As a cat owner myself, I know how stressful it can be to bring a cat into the veterinary office. They are telepathic it seems, and know when you are planning to bring them in; they hide and resist being put in the carrier. They often will howl, or cower in fear on the car ride over. Often in the exam room, their inner demon emerges, or their normal feisty demeanour seems to be put out, and you see a side to them you didn’t know existed. It can be an uncomfortable experience for yourself and your cat. The veterinary community has recognized this as a large barrier to feline care and has come up with a lot of strategies to implement within clinics to help alleviate some of the stressors cats experience coming in for their veterinary visits.
North Hill Animal Hospital is a registered Silver Cat-Friendly Practice, which means that we have gone above and beyond to certify our clinic to be feline friendly to make your cat’s trip here as stress-free as possible. Some of the strategies we implement here are:
- Separate front entrance for cats.
- We try to get your cat into an examination room as soon as possible upon arrival so that they are in a quiet space in which they can explore. It is important for the cat to feel as though they “own” the room.
- Separate exam room used solely for cat use.
- Minimal restraint techniques when handling cats.
- A separate room used only for cats when hospitalized.
- The use of the pheromone Feliway in the exam room, which helps calm the cats.
- Cat tree within the exam room for them to either hide behind or jump up high to be able to survey the room.
If you have any suggestions or questions regarding Cat-Friendly Practices, please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by Dr. Megan Haines, DVM