County Durham vets becomes cat-friendly clinic

A Bishop Auckland veterinary practice is the cat’s whiskers after becoming a feline-friendly clinic.

Wilson Vets has created a new ward and waiting room exclusively for cats at its main branch in Tenters street.

The changes are helping to eliminate anxiety for cat and their owners when visiting the practice for routine healthcare or if they are poorly.

The new cat waiting room has a door so it is completely separate to the main reception, away from barking and whining dogs. It also has tables where pet carriers can be placed as cats feel less vulnerable in an elevated position. They are also comforted by towels sprayed in pheromones while being examined by a vet or nurse to make them feel calmer.

The revamp of its facilities for cats has resulted in the practice achieving Silver Status as a cat-friendly clinic through the International Society of Feline Medicine (ISFM).

The ISFM works with the veterinary profession across the world to provide information for the veterinary care of cats and is recognised and respected for the standards it aspires to.

The calm environment is designed to meet the unique requirements of felines and is helping to make practice visits a less fraught experience for many owners, who often dread taking their cat to the vets.

The improvements at Wilson Vets were overseen by veterinary nurse Joanne Sichert, who has been appointed the practice’s cat advocate to ensure it continues to meet ISFM cat-friendly clinic status.

Joanne, a Registered Veterinary Nurse, has achieved top qualifications in the care of cats. She said: “We have had a positive response from clients to the improvements as our new facilities have made visiting the practice a much more positive experience for owners and their cats.

“The new cat waiting room has a door that can be closed to make it completely separate from the main waiting room where there are dogs. Our vets have also told us that cats are much easier to examine in consults because they are calmer and more relaxed.

“We’re delighted to receive Silver Status as a cat-friendly clinic as we have been working towards this for a while and making improvements to the practice.”