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A beautiful, yellow-eyed cat receiving treatment. Doug Hall feeding a well-loved client.

A Feline Friendly trip to the Vets

1st February 2015

It's an all to familiar story - no food, a closed cat flap, the appearance of the basket, a chase around the house; relief for you but worse than that is the pee, poo and vomit in the car. Then it's the challenge of reception with all manner of smells, sounds and unacceptable canines. All this, to come in to have your temperature taken. No surprise there's feline stress!!!!! SO WHAT CAN WE ALL DO... Be aware that your anxiety can be picked up by your cat - action intended to comfort your cat may actually increase their anxiety. Clutching your cat, invading private space, even noises intended to calm such as 'shhh' can actually be interpreted as another cat hissing so should be avoided. Where possible avoid food for a few hours before your appointment, this will lower the chance of sickness in the carrier. Start by closing the doors at home so that the available amount of house to be chased around is minimised. Where possible keep your cat's basket in the house at all times - not only does this provide a safe warm and comfortable environment that your pet can retreat to at quiet times but more importantly it is not an object to be feared when it suddenly appears. Spraying the inside of the carrier with Feliway which is proven to reduce stress will also help. We have designated a quiet screened off section of reception to enable you to sit quietly with your cat, this includes a table and shelves to enable you to keep your cat off the floor. If you have placed something smelling of home in the basket this can also sometimes help. If reception is noisy or your cat seems distressed please speak to us and we will endeavour to find a quieter corner for you and your cat to wait in. In the event your cat needs to stay with us for a while we now have a hospital ward exclusively for cats. This includes the use of Feliway within the hospital environment. Things from home always help with hospitalisation and we are happy and will encourage you to bring in beds, toys and grooming tools that your cat is familiar with, sometimes their own feeding bowls can help as well. In contrast to dogs, hospital visits are vitally important for cats and we will encourage this where possible. Sometimes we ask you to administer treatment at home which can be made to look easy in the veterinary clinic. Please tell us if you are having difficulty with the medication we have prescribed, there may be an alternative, or you may be able to come in so one of the nurses can either help you or teach you an alternative techniques. This year we hope to achieve the award for being 'Feline Friendly' which is given by the Feline Advisory Bureau. This is awarded to clinics that are recognised for making significant changes to the clinic and protocols in the pursuit of feline well being. We hope all of you and especially your feline companions will benefit from this.

*UPDATE* we were successfull in our application and have been awarded 'Feline Friendly Clinic'. We are one of 3 in Surrey and are very proud of this, please ask any of us if you would like more information.