COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – an update for our clients.

Read our advice before buying a small furry pet

When looking to get your child’s first pet, many parents will automatically think, ‘small furry animal’. Whilst some small furries can be rewarding first pets, they also require a lot of dedication and commitment to make sure they are looked after appropriately. Read our advice on what to consider before buying a small mammal for your child.

Get our small furry pet stats

Common small animals kept as pets include guinea pigs, rabbits, hamsters, gerbils, mice, and rats. According to our Wiltshire and Somerset nursing team, they have many differences besides appearance, so it is crucial that you fully research the species and what their requirements are before committing to any of them. For example, guinea pigs are typically easier to handle than rabbits, meaning they might make a better option for your child.

Other things that need to be considered include:

  • Home setup – what do you need?
  • Who is responsible for cleaning them out and feeding?
  • Lifespan of the animal?
  • Do they need a companion?
  • Are they nocturnal?
  • Do they hibernate?

Having a good understanding of the above questions means that choosing the most suitable pet should be easier. Read our helpful guide on the different types of small furries you can keep as pets – download our Small Furry Pet Stats here.

Home setup needed for small furry pets

Some small animals need to be kept outside in a hutch (that can be brought inside a shed or indoors in very cold weather and has shade from the sun), whilst some need to be kept indoors in a suitable cage. Either way, they will need decent-sized housing with room to grow, especially if they need a companion. Small furries also need items inside their housing for enrichment, such as toys, hideouts, exercise equipment, and things to gnaw. All species need cleaning out regularly, so estimating how long this will take and deciding who is responsible is very important.

Life expectancy

Some small animals may only have a life expectancy of 1-2 years while others may live 10+ years. This may be a deciding factor when choosing your child’s pet, as it will give you an idea of the long-term commitment that you are making.

Veterinary care

Regular veterinary health checks will help our team to spot any problems that need addressing. Just like cats and dogs, each type of small furry pet comes with their own set of typical health problems you should make yourself aware of before buying one. For example, rabbits and guinea pigs can be prone to deadly flystrike if their housing is not kept clean. Some small furries have a higher risk of respiratory issues and lumps too.

Small furry pet companions

When it comes to companionship, some small animals may be happy to live on their own whilst others need a companion to be happy and healthy. Same or opposite sex pairings and groups will depend on the species (and the individual animal), as not all will get along – then comes the question of neutering. We advise that rabbits and male guinea pigs are typically neutered if living in same-sex pairs or groups. This is also important as multiple animals means more responsibilities and costs.

There are many places you can go to for advice on what small animal may suit your family most. These include speaking to our nursing team, experienced pet shops, reliable internet sources, and rescue centres. Doing the research at the beginning will make the whole process more rewarding and easier in the long run to ensure your pet is kept healthy and happy, and your child has a pet they can enjoy being responsible for.

Did you know that some animal rescue centres also have small furry pets in need of a loving home?

Remember to check out our helpful Pet Stats to aid your decision making:

Download our small furry pet stats

Our vet Sophie shares tell-tale signs of cat pregnancy

Did you know that female cats tend to be especially fertile every two or three weeks?

This is often described as being ‘in season’ or ‘in heat’ – and if you have a new female kitten, you need to start thinking about whether or not you’d like her to have offspring of her own. Our vet Sophie has advice for kitten and adult cat owners on this topic.

If you’re not planning on breeding, then neutering is recommended before their first season, which can occur as young as 4 months. But if you’re keen for a litter of kittens, it’s important to make sure your cat is healthy and properly supported.

In either case, we’d advise that you speak to our friendly team in Wiltshire and Somerset who can help you get prepared and give you all the relevant advice. Why not book an appointment to see one of our nurses or vets?

