A MALTON veterinary practice is the cat’s whiskers after making surgery visits less stressful for feline patients.
Mount Veterinary Group has created a cat-friendly waiting room at its surgery in Middlecave Road, Malton, to try to eliminate anxiety for cats and their owners.
A screen separates the new quiet area from the rest of the waiting room to keep them away from dogs, and there are elevated bays where owners can place carrier boxes as cats feel safer off the ground.
Owners can also find cat merchandise and useful information on cat care.
Being less stressed means the patients are often easier to examine once they go into the consult room with a vet or nurse.
The calm environment is designed to meet the unique requirements of cats and is helping to make practice visits a less fraught experience for many owners, who often dread taking their cat to the vets.
Mount Vets hopes the practice revamp will lead to them receiving accreditation from the International Society of Feline Medicine (ISFM) as a cat-friendly clinic.
The improvements have been overseen by veterinary nurse Stella Ellis, who has cats herself, and is working towards an ISFM certificate in Advanced Feline Behaviour.
The new cat-friendly area has received a positive reaction from clients bringing their pets to the surgery for check-ups or treatment.
Stella said: “We are trying to make things easier and less stressful for feline patients and their owners with the new cat-friendly waiting room.
“Clients are using the area and we have had a positive response from clients and cats, who seem to like it. It is definitely making a difference to their experience of being in the practice.
“Cats are unique creatures that like to be in control and, if they feel they are out of their comfort zone, that is when they feel distressed. We are trying to reduce that stress as much as possible to make them feel happier when they’re in the surgery.”
Mount Vets has also improved facilities behind the scenes to help make the experience more positive. They are also trying to inform owners on ways to comfort their cats when they are hospitalised by providing home comforts like their own blankets or beds to sleep in as they have a familiar smell to cats.