A Somerset vet practice has been honoured for its care of cats by the prestigious International Society of Feline Medicine (ISFM).
Cave Veterinary Specialists, in West Buckland, near Wellington has been recognised as a silver level cat-friendly clinic (CFC) by the ISFM.
Kim Kendall, senior wards veterinary nurse at Linnaeus-owned Cave, coordinated the accreditation process for the hospital. She said the award was recognition of its determination to promote wellbeing and the highest standards of care for all cats.
Kim said: “We’re incredibly proud to have achieved this prestigious silver cat-friendly clinic recognition. It has been a real team effort and is a fitting reward for everyone’s hard work and dedication.
“As a cat-friendly clinic, we are trained to handle cats in a manner that minimises stress, fear and anxiety, as well as advising clients on the best way to safely and comfortably transport their cats to us.
“We have ensured we provide a low-stress environment which respects the natural needs of our feline patients. It’s a continuous priority across the practice and we always look to keep improving further.”
The ISFM launched the cat-friendly clinic initiative to encourage veterinary clinics to make changes to improve the welfare of cats in their care.
The programme advises practices on how to make their environment as welcoming as possible for cats, as well as providing support in staff training, handling techniques and cat-specific client care.
Kim added: “The ISFM examines the provision of facilities and staff activities and attitudes aimed at reducing stress in cats, both as in-patients and out-patients.
“Its criteria include having separate dog and cat waiting areas, feline-friendly hospitalisation cages and veterinary equipment specifically for treating cats.
“We had to demonstrate the team at Cave understand the needs of cats and always strive to make visits to us cat-friendly.
“We also showed we always handle cats gently and in line with the ISFM feline-friendly handling and nursing care guidelines, along with making a pledge to be ‘scruff free’.
“Clinics are also expected to maintain high standards of veterinary care, including continuing to update their knowledge of feline medicine as new knowledge becomes available.”
Cave offers comprehensive, specialist-led services in anaesthesia, cardiology, dermatology, internal medicine, neurology and neurosurgery, oncology, orthopaedic surgery and soft tissue surgery.