Get advice on cats & breeding

What to expect when your cat’s expecting…

There are typical signs you can look out for along your cat’s pregnancy journey. These include:

  1. Cat pregnancy usually lasts between 61 and 72 days (but most often between 63 and 67 days)
  2. Symptoms include vomiting in the early weeks, followed by pinked-up nipples, a swollen belly, weight gain of 1-2kg, and increased appetite as the pregnancy progresses so it’s crucial to make sure that she is fed a good quality diet.
  3. Find out for sure whether your cat is pregnant by bringing her to see one of our vets, as it’s important to establish there are no other causes for her symptoms.
  4. Around 12 to 24 hours before labour begins, your cat’s body temperature will drop to around 37.8 degrees.
  5. Before labour starts, you may also notice a change in your cat’s behaviour. She may seek out a quiet place, seem restless, and lose interest in food.
  6. You’ll see some discharge as labour begins, soon followed by kittens. However, if the discharge is discoloured or your cat appears to be struggling (without producing kittens), you should contact us immediately for advice.

If you have any questions or concerns about your cat’s health during pregnancy, please remember that we’re here to help. You can make an appointment by popping into our practice, or by calling us on 01373 452225.

Get sexual healthcare advice for your kitten

Why all Wiltshire and Somerset cats need a microchip in 2022

You have probably heard the old saying about cats and curiosity being a dangerous combination, so how do you give them any kind of safety net as they embark on a life of adventure? Identification, that’s how.

June is National Microchipping Month, so whether you have an indoor or outdoor cat, read on to discover why all cats in Wiltshire and Somerset need a microchip, by law, in 2022.

Book a cat microchip

Find your lost cat

While some cats probably shudder at the thought of leaving their favourite sofa, let alone the back garden, other cats can wander for miles. What all cats have in common though, is the ability to get picked up by a helpful passer-by or an animal warden for looking lost and taken to a veterinary practice or rescue centre.

Most cats don’t wear a collar and ID tag so without any form of identification, reuniting the two of you could be impossible. When the owner cannot be found, cats are typically put up for rehoming.

The team at Garston Vets recommend cat microchipping as the best way of ensuring your feline friend can be quickly reunited with you. Contact us to book a cat microchip appointment.

New cat microchip law UK

‘Lost & found’ isn’t the only reason our Wiltshire and Somerset veterinary team recommend cat microchipping.

DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) has announced that cat microchipping will become compulsory in the UK in 2022 as part of a larger animal welfare action plan. The move is aimed at making more cats identifiable, in turn helping with issues such as cat thefts, strays, and deceased cats left by the road following traffic accidents.

This new law, which will carry a fine of £500 for non-compliance, is welcomed by many cat charities including Cats Matter and Cats Protection.

As part of the legislative changes, all cats over 20 weeks of age (unless there is an animal health or welfare reason certified by a Vet) must be microchipped by law. This coincides with the typical age kittens can be neutered from, so both procedures can be done by our team here at Garston Vets before your kitten ventures outside. If your cat is already neutered, microchipping only takes a few minutes. Call us for more information on 01373 452225.

What does cat microchipping involve?

Microchips are tiny electronic devices, no bigger than a grain of rice, which are injected under the skin on the back of a cat’s neck. The procedure is quick and perfectly safe.

Your cat’s microchip carries your unique registration number, which links to a database where all your contact information is stored. One of our Wiltshire and Somerset veterinary surgeons or nurses, and staff at some animal shelters, can scan the microchip and access the database to get your details.

It is likely to also be an offence to not keep your contact details up to date on the database, as it is with dogs. And why wouldn’t you? Out of date contact details are no use to your cat!

Don’t delay, book your cat’s microchipping today

At Garston Vets, we recommend that owners get ahead of this new law and get their cat microchipped as soon as possible. The unthinkable could happen today and a microchip could make all the difference in reuniting you with your cat. Don’t forget that an additional free benefit of being a Garston Wellness Plan member is microchip implantation, so with no cost to the owner, there really is no better time to get it done.

Arrange your cat’s microchipping today

Emergency cat health problems

Cats are very inquisitive creatures and often get themselves into trouble as a result.

It is always better to be prepared for cat emergencies – pop our number in your phone if you don’t have it already. You may want to give it to your neighbours, family, friends, and your holiday cat sitter too if you have one.

