What is a Cat Friendly Clinic?

We understand that there are unique difficulties in bringing a cat to a veterinary clinic:

  • Cats often do not travel well and feel unsafe away from their home
  • They are highly sensitive to new sights, sounds and smells
  • Most cats prefer quiet and solitude and are highly susceptible to stress
  • Most cats are highly stressed by nearby dogs in the clinic
  • Cats need to be handled gently and with respect in the clinic

What is a Cat Friendly Clinic?

An accredited Cat Friendly Clinic has reached a higher standard of cat care in that the staff:

  • Understand the needs of cats and have made visits to the vet clinic more cat friendly
  • Understand how to approach and handle cats gently and with care
  • Have good knowledge and equipment to manage the care of cats

Achieving Cat Friendly Clinic accreditation involves all staff, from receptionists, nurses and technicians, through to vets. Each accredited clinic also has at least one ‘Cat Advocate’ – someone who ensures the cat friendly standards are adhered to, and who would be happy to talk to you.

What does it mean for my cat and me?

A Cat Friendly Clinic gives you peace of mind and reassurance, letting you know that:

  • The clinic has achieved certain minimum accreditation standards
  • The clinic and clinic staff have thought about the specific needs of cats
  • The staff will be happy to talk with you, show you what they do, and show you around the clinic
  • The staff will explain your cat’s treatment and recovery clearly and sensitively so that you have a full understand of what is going on

What are the different levels of Cat Friendly Clinic accreditation?

Cat Friendly Clinic (CFC) accreditation is at three levels – Bronze, Sliver and Gold. These recognise that vet clinics vary widely in their size, location, structure, staffing and equipment. 

We are very proud that we were accredited GOLD standard by International Cat Care. When we first applied we were the only practice in  Sussex to be awarded Gold. We are now only 1 of 5 within the whole of  Sussex

Here at Downwood we understand that bringing your cat to the vet can be a very stressful time for you both, by becoming a cat friendly clinic we aim to minimise stress by providing;

  • A separate waiting area with opaque barriers, tables to put your basket on with the option of a privacy cover for your cat’s basket.
  • Pet remedy calming plug in's in all area's. Pet remedy sprays are also used before handling.
  • Fully equipped cat consultation room with a weighing table. 
  • Our cat ward is kept quiet with cages that are laid out on one side to prevent cats seeing other cats, cat only weighing scales, comfy warm bedding, heat pads,
  • hideaway boxes to make cats feel more comfortable in the kennels, selection of bowls, foods and litters available. We have numerous brushes and fully disinfected toys.
  • Isolation ward for infectious cases
Please see some below for some handy tips and video links to help you choose the right pet carrier and advice on getting your cat used to it before going to the Vets. 
There are other video links on how to give your cat medication, clip their claws, test their blood glucose and even brush their teeth.

https://icatcare.org/advice/how-choose-and-use-cat-carrier

https://icatcare.org/advice/bringing-your-cat-vet

https://icatcare.org/advice/how-give-your-cat-tablet

https://icatcare.org/advice/videos