For cats and kittens, visiting the vets can be a very stressful experience. There’s the cat carrier, the journey in the car or on the bus and then, sitting in the reception area with other animals like dogs, waiting to see the vet. All of this on top of possibly feeling very unwell.
To help cats, and their owners, feel more comfortable with a visit to the vets, a local veterinary surgery has opened a purpose-built cat-only clinic in Winterley.
The new clinic is ISFM (international Society of Feline Medicine) accredited and has been awarded their Silver Standard and the team running the clinic use cat-friendly handling techniques, approved by the ISFM, to help make a visit to the vets a positive one.
The team are headed up by RCVS Advanced Feline Medicine Practitioner, Laura Atkinson, BVSc CertAVP (SAM-F). She is supported by Cat Advocate nurses, Cathy Ball and Ros Newton.
Laura says, “We are very excited to have the new cat clinic open, it is a facility that we have long wanted for our practice. It will offer our feline patients and their owners a calm and peaceful experience with us whether they are day patients or staying in for longer.”
Cats are naturally curious creatures so, to help promote calmness, all of the consult rooms have windows, allowing the cat to be distracted by what is going on outside.
The waiting area, consultation rooms and ward are all specially designed with a nervous cat in mind and the atmosphere is calm and quiet. Being completely dog-free helps promote relaxation and pheromone diffusers constantly release feline-friendly pheromones to continue to reduce stress.
The services on offer are for all breeds of cat, from routine care to nutritional advice, nurse clinics, ultrasound and everything in between. When current restrictions allow, the team will be offering cat owner evenings and nutrition clinics.
Helping cats feel more comfortable during a visit is clearly very important to Laura. She says, “I am passionate about offering the best care possible for cats who typically feel very nervous visiting the vet clinic. Gaining the certificate in Advanced Veterinary practice in Feline Medicine in 2018 and becoming an RCVS Advanced Practitioner in Feline Medicine in 2019 was the earlier part of the journey in developing our state-of-the-art feline care and the new cat clinic allows us to move this forward even further.
She goes on to say, “As an ISFM cat friendly clinic, all of our staff have received special training in the handling and management of cats so all of us are delighted with our new facility. Many of us are cat owners ourselves and wish to provide the level of care that we would want for our own much loved feline friends.”
The team at Cheshire Pet are also striving toward a greener clinic, setting up a working group to see what they can do to reduce their impact on the planet. They recycle their PPE, have swapped paper towels for hand driers in the toilets, and make their own distilled water rather than buying it in plastic bottles. In theatre, they use washable theatre hats rather than disposable ones and dispense medication in cardboard boxes wherever possible.
If you would like your cat to have a less stressful experience, Cheshire Pet would love to see you. You can call them on 01270765555.