Very lengthy.
(16 Sep 2019)
Appreciated how informative this session was!
Mrs Alana Campbell RVT (16 May 2017)
Awesome! Cannot wait to apply what I learned to feline patients.
Tori Nakashima (16 Aug 2018)
It was a good lecture but I feel like a lot of the information was repeated multiple times and some of the videos would cut off at the end in the middle of the speaker's talking.
Atalla Ishak (16 Apr 2018)
it gives good hints and ideas about handling cats
(15 Sep 2019)
This course was very useful, specially for those of us that have more practice in large animals than in feline.
sarah macgregor (15 Jan 2018)
very practical and useful information
Dr Susan Eigner DVM (15 Jan 2018)
Good information, well-presented, and excellent photos!
Ms Julie Bell (15 Feb 2018)
I think this was very informative and helpful, not only for those that work with cats, but also for clients to better understand why their cat(s) might be acting the way they are while at the vet hospital.
Miss Arica Cayton CVT (15 Feb 2017)
Course was great. Thank you.
Ms Beverley Loo (15 Aug 2019)
The presenter paused and re-started several times; I felt like this video could have been edited to be shorter to be more professional with less verbal mistakes. All in all very helpful.
Matthew Drozd (15 Aug 2018)
So long
Sheila Adenwalla (15 Apr 2018)
Good...somewhat repetitive
(14 Sep 2019)
Helpful! Thank you for the training.
(14 Sep 2019)
(14 Sep 2019)
The audio progresses very slowly. There should be an option to be able to read the slides on your own if that is what you prefer to do.
Miss Becky Bahr (14 Nov 2019)
Not a fan of the voice and having to wait unto the audio finishes to continue
Ms candice gallart lvt (14 May 2017)
Very detailed and helpful for practice
Haleigh Russell (14 Jun 2018)
Interesting course, very educational.
Dr Dorian Sylvestre DVM, BSC (14 Jan 2017)
excellent course
Michael Herrington (14 Feb 2018)
Helpful info, good refresher as well as some things I have not heard befiore.
Dr Karen Mikols DVM (14 Feb 2017)
very good, helpful
Ms Amanda Spires CVT (13 Nov 2017)
I really enjoyed the session; lots of great ways to improve. Unfortunately, I am unable to finish the Evaluation Stmt and therefore unable to view my certificate because I am unable to edit the mandatory field "License Number."
Ms Brianna* Greco (13 Mar 2019)
It was a very long seminar to retain information for 5 questions that wanted very exact answers.
Melissa Michaud (13 Jan 2018)
Lots of information
Dr Robert Stein DVM (12 Nov 2016)
Really important aspect of practice!
(12 Jan 2019)
The information is good but the presentation could be streamlined.
Bruce Ferguson (11 May 2018)
Very slow video. Not very well-done.
Amanda Shaw (11 Jun 2018)
very informative
Elise Ruffoni (1 Sep 2018)
Could be much shorter, youtube video summed up the entire course in 3 minutes.
(1 Jun 2019)
Benjamin Dick (1 Jun 2018)
Presented well.
Ms Kathrynn Taylor CVA (1 Jul 2018)
Very repetitive, but good information.
(1 Dec 2019)
Great info! Although I struggled with the audio a few times


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