See all our contact information

Dealing with Common Cat Emergencies

Some of the most common cat emergencies that we see include:

  • Road traffic accidents
  • Wounds / bleeding
  • Broken bones
  • Burns
  • Poisoning
  • Seizures
  • Heatstroke
  • Stings

Below is some more information on each cat health problem and what you need to do in the event of an accident.

Cats and road traffic accidents

With many cats spending lots of time outdoors, road traffic accidents are always a possibility. Injuries can range from a gentle knock that gives the cat a mild concussion, to more severe broken bones, wounds, or impact to their organs. It is important to ensure that you follow DR ABC’S advice:

  • Danger – keep safe from the environment or your pet; a scared dog or any other animal may lash out
  • Response – check if your dog is responsive by calling their name
  • Airway – is their airway clear?
  • Breathing – are they breathing?
  • Circulation – do they have a pulse or heartbeat?
  • Send – send someone to go and find help

If there is an obvious bleed, you can use clean material and pressure to slow blood loss – read more about this below. Never try to ‘set’ or straighten a broken bone yourself. It is important that any cat suspected of being hit by a vehicle is checked over by a vet to ensure there is no internal damage or risk of shock from the trauma.

Blood loss

Wounds or any bleeds should be treated as a first-aid measure to reduce the amount of blood loss. If they are bleeding use a wound pad, a clean towel, or bandaging to press on the wound to help reduce the amount of blood loss and get them to a vet straight away. Contact us first to let the team prepare for your cat’s arrival and injury needs.

Burns

Burns often occur when cats jump onto hot cooking surfaces; they can also come from freshly tarred roads, surfaces treated with bleach or other chemicals, electrical sources, or being scalded by hot liquids. If your cat has a burn (not chemical), run cold water over it for a minimum of 5 minutes before getting them to the Vet – try placing a damp cloth over the burn and adding cold water, or immersing the burned area in cold water – be careful as most cats don’t like water. Do not apply any creams to the burn and ensure your cat is kept warm and calm to avoid shock. For chemical burns, wear gloves, goggles, and other safety gear and contact us for first aid advice.

Cat poisoning

There are many different poisons that can harm cats with some of the most common being antifreeze, rat poison, paracetamol, and lily plants. If your cat has potentially been poisoned move the item away from them immediately. Always call us straight away and be ready to take your cat there quickly so that treatment can commence without haste. Do not try to make your cat sick as this can make things worse. If they have rolled in something such as oil or have lily pollen on their fur, put a buster collar or shirt over them so that they can’t lick and ingest the poison and try to wipe it off with a damp cloth.

Seizures

Cats can have seizures for many different reasons. If you ever see your cat having a seizure do not pick them up or put anything over the top of them. Turn off any stimulants such as TVs or Radios. Make the room dark and remove anything they may hurt themselves on. Timing the length of the seizure is always helpful when it comes to our vet making a medical treatment plan.

Heatstroke and your cat

Heatstroke is common in the summer months, particularly if your cat has managed to become trapped somewhere it is very hot, like a shed or greenhouse. If they are exposed to intense prolonged heat use tepid running water to help cool them down. Do not put any damp towels over them, keep them in a cool area, ensure they have access to plenty of water to drink and contact us.

Treating insect stings

Again, because of cats’ inquisitive nature, they often end up getting stung. If this has happened, pull (or scrape using a credit card) the sting out and apply either bicarbonate of soda to a bee sting or diluted vinegar to a wasp sting. The area may be very swollen and inflamed so apply an ice pack. If the sting is anywhere near your cat’s eyes, mouth, or throat contact us as any facial swelling can potentially close airways.

You will never stop cats from being adventurous and unfortunately, having accidents. But best thing you can do is to be prepared – know how to apply basic first aid techniques as described above and always have our number to hand.

Call us in an emergency on 01373 452225.

Garston Vets is a cat friendly practice

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!

Recommended healthcare essentials for cats

Did you know a preventative approach to your cat’s care is the best way to keep them in tip top condition for longer, and prevent them from catching a number of harmful diseases?

