Cat Friendly Practices Are Better for Your Cat

Martensville Veterinary Hospital is a Cat Friendly Practice. We love cats and want them to get the benefit of preventive medicine and early detection of disease. We take extra steps in clinic design, veterinary training, and veterinary equipment to make cat visits less stressful.  Cats don’t have to hate the vet.  In fact, some of them even like us 😉  Come visit and see the difference Cat Friendly Practice can make to you and your cat!

What is a Cat Friendly Practice?

We recognize that there are unique challenges and difficulties in bringing your cat to a veterinary practice, including:

  • Cats often do not travel well.
  • Cats do not feel safe when they are away from their normal home territory.
  • Cats are highly sensitive to unusual sights, sounds and smells.
  • Most cats prefer quiet and solitude.
  • Most cats are highly susceptible to stress and anxiety.
  • Most cats are highly stressed by unfamiliar dogs and cats being in close proximity at the practice.
  • Cats need to be handled gently, with care and respect in the practice.
  • Cats have unique medical requirements that Cat Friendly Practices are capable of providing.

The AAFP created the Cat Friendly Practice program to help veterinary practices meet the wide range of unique needs of cats in a veterinary practice setting. An extensive self-assessment checklist was designed to demonstrate that Cat Friendly Practices:

  • Understand the unique needs of cats and have made veterinary visits more cat-friendly.
  • Understand how to approach and handle cats in a gentle, empathetic and caring manner.
  • Have an appropriate standard of equipment needed to investigate and treat feline diseases.
  • Meets a standard for the facilities and care for hospitalized cats.

Additional information can be found in the Cat Owner Brochure.

How you and your cat can benefit from visiting a Cat Friendly Practice:

  • We make an effort to have a calming environment.
  • We have incorporated a waiting room/area that reduces stress associated with noise, other pets or unfamiliar smells
  • Staff are trained to understand the individualized needs of cats including feline specific behavior and facial features.
  • We implement the Feline-Friendly Handling Guidelines to facilitate a more positive experience.
  • We use a slow approach to achieve positive results.
  • We develop an individual plan based on your cat’s specific needs, preferences and behaviors.
  • We implement ways to make you and your cat be as comfortable as possible.
  • Staff continually obtain education on the most current feline research and guidelines.
  • We will help ensure that you are a valuable member of your cat’s healthcare team and help you understand your cat’s needs and what you can do at home to ensure they get the care they need.
  • We use synthetic feline facial pheromones for a calming effect.
  • Many have a feline-only examination room that provides a safe, non-threatening area where cats can be examined calmly and effectively.
  • They have experience to recognize subtle, early signs of fear or anxiety and adapt appropriately.
  • Our cat ward, hospitalization area and operating room have been assessed to include appropriate feline equipment, tools and procedures.

Each practice also has at least one ‘Cat Advocate’ who is a knowledgeable professional that ensures your cat’s care is guided by feline-focused standards. Cat Advocates are chosen for their experience, understanding, empathetic manner and willingness to help answer any of your questions. Our Cat advocates are veterinarians Katina Stewart DVM, Michelle Lange DVM, registered veterinary technologist Chantel Steel and veterinary office assistant MacKenzie Covey.

When designated as a Cat Friendly Practice, selected veterinary clinics have proven they have taken specific extra steps to assure they understand a cat’s unique needs and have implemented feline-friendly standards. You can search online for a Cat Friendly Practice in your area.