Prize-winning vets feline good

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A St Helens vets has won a prestigious industry award.

White Cross Vets in St Helens has been awarded with a coveted accreditation from The International Society for Feline Medicine (ISFM), the veterinary division of the leading feline charity International Cat Care.

The practice, which is located in Eccleston, has achieved the ‘Cat Friendly Clinic’ status due to its high standards of care provided to all cats visiting the veterinary clinic.

A spokesperson for the ISFM says: “Under the programme, a clinic has to prove rigorous adherence to a set of criteria which includes provision of specialist facilities for cats.

“They also have to demonstrate that team members take part in activities that can reduce stress in cats, both as in-patients and out-patients.”

Ann-Marie Mayren, Veterinary Nurse at White Cross Vets in St Helens says: “Our practice was purpose built last year with cats in mind and we even play music in the cat wards which is scientifically designed to reduce their stress levels. To enhance catisfaction we also spray pheromones, which mimic those cats will have experienced as a kitten with their mum, throughout the practice which again helps to reduce stress.

“In addition, we have created online advice and videos that clients can easily access in order to help take the fear out of a visit to the vets.”

To achieve the Silver status White Cross Vets had to have separate dog and cat waiting areas, feline-friendly kennels, and veterinary equipment specifically for treating cats.

It also had to show that team members are trained in approaching and handling cats sensitively and respectfully, as well as maintaining high standards of veterinary care.

Finally, the practice needed to prove that they continually update their knowledge of feline medicine as new treatments and information becomes available.

Ann-Marie adds: “We are delighted to achieve this status as it proves that we provide our feline patients with compassion, expertise and a dedicated service – we call this cattitude.

“One of our biggest aims is to make a visit to the vets as stress-free as possible and this accreditation shows owners just how much work we are prepared to put in, in order to achieve this.”

The International Society of Feline Medicine launched the Cat Friendly Clinic initiative three years ago, to encourage veterinary practices everywhere to make the best efforts to improve the welfare of cats in their care.

The programme advises clinics on how to make their environment as welcoming to cats as possible, as well as providing support in staff training, handling techniques and cat-specific client care.