Garston Vets is a cat friendly practice

March 21, 2022


At Garston Vets, we understand how different the needs of our feline patients are to those of dogs. From getting in the car to being in a new environment with different sights, sounds, smells, and people, a visit to the vets can be somewhat stressful for the majority of cats. That is why we have put special measures in place that has allowed us to achieve the status of Cat Friendly Clinic from the International Society of Feline Medicine (ISFM) – the veterinary division of the worldwide feline charity iCatCare.

What is a ‘Cat Friendly’ veterinary practice?

ISFM has recognised that cats have unique natures and needs and in 2012 created a Cat Friendly Clinic status. An accredited Cat Friendly practice has reached a higher standard of cat care in that the staff understand the needs of cats and have made visits to the practice more Cat Friendly.

What is a Cat Advocate?
A Cat advocate is a member of staff that ensures that a cat’s visit to the practice is as calm and stress free as possible. Each site at Garston has its own Cat Friendly nurse.

What are some of the things Garston Veterinary Group have done to make it a Cat friendly practice?

  • We have placed cat towers in reception to place your carriers on. Cats prefer to be up high, it also prevents dogs from approaching them. Towels are also provided to cover your basket to help your cat feel more relaxed and calm.
  • Cat only appointments are available at each site every week. No dogs are allowed in the waiting room (apart from in an emergency) This will create a calm and relaxed environment for stressed and anxious cats. Call our reception team to book one!
  • Cat only kennels. A quiet and relaxed kennel room for your cat to stay whilst staying with us. Hiding holes are provided for each cat in each kennel. Kennels are also placed so that each cat is not looking at another one.
  • Cat friendly nurses at each site to ensure Cat Friendly handling techniques and provide a wealth of knowledge to other staff members and our clients.

What is the benefit of bringing your cat to a cat friendly practice?

Reduced stress means cats are easier to handle and restrain so procedures can be completed more efficiently. You will also be reassured that your cat’s well being is our main priority.

What is the best way to bring your cat into our practice?

  • A top opening carrier. This makes it easier to getting your cat in and out. Your cat can stay in the base for its examination if necessary to feel safe.
  • Use a familiar smelling towel/blanket to help it feel calm.
  • Cover the basket for the journey and in the waiting room.
  • Only have 1 cat per basket, even with bonded cats (avoids defensive aggression)
  • Use Feliway spray, a synthetic feline pheromone.

Now some fun cat facts:

House cats share 95.6% of their genetic makeup with tigers. You read that right, TIGERS. They also share some of the same behaviour habits such as scent and urine marking, prey stalking and pouncing.

Cats can jump 5 times their own height. Now that’s impressive!

Most cats have 18 toes, 5 on their front paws and 4 on their back paws. However, some cats can be born with “extra toes”, a condition called polydactylism.

Cats have a whopping 32 muscles in each of their ears, allowing them to swivel their ears to hone in on the exact source of a noise. Additionally, cats can rotate their ears to 180 degrees!

Cats usually sleep around an average of 15 hours PER day. This means that a cat spends roughly 70% of their lives sleeping. Must be nice to be a cat!