Our vets and nurses have many years of experience dealing with serious cat health conditions that could have been prevented. In this article, we have put together our top five preventative healthcare ‘must-haves’ for cats.

To help cat and kitten owners further, our team have also created a handy checklist of everything your pet will need for a happy and healthy life on top of the preventative care list below.

Download our Cat Essentials Checklist

Five important preventative care needs for cats

1. Cat vaccinations

It is important to keep up with the recommended cat vaccination schedule advised by your Vet to give your pet optimum protection against infectious diseases. These preventable diseases can have devastating consequences and include:

  • Feline panleukopenia virus (FPV, feline infectious enteritis; feline parvovirus)
  • Feline herpesvirus (FHV-1, cat flu)
  • Feline calicivirus (FCV, cat flu)
  • Feline leukaemia virus (FeLV)

Many cat owners ask us, “Do indoor cats needs vaccinating every year?” It is wise to remember that sometimes indoor cats can get out and neighbouring cats can get in, so there is always a risk for un-vaccinated cats. Also, FPV can be transferred via contaminated water, feed bowls, or on shoes and clothing.

Not sure if your cat’s vaccinations are up to date? Give us a call and our helpful reception team will check for you.

2. Cat flea & worm control

Fleas multiply at an alarming rate and will affect your cat, your human family, and your home. Cat fleas cause itching and irritation, leading to excessive scratching, sores, hair loss, and scabbing. An infestation can also cause anemia and fleas can carry tapeworms and other diseases. Unprotected cats are at risk of picking up roundworms too. Therefore, an ongoing programme of vet-recommended cat flea and worm treatments is always the best option.

3. Cat neutering

The obvious reason to neuter any cat is to stop unwanted pregnancies – especially as female kittens can get pregnant at just 4 months of age. However, there are many more benefits of cat neutering including:

  • reduced risk of mammary and prostate cancer
  • prevention of testicular cancer and pyometra (uterine infection)
  • prevention of stressful phantom pregnancies and seasons
  • can stop some undesirable behaviors and make pets easier to live with

Click here to find out more about neutering

4. Health & dental checks

It is a good idea to get your cat’s dental and general health checked every 6 – 12 months so our vets can begin treatment for any issues that could be brewing right away. Dental disease can be especially problematic for cats as most tend to hide pain and dislike having their teeth cleaned. Ensuring our vets or nurses can get a good look at your cat’s teeth regularly means any concerns can be dealt with to improve your cat’s quality of life.

Cat microchipping

Finally, this might not seem like a preventative measure, however, it is something we always discuss with cat owners when talking about preventative healthcare. Microchipping your cat will greatly improve your chances of being reunited with them should they get taken to a vet practice, or an animal shelter, after going missing or being in an accident.

We hope the above advice is helpful. When it comes to your cat’s overall health and happiness, do you know what all their essential needs are? We have got you covered with our handy cat checklist – download it now. Or click here if you would like to spread the cost of your cat’s annual preventative healthcare into affordable monthly payments with our Wellness Plan.

Download our Cat Essentials Checklist

Why rabbit vaccinations are so important.

With spring just around the corner, you will likely be flinging the windows open by your rabbit’s hutch or moving it back outside. You may even treat them to more time in the garden. Before you do, it is wise to make sure your rabbit’s vaccinations are up to date.

At Garston Vets, we want to be sure rabbit owners are aware of the deadly diseases that can affect their pets and how to protect them.

Myxomatosis and Viral Haemorrhagic Disease can strike even if your pets live well away from other rabbits. These diseases sadly have high mortality rates. Fortunately, rabbit vaccinations are available to protect your pets. So why not get in touch with our team to check if your rabbit vaccines are up to date, or to book a booster right away?

Protect your pet now

Why rabbits need vaccinating

Read the key facts about these horrible rabbit diseases below.

