Veterinary clinic, Station Vets, are the first practice in East Ayrshire to achieve accreditation as a Silver Cat Friendly Clinic, an internationally recognised status that has been developed by the International Society of Feline Medicine.
The clinic had to prove adherence to a stringent set of criteria aimed at reducing stress in cats visiting the clinic, as in-patients and out-patients. As part of ensuring the best, stress-free care for cats in the area, Cat Advocate at the clinic, Liz Cornall recently completed the ISFM Feline Nursing specialist diploma, qualifying with a distinction grade.
She said: “I was very proud to complete the diploma with a distinction and receive the silver Cat Friendly Clinic accreditation.
“We wanted to make sure that a trip to our clinic was as stress-free an experience as possible for our cat patients and their owners. Cats can get very anxious when taken out of their usual environment, and this can make owners reluctant to seek veterinary attention when their cat needs it. By undertaking Cat Friendly Clinic accreditation, we’ve committed to delivering high standards of cat care, with compassion and expertise.”
Clinical Director at Station Vets, Susan Hepburn said: “We are very proud of Liz’s achievement in obtaining this grade, she is dedicated to providing a high standard of care to all of our patients and we are very lucky to have her as part of our team.”
The International Society of Feline Medicine launched the Cat Friendly Clinic initiative to encourage veterinary clinics everywhere to make changes to improve the welfare of cats in their care. The programme advises clinics on how to make their environment as welcoming to cats as possible, as well as providing support in staff training, handling techniques and cat-specific client care.
Accreditation has been made available in partnership with Ceva, Royal Canin, Boehringer Ingelheim, Idexx, Elanco and Zoetis. It aims to promote well-being and high standards of care for all cats visiting or being hospitalised in a veterinary clinic. Under the programme, a clinic has to prove rigorous adherence to a set of criteria which includes provision of facilities and demonstration of staff activities and attitudes aimed at reducing stress in cats, both as in-patients and out-patients. The criteria includes having separate dog and cat waiting areas, feline-friendly hospitalisation cages, and veterinary equipment specifically for treating cats. Most importantly, staff are encouraged to approach and handle cats sensitively and respectfully. Clinics are expected to maintain high standards of veterinary care, including continuing to update their knowledge of feline medicine as new knowledge becomes available.