We have recently been awarded the internationally recognised International Society of Feline Medicine (ISFM) Silver Level Cat Friendly Clinic (CFC) status. ISFM established the CFC programme with the aim of promoting well-being and high standards of care for cats when they visit the veterinary practice.
As cat lovers ourselves, and for many of our staff cat owners themselves, we felt very passionate about improving the welfare of cats in our care and trying to make our practice environment as welcoming as possible within the confines of our beautiful old building. We understand that it can be quite stressful bringing your cat to see us, and stress has a major impact on cat welfare. We therefore became a member practice of the ISFM and nominated ourselves for accreditation.
This means we have undergone (another!) inspection, and have proven adherence to a rigorous criteria, which includes the provision of facilities and the demonstration of staff activity and attitude all aimed at reducing stress in cats when they visit the practice.
For the silver accreditation, this includes:
-having a separate cat waiting area
-feline friendly hospital kennels
-specific veterinary equipment for treating cats only.
Importantly, the scheme ensures that we maintain staff training not only on up-to-date feline medicine as new knowledge emerges but also on their sensitive and respectful approach to handling of cats. We are now committed to maintaining these high standards and will undergo periodic inspection.
What have we done in practice?
When you visit the practice you will now be invited to sit in the cat-only waiting area, where we have feliway spray covered blankets and a carry box shelf for carriers. This partitioned area and the blanket gives your cat a little bit of privacy whilst they wait. The carry box shelf allows the cat to be in their preferred location, up away from floor level.
Our recent building work has included the development of our cat-only kennel room. This is positioned away from the sights, smells and sounds of our dog kennel ward. The kennels are not at floor level, the room is feliway infused and we have lots of cat castles for them to hide under or on. Should your cat need to stay with us for a procedure or to be hospitalised, this is where they will stay.
We offer cat-only vet and nurse clinic consulting times on Mondays and Tuesdays mornings. As much as possible, within our control, we ensure that only cats are waiting and being seen in the consulting spaces during this time. The consult room has been thoroughly cleaned down to remove the trace of other animals. We have already noticed how much more at ease our feline patients are during these clinics. If you wish to book during these times, please discuss with reception. These clinics are generally run by our ISFM Cat Advocates Vet Victoria Organ and Nurse Jasmine Hill.
We are extremely proud of the whole team at Shipston Vets who have worked very hard to achieve this accreditation. Their ongoing dedication to provide the best possible care to their patients is truly wonderful.