We’re Feline Friendly!

In a previous post, we talked about the recent surge in puppy adoptions. Not to be outshined by their K9 friends, the cats have demanded their own post. Cats are very sensitive animals, and their needs are unique. As cat-parents, clients look to their veterinary care team to provide specifically tailored care to their feline friends. Clover Hill Animal Hospital provides research-based care for our feline patients and is proud to be a certified Feline Friendly Practice.

What Is Feline Friendly?

The American Association of Feline Practitioners launched the Feline Friendly program to make veterinary care less stressful for cats and their caregivers. The Feline Friendly movement aims to “elevate care for cats by reducing the stress for the cat, caregiver, and also the entire veterinary team.” Feline Friendly practices understand that cats are unique and wonderful creatures . As all cat-parents probably know, a visit to an ordinary veterinary practice can be stressful for their cats and humans alike. Feline Friendly veterinary clinics reduce and even eliminate that stress through the implementation of cat-friendly practices.

Why The Need for Feline Friendly?

Cats are very sensitive to their environment, and any change can cause stress. While your dog may enter the vet’s office with a wagging tail, cats usually put up a fight the moment the cat carrier is taken out of the closet. But why are cats more sensitive than dogs? Scientists believe that cats “are far more similar to their wild ancestors than dogs are to wolves, so dogs are in that sense the more domesticated of the two species. As they adapted to living alongside humans, cats became more sociable with one another and much more accepting of people, but there is no evidence that they have changed much more than that over the past few thousand years.” Cats may be domesticated, but they still possess many of the instincts and anxieties of their wilder ancestors.
Cats rely heavily on their senses. Loud noises, strange smells, new people, and unfamiliar surroundings all can cause a cat to become stressed. While a trip to the vet may seem mundane to us humans, it can be extremely frightening to felines.

Feline Friendly veterinary practices understand that cats need a unique approach. Clover Hill Animal Hospital works hard to make sure that your cat’s visit is as stress-free as possible.

What Does Feline-Friendly Look Like?

Our practice is proud to be utilizing Feline Friendly Techniques on a daily basis. From the moment the appointment is made to the time your cat leaves the clinic, you can be confident that Feline Friendly practices have been implemented every step of the way.

Examples include:
  • Pet parents are guided on less stressful ways of coaxing a cat into the cat carrier
  • If necessary, medications can be prescribed for our patients who find vet visits a bit nerve-wracking
  • Cats are brought right to an examination room and avoid the waiting room to reduce exposure to sights and smells
  • All cats are examined on a soft towel or blanket
  • Stress-reducing pheromones are used to calm even the most nervous patients
  • Minimal restraint and food rewards are used to make the visit a positive one
  • Cats that will be staying at the clinic for the day are housed in a separate kennel away from barking dogs and are provided with hide-away-boxes

Going to visit the vet doesn’t have to be scary for your cat (or for you, for that matter). By implementing Feline Friendly techniques, we are working to make sure that every visit to our practice is a positive one. If you have any questions about Feline Friendly or about our practice, please give us a call at 908-806-4525.

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