We understand that there are unique difficulties in bringing a cat to a veterinary clinic:
Cats often do not travel well and feel unsafe away from their home
They are highly sensitive to new sights, sounds and smells
Most cats prefer quiet and solitude and are highly susceptible to stress
Most cats are highly stressed by nearby dogs in the clinic
Cats need to be handled gently and with respect in the clinic
What is a Cat Friendly Clinic? By adhering to strict policies devised by international veterinary and welfare specialists we have a higher standard of cat care in that the staff:
Understand the needs of cats and have made visits to the vet clinic more cat friendly
Understand how to approach and handle cats gently and with care
Have good knowledge and equipment to manage the care of cats
Achieving Cat Friendly Clinic accreditation involves all staff, from receptionists, nurses and technicians, through to vets. Each accredited clinic also has at least one ‘Cat Advocate’ – someone who ensures the cat friendly standards are adhered to, and who would be happy to talk to you.
What does it mean for my cat and me? A Cat Friendly Clinic gives you peace of mind and reassurance,letting you know that:
The clinic has achieved certain minimum accreditation standards
The clinic and clinic staff have thought about the specific needs of cats
The staff will be happy to talk with you, show you what they do, and show you around the clinic
The staff will explain your cat’s treatment and recovery clearly and sensitively so that you have a full understand of what is going on
Our team members have made a promise to handle and treat cats with understanding, gentleness and respect, and to make every effort to make the visit to the clinic as stress-free for you and your cat as possible. Our Staff are required to maintain and update their knowledge on clinical matters and continuing professional development (CPD) is a Cat Friendly Clinic criteria.
What standards can you expect from a Cat Friendly Clinic? This is a summary of some of the criteria needed for a clinic to achieve Cat Friendly Clinic accreditation. The standard is awarded at three levels – Bronze, Silver and Gold. All clinics must meet the minimum criteria (Bronze level) but additional criteria are needed to achieve Silver or Gold level accreditation.
Staff training, continuing development and clinical governance To keep up to date with clinical developments:
Veterinarians and veterinary technicians or nurses in the clinic must undertake at least 35 hours per year (veterinarians) or 15 hours per year (nurses or technicians) of formal study
The clinic must have suitable and up to date books and journals freely accessible to all staff
The clinical outcome of cases must be monitored and reviewed. Changes in clinic case management protocols must be made where appropriate.
Handling of cats and cat clients within the clinic ****PICTURE OF US WITH A CAT***** Test caption The clinic must ensure cats are handled with appropriate gentleness and respect at all times, ensuring cat friendly principles are always adhered to during the care and restraint of cats. These include:
Minimising stress during handling, examinations and procedures
Recognising and minimising fear and anxiety in cats
Providing owners with information on how to reduce stress during the journey to and from the vet clinic
Avoiding heavy manual restraint and ‘scruffing’ of cats
Minimising the negative impacts of odours, bright lights and noise for cats in the clinic
Communicating with owners Our clinic has appointed Dr Kerry Molloy as a ‘Cat Advocate’, to ensure the Cat Friendly Clinic criteria are adhered to, and to answer any questions cat owners may have. Relevant cat information (leaflets providing advice on transporting cats, choosing cat carriers, giving cats medication etc.) are readily available for owners. Please help yourself to the leaflets in the cat waiting area. Options for investigations and treatments (and costs) are discussed with owners and written estimates and itemised invoices are provided if requested. Please see below for some useful links about transporting your cat to and from the practice to reduce their ( and your) stress levels. *****get link****
Waiting room or reception area ***PICTURE OF OUR WAITING AREA**** Our waiting room has a separate cat- only area with appropriate barriers to prevent visual contact between cats and dogs Because cats feel safer high up, shelves and chairs are available so cats (in their carriers or baskets) can be placed safely above floor level. Because sight of another cat can be stressful and because close proximity to another cat can be a risk for spread of infectious diseases, vertical barriers can be incorporated between cats in their carriers. We also use clean towels which can be sprayed with a pheromone spray to reduce anxiety and stress in our patients
***PICTURES OF OUR CAT CONSULT ROOM*** At the clinic, we undertake consultations a minimum of 10 minutes. Where cases are more complex, or our patients need more time to adjust and relax in their environment and to allow cat friendly handling) we often take longer. Our consult room Is dedicated to cats only and is cat safe, allowing cats to explore their environment freely. This allows us to examine our patients in a more relaxed and natural way, and allows us to observe their movement and behaviours in a better way to assess and diagnose any issues. We also have ‘Cat Only’ clinics during the week. We have found that this further reduces stress for our patients and clients and during these times, the consultations will be at least 15 minutes long.
Hospitalisation of cats At Love Street Vets, we know that hospitalising cats can cause immense stress and anxiety. This can actually have an impact on our patient’s recovery from illness or surgery. At the practice, we have a dedicated cat ward and cat only area within the clinic. This means that cats are not in contact with dogs or other animals. The kennels used are large enough to incorporate hiding spaces and areas to allow cats to exhibit normal behaviours. The cats are not in visual contact with each other. We use comfortable and soft bedding, along with our ‘cat caves’ to ensure our patients are warm and cosy.
To find out more about the accreditation process and the ISFM, you can find more information here. It is our goal to improve the health and welfare of our feline patients and we are delighted to be part of this respected and well informed organisation.
To book an appointment please get in touch with the team: 0141 889 3010 | firstname.lastname@example.org 21 Caledonia Street | Paisley | PA3 2JG