A south-east-based veterinary group has announced its commitment to a cat friendly overhaul of all its practices.

An East of England veterinary group has announced its commitment to a cat friendly overhaul.

Village Vet practices are now going cat friendlyVillage Vet has announced its portfolio of practices will all be working towards the International Society of Feline Medicine’s Cat Friendly Clinic accreditation – including physical changes to make the surgeries calmer for cats, as well as specialist training for staff.  

Group founder Brendan Robinson said: “We understand how stressful trips to the vets can be for both our feline friends and their owners. Cats account for 45% of our client base, so it is our goal to make visits to our practices as relaxed and stress-free as possible.

“The Hampstead practice, for example, is introducing a specialist cat ward situated well away from the sight and smell of dogs, with large, glass-fronted kennels that cut down noise and keep the cats hidden from each other.

“Another important change is the introduction of dedicated ‘feline advocates’ across each practice whose role is to ‘think cat’ and maintain the gold standard cat care. Front of house staff are also being trained to help owners make their cat as comfortable as possible in the waiting room, by directing them to the cat only waiting areas and offering towels to cover the baskets so cats feel safe and secure.”

The group is undergoing the transformation as part of ISFM’s WellCat For Life programme, sponsored by Purina – and to help the transformation, Village Vet practices have been receiving visits from international feline expert Andrea Harvey, who has helped train up feline advocates and run workshops with VNs and reception staff.

Rea Johnston is the feline advocate at the Maida Vale Village Vet surgery. 

She said: “Here at Village Vet we have always understood the importance of catering to cats’ specific needs. But Andrea really helped inspire the team to think of practical changes that could make a real difference to our clients and their pets. Our support staff now have much greater confidence and it’s making a big difference to our clients.”

For more information about the Cat Friendly Clinic scheme visit www.wellcat.org

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