We are members of the International Society of Feline Medicine and many of our practices have been awarded the internationally recognised Cat Friendly Clinic status. We take great care to ensure that our feline friends feel as comfortable as possible in our practices. Please ask us for help if your cat is particularly nervous about visiting the vet.
Why choose a Cat Friendly Clinic?
As most owners know, cats can be delicate, shy and often prefer quiet and solitude. As territorial creatures, they can also feel unsafe and suffer stress, anxiety or fear when in unfamiliar surroundings. This means they can become highly sensitive to new sights, sounds and especially smells.
Bringing or travelling with your cat to the vets whether, for a check-up, test or procedure may therefore seem like a daunting task, especially if you know your furry friend isn’t too keen on leaving the comfort of their own home!
However, when you visit your local Cat Friendly Goddard Vet practice (listed below), you can rest assured that your cat will receive particularly special care from our trained team who understand how to handle and treat your cat in a calm, respectful and caring way to make their visit as comfortable and stress-free as possible.
All our Cat Friendly clinics will also have either a dedicated cat waiting area or appropriate barriers between cats and dogs in mixed waiting areas. Additionally, in every clinic, we have had at least one ‘Cat Advocate’ who ensures cat-friendly standards are maintained and who is here to offer you reassurance and useful tips for a stress-free visit.
What makes a vet practice a Cat Friendly Clinic?
An internationally recognised Cat Friendly Clinic is one that has proven to understand and consider the very specific needs of cats and has made visits to the vet practice more cat friendly. Cat Friendly Clinic accreditation is awarded by the International Society of Feline Medicine (ISFM).
Being a Cat Friendly Clinic gives you peace of mind and reassurance, showing that:
- We’ve achieved certain minimum accreditation standards as laid out by the ISFM.
- We’ve thought about the specific needs of cats and minimised the impacts of unfamiliar sights, sounds and smells in our practice.
- We’re trained in the gentle and sensitive handling of cats to show respect and care and to minimise stress.
- We’re always available to talk with you about any concerns and answer any questions you may have, offer cat care advice for your visit as well as tailor-made recommendations on, for example, giving your cat any medications at home.
Bringing your cat to the vets – helpful tips for a happier cat
It’s best to prepare for your trip to the vets a few days before your appointment and making the carrier feel like a home away from home for your cat will help reduce the stress of travelling outside their comfort zone.
- Choose a robust carrier that allows your cat to sit comfortably inside with plenty of room. We recommend carriers where the top half can be removed which allows your cat to be examined in the base of the carrier if they are particularly shy or anxious.
- Make your cat carrier a home away from home by keeping it out as part of its normal environment and encourage your cat to sleep or rest in it.
- Put their favourite blanket or bedding inside the carrier to make it more comfortable as they will recognise their scent. Put the carrier out a few days before your visit for your cat to sniff and get used to it.
- We recommend using Feliway spray (a pheromone that increases a cat’s sense of security) on and inside the carrier, as well as in your car, at least 30 minutes before your journey.
- Place an absorbent lining in the carrier, under the blanket, (in case of any toileting accidents on the day).
- If your cat becomes stressed at the sight of the pet carrier, try gently wrapping them in a blanket or towel and gently place them inside.
- Try covering your carrier with a spare blanket or sheet so your cat can avoid eye contact with other animals that may cause additional stress.
- Once at our practice, ask us to show you the most appropriate waiting area for cats – this might be a separate waiting room or designated area with shelves for cat carriers where your cat can feel more secure.
- We will gladly take the time to allow your cat to become more comfortable with the practice surroundings during your appointment. We are also trained to be gentle and reassuring in our approach should we need to handle your cat.
- Try to remain calm and speak in a quiet and gentle tone of voice throughout the appointment, in order to keep your cat as relaxed as possible.
If your cat is particularly nervous about visiting the vets, please do contact us for more advice and we’d be delighted to offer some tailored advice for you and your feline friend!