By Elena Bullock
(Elena Bullock is a registered veterinary nurse with over five years’ experience in the industry. She is a freelance copywriter who helps businesses to sell themselves and their products online)
The 8th of August marks International Cat Day! Naturally, we at The Wheelhouse Veterinary Centre couldn't pass up the golden opportunity to appreciate our furry friends. So read on to learn what makes The Wheelhouse Veterinary Centre an accredited Cat-Friendly Clinic.
In the UK, there are 12.2 million pet cats; and every year, this number grows, so it is more important now than ever to ensure that we respect their particular needs and sensitivities in our vet practices.
The charity International Cat Care are the co-ordinators of International Cat Day and the creators of the Cat-Friendly Clinic programme. This campaign aims to provide resources to veterinary clinics to serve their feline patients' needs better.
The Wheelhouse Veterinary Centre sets times during the week when no dogs are permitted in practice for routine visits. Doing this enables us to provide a more relaxing environment to cats, most of whom don't enjoy the sound of barking dogs; after all, their hearing is way better than ours! We also have a dedicated cattery in our hospital area and provide cat castles, beds and boxes, so our patients can be comfortable and hide when necessary. In addition, we use pheromone diffusers and sprays throughout our practice to encourage calm in all of our patients.
We are a proud anti-scruffing practice. We do whatever possible to prevent scruffing our feline patients. The reason for this is animal behaviourists suggest that scruffing causes an increase in stress and aggression since the cat feels vulnerable; it may also be quite painful for them to be held in such a way. So instead, we use anti-bite gauntlets, towels, and special cages to allow us to handle our more fractious patients while keeping their stress to a minimum and ourselves safe from injury.
You might wonder what you can do to make your cat more comfortable when visiting us in practice. If possible, keep your cat's carrier off the waiting room floor; cats prefer being high up. Additionally, you can place a towel sprayed with pheromones over the carrier's top to provide comfort and prevent eye contact with other pets; cats are very territorial and might feel threatened by being looked at by another animal. Finally, if your cat has had an accident in their carrier, let a staff member know immediately; we will gladly clean up the mess. Of course, we can't let your cat sit in it; we all know how clean they like to be!
Cats should see a vet a minimum of once per year for their annual vaccinations and health check, but we also offer free weight clinics and preventative medicine advice with our nurses. Call us on 01494 782001 and book to see us during our cat-only clinic hours!
By Elena Bullock