AHNA is 1 of 3 Hospitals in North Carolina Certified as a Gold Standard Cat Friendly Practice

We are thrilled to announce that we are certified as a Gold Standard Cat Friendly Practice by the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP). The Cat Friendly Practice program is designed to recognize hospitals that provide the highest level of care to your cat and recognize those that also abide by practices that make your cat feel relaxed. Only a small number of hospitals achieve the Gold Standard level of certification. At this time, we are one of three hospitals in North Carolina to achieve this recognition.

What makes Animal Hospital of North Asheville a Cat Friendly Practice?

Our facility: 

  • Our facility allows your cat to avoid being in the same room with a dog and to avoid even being where a dog has been. Unless your cat is under anesthesia or undergoing diagnostic imaging or chemotherapy, we have separate facilities that are just for cats.
  • All our cat areas are designed and located to stay quiet and calm.
  • Our separate feline entrance and waiting area allows your  cat to have a quieter and more relaxing beginning to exams.
  • Our three Feline Only Exam rooms have Feliway pheromone diffusers (all feline areas of the hospital have Feliway diffusers), which immediately help to calm cats and reduce stress. Cats can sense when dogs have occupied a space, so we keep dogs out of our Feline Only Exam rooms. Our cat exam room area is designated as a “quiet zone” in the hospital, since cats do not like loud noises. Your cat’s preferences will be allowed during exams. For example, some cats like to stay partially hidden under a towel during exams and some cats like to be in the lap of a family member. Cats are always treated gently and quietly.
  • Cat treatments and procedures are performed in the exam room with your calming presence or in our designated Quiet Cat Treatment area, which is designed to keep cats from ever encountering a dog during their visit. This room is also designed for cats as they do not like to be held tightly, and in this room, there is no harm that can come to them if they need a few minutes to get off the table and relax. Family members are always welcome and encouraged to accompany their cats during procedures.   Families are always welcome to stay with or visit hospitalized patients.
  • Our feline ICU is a quiet spot for our sick and shy cat patients. Our cat condos in ICU and the ward have thermostatically warmed floors and provide separate spaces for a bed, food, and litter pan.  We provide hiding places for our patients who want a little more privacy. Cat patients are provided lots of soft bedding. Our main feline ward is bright and sunny, and includes a sun room with a cat tree for kitties who need to stretch their legs a bit.  A TV with cat-centric videos provides visual stimulus.
  • Digital x-rays, ultrasound, digital dental x-rays, cat-specific pain management protocols, and careful anesthetic monitoring and body temperature maintenance all aid us in providing for the special medical needs of cats.

Our people:

  • All of our staff members have received training in the gentle handling of cats and will continue to be kept abreast of all new information on how to best keep cats calm and happy.  
  • Our doctors attend extensive cat-oriented continuing education at national meetings and the AAFP’s annual conferences.
  • Our hospital requires more continuing education hours for our veterinarians than the state requires as keeping abreast of new treatments and procedures is critically important in providing the best care.
  • Our dental doctors have years of experience and training in managing the special dental needs of cats such as feline resorptive lesions and feline stomatitis. 
  • Dr. Caroline Kiss is Board Certified in both Feline and Canine Medicine.
  • As part of the Cat Friendly Practice program, several of our staff members are designated Feline Advocates within the hospital. They are in charge of ensuring that the hospital is continually striving to improve the experiences cats have at Animal Hospital of North Asheville.

Most importantly, we love cats! We understand that cats have unique needs and personalities, and that it can be stressful for them to be away from their normal home environment. By following and exceeding the standards set forth in the Cat Friendly Practice program, we are constantly working to reduce that stress. Many people assume that cats don’t need veterinary care because they don’t show signs of illness as clearly or they don’t go outdoors. But preventive health care is very important for your cat companion, in part because their signs of early illness are so subtle. Annual examinations and blood tests can detect, among other things, early liver or kidney decline and add years of quality life. By providing gentle and empathetic office visits, our ultimate goal is to provide excellent preventive and illness care to your cat companion so that he or she can live a longer, happier life!

For more information about the Cat Friendly Practice program, please visit the AAFP’s website at: http://catfriendlypractice.catvets.com/uploads/Pages%20from%20CFPCatOwne...


Hello- I currently live in Ocala ( I once used your clinic for a Great Pyrennes I found on the parkway) and have 10 cats, mostly elderly and special needs. I am looking to relocate to the Asheville area at some point in the future. Having a skilled cat veterinary practice is crucial to my decision about where to live in the future. This designation confirms my decision to make Asheville my future home.

Gina Evers


Thank you for your comment! Please don't hesitate to call us if you have any questions, and when you are next in Asheville, come by the hospital for a tour.

Thank you!

I used to live in Western NC but have moved out of state to Myrtle Beach, SC. Your practice was my vet for many years and I was and still am a huge cat lover. Your facilities were wonderful 20 years ago. I miss you and the wonderful care you took of my babies. I really wish you had a place down here. This area is in dire need of a progressive vet hospital like yours. I really miss Dr. Amy Plankenhorn and the rest of your staff. Congratulations on a job well done. Love all of you.
Cherie Shaw

What a great honor and it's true--you all have always worked very hard to achieve high standards for cat (and dog!) care. This is the proof of it. Congratulations.

My experience with AHNA with my former cat family of 4 was always superior.

I'm happy to report that my 2 new cats who you've not yet met because they haven't come to town yet, but who are in your records, will be there in June. And I'm going to have you do their annual visit because our vet where I live half the year in central NC just doesn't have the quiet space you obviously now have.

As rescues who were in 4 living situations (including a shelter for their first 3 months) before they were 2 years old and before they came to me, they have not had good car or check-up experiences when I've tried in the past. They are fine at home but seem highly alarmed in a cage, on the road or in an exam room.

Here's hoping we can get Oliver and Gemma to be cool and calm.

Can't wait to see you all. It's been a while.