Myxomatosis

  • Domestic rabbits do not need to be in contact with wild rabbits to catch it
  • It spreads quickly and is passed through fleas, mosquitos, midges, and mites
  • Symptoms include nasal and eye discharge, eye inflammation leading to blindness, swelling, redness/ulcers, problems breathing, appetite loss, and lethargy
  • Even with the best possible veterinary treatment, very few pet rabbits survive Myxomatosis so vaccination is essential

Viral Haemorrhagic Disease (VHD)

  • VHD often occurs in outbreaks, spreading rapidly from rabbit to rabbit
  • Your rabbit does not need to be in contact with other rabbits to catch it as the virus can be carried in feed, on bedding, by wild birds and insects, and on the feet of rabbit owners who have been walking in an infected area
  • There are two strains – VHD-1 has a higher mortality rate (almost 100%) but VHD-2 can also affect younger rabbits under 6 weeks old that may not succumb to VHD-1
  • Symptoms of VHD-1 include respiratory distress, fever, appetite loss, lethargy, convulsions, paralysis, and bleeding from the nose before death. Signs of VHD-2 can be vague.
  • VHD is easily preventable with vaccines

Which vaccinations do rabbits need & when?

You can protect your pet against Myxomatosis and VHD with annual rabbit vaccinations from just five weeks old. In some circumstances, our veterinary surgeons may advise more frequent vaccinations.

If your rabbit has been vaccinated and you cannot remember when their booster is due, get in touch and we can check.

A rabbit vaccination appointment also gives you the perfect opportunity to talk to our experienced team about your rabbit’s health in general.

Contact us to book a rabbit vaccination

What are the signs of feline dental disease

Dental disease in cats is more common than you might think, affecting around 85% of cats over the age of three according to International Cat Care. Our experienced team of vets and nurses are here to help owners understand the dental problems their cat could be living with.

Plaque & tartar – the common culprits

Periodontal disease is typically associated with the build-up of plaque (layer of bacteria) and the formation of tartar deposits (hard yellow/brown substance) on the teeth. Left untreated, periodontal (dental) disease can develop, affecting the teeth as well as the supporting structures i.e. gums, ligaments, and bone.

Types of feline dental disease

Gingivitis can be very painful and ranges from mild to severe; signs include red and inflamed gums, excessive drooling and bad breath, pawing at the mouth, difficulty eating, and bleeding in some cases.

Periodontitis is severe gum disease, common in older cats with a lot of tartar deposits. Diseased ligaments begin to break down, exposing the roots and making the teeth unstable. Bacterial infection can be present and extraction is usually needed. Inflamed and receding gums are common signs.

Stomatitis – Chronic gingivostomatitis is when inflammation spreads from the gingiva (gums) to other areas, often at the back of the mouth. It is extremely painful and cats will find it difficult to eat, probably lose weight, drool excessively, and show signs of pain such as pawing at the mouth. Some cases have been linked with persistent FCV and FIV infection.

Feline resorptive lesions (FRLs) are erosions in the tooth in or below the gum line, commonly found in cats over five years old. Left untreated, the crown can come off leaving the root exposed.

Fractures can be caused if the tooth is weakened and/or through eating extra hard food, engaging in rough play or hunting, or trauma.

Are some cats predisposed to dental disease?

Yes. Cats with misaligned teeth are more likely to develop dental disease; food gets trapped and can’t be cleaned effectively through diet and dental aids. Short-nosed breeds, congenital abnormalities (such as overbite/underbite), trauma, and deciduous tooth retention (when baby teeth don’t fall out and cause adult teeth to grow abnormally) are all causes of tooth misalignment. Other predisposing factors are an unsuitable diet and some infectious, preventable diseases.

How often should cats have a dental examination?

Prevention and early diagnosis are key to protecting your cat’s oral health. Prevent disease by vaccinating your cat annually, and help to prevent plaque and tartar build-ups through regular home cleaning and a suitable diet. Our team can help you with all of this so do get in touch.

It is wise to book a 6-month check-up in between your cat’s annual vaccination & health check – a lot can change in a year and cats tend to hide pain. All patients on our Wellness Plan will be invited to to see one of our nurses for their complimentary 6 monthly check in-between their annual booster. At this appointment your pet will receive a top to tail check up, which includes examining their mouth, along with a weight check and dispensing more flea, tick and worm treatment, which is also included on the plan. Checking regularly at home is a good idea too if your cat will let you. You are looking for red/swollen/bleeding gums, receding gums, excessively bad breath, tartar deposits, and missing/broken teeth.

As with all pet health concerns, we are on hand to help. Our nurses can help you master the art of caring for your cat’s teeth at home, so don’t struggle alone.

Contact us about your cat’s teeth

Garston Green team talk about eco-friendly cat products

UK pet owners spend £7.9million a year on their pets according to the most recent figures published by the Office for National Statistics (2020). As we move into 2022, there’s never been a better time to think about spending some of those pounds on more sustainable cat products.

If you’re a cat owner in Wiltshire and Somerset, you can help others in your area by sharing your top eco-friendly cat products by tagging us on Instagram.

Our team have created two lists of helpful ideas to get you started.

Eco-friendly cat products

You can find a wide range of eco-friendly pet products in our surgery waiting rooms.

  • Biodegradable cat litter

    These contain natural raw and recycled materials that are biodegradable and much better for the environment. As well as being more sustainable, they also produce less waste, less dust, and have a good natural odour. You may have to do a bit of trial and error to see which your cat prefers though.

  • Biodegradable litter tray liners

    If you can’t do without your no-hassle-no-mess cat litter tray liners, then try switching to biodegradable ones.

  • Eco-friendly cat bowls

    Bamboo cat bowls will last for years and are made without plastics and lacquers, meaning the materials used in manufacturing are much less harmful to the environment. You can also get bamboo litter trays and poop scoops!

Eco-friendly cat owner tips

  • Recycle cat food pouches

    We bet a lot of people throw cat food pouches away as they’re not glass, plastic, paper, or metal. Check the back as many are now recyclable – remember to empty them first!

  • Make your own cat toys out of unwanted household items

    String, toilet roll tubes and cardboard boxes will give your cat hours of fun! Why not get super creative and build your cat a home gym? You can still recycle this ‘rubbish’ when your cat is done with them.

  • Give your cat’s unloved toys away

    If your cat has too many toys and doesn’t play with them, ask a fellow cat owner if their cat might like them, or donate to a cat rescue centre.

We hope our article on how to be a sustainable cat owner has inspired you to do more research on the topic.

Garston Cat Friendly Clinics are now available

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.

Cat-friendly appointments

Most cats are very happy in our spacious waiting rooms, however, to support nervous cats we offer designated cat-friendly appointment times at all our surgeries, on the following days of the week:

Our cat-only appointment times include veterinary consultations and nurse appointments, and keeping our waiting areas dog-free reduces potential stresses for cats and owners (Note: if we do have any dog emergency cases during these times we will let you know on arrival).

Contact us to book a cat friendly appointment slot

Cat-friendly services

Our many veterinary services for cats include important annual feline vaccinations and a health check with the vet, comprehensive parasite protection for cats to help keep fleas, worms & ticks at bay, and nurse clinics for weight & diet, dental care, and feline diabetes. Your cat could also benefit from our Cat Wellness Plan – find out more.

Our surgeries where we admit animals for the day to perform operations, or to hospitalise them overnight, all have separate heated catteries situated a long way away from our kennel rooms for dogs. That really adds to being cat friendly!

Top tips for how to get your cat into a basket

Read our team’s advice on how you can help your cat remain calm for a trip to the vets:

  • Get your cat accustomed to their carrier or basket – keep it out at home as part of the furniture for them to sleep in, and you can even feed your cat inside.
  • Use a top-opening carrier for lifting your cat in and out more easily.
  • Cover the top with a blanket to help hide new sights, sounds, and smells.
  • Handle your cat’s carrier gently, secure it well within your car, and drive carefully.
  • Use a pheromone spray or keep a piece of clothing or material from home that smells familiar inside the carrier.
  • On arrival move to a corner of the waiting room and keep your cat carrier off the floor – we have supplied special cat shelving in our waiting areas for this purpose. If you prefer you can always let us know you have arrived, and then wait in your car with your cat until your appointment time.

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