We are proud to have been awarded Cat Friendly Clinic status at both our Torquay and Paignton surgeries. This is an internationally recognised award and it means that we have met criteria to ensure all the needs of your cat are met. We are the first and only practice in Torbay to achieve this accreditation. To find out more visit www.catfriendlyclinic.org. We can also highly recommend the ISFM website for any cat health or care queries you may have and the CatCareforLife website to guide you about lifestage relevant healthcare for your cat.
Bringing your cat to the vet can potentially be stressful for both cat and owner, and it is one of our biggest missions as a practice to minimize that stress as much as possible! This mission is led by our very own ‘cat advocate’ Claire. Claire is a registered veterinary nurse, who is self-confessed cat crazy and holds the ISFM diploma in feline nursing. Claire is happy to address any concerns you may have about bringing your cat to the vets.
Bringing your cat to see us
For tips about bringing your cat to the vet, including choice of carrier and how to get your cat used to going in a carrier box check out the ISFM website. It is important your cat is brought in to us in a secure carrier, so that they can’t escape. The best type of carrier is one where the top can be opened or lifted off.
Usually our waiting rooms are very quiet, as we only have one vet consulting at a time. We have separate seating areas, so your cat can be kept away from curious noses. At both our Torquay and Paignton surgeries we even have ‘cat parking spots’, where your cat’s carrier can be placed safely above ground level and from where they can’t even see any dogs in the waiting room!
All of our team have undergone specific cat friendly handling training. Due to the size of our team we all get to know our regular patients well and learn how they prefer to be handled. Some love to explore the consulting room, while others can be gently examined whilst still in the base of their cat box. Patience is key with cats and one of the benefits of 15 minute appointments is we don’t have to rush our examination.
If a cat is particularly stressed by a procedure, a light sedative can be used to relax them. This is generally far preferable to trying to persevere without.
We make use of Feliway throughout our surgeries in an effort to reduce stress.
We do also offer home visits when appropriate, please speak to a member of our team for further information.
If your cat has to stay with us
At our Torquay surgery, we have a separate room where cats can be housed away from dogs and the hustle and bustle of the surgery. This room has natural light and is quiet. We have a variety of foods, beds, toys and cat litter substrates to make sure your cat is as comfortable as possible. Our ‘cat hide’ which allows cats to sit on top or inside a box is particularly popular!
We have a particularly large unit for cats that have to stay for a few days, and you are welcome to visit your cat during their stay. Each cat is treated as an individual, with plenty of fuss, play and grooms if this is what they enjoy, or peace and quiet if they prefer to keep themselves to themselves.
Cat behavioural advice
We have two RVNs qualified to provide initial feline behavioural advice – Claire French and Laura Holderness. Here is a testimonial from one of the client’s Laura helped in 2023:
“Greenbay Vets Torquay provide an all round professional service which is friendly and helpful. My kitten (Teddy) does not enjoy being around people, his whole body vibrates even before the doorbell rings and he runs off to hide in his safe space. I sought advise from Greenbay and Laura was extremely helpful. Laura took the time to discuss various ideas with me, like using more than one litter tray, creating multiple eating stations and trying Calmex, etc. Laura was patient and answered all my questions and also supported my decisions. Thanks to all the support and advise, Teddy is growing braver by the day, he has even popped his head out to say hello to my regular contractor which is a very good sign indeed. Thank you Greenbay Vets and especially Laura for helping Teddy to become a brave little cat.”
What about dogs?
Being ‘cat friendly’ doesn’t detract from us being ‘dog friendly’. Indeed, some dogs are frightened of cats and like our efforts to separate. Many dogs love to come and see us – we make a big effort to encourage a positive relationship revolving around treats, positive reinforcement and cuddles!
We do ask that dogs are kept on a short lead and that you check with other dog owners before your dog makes introductions in the waiting room. Some of our patients are ill or in pain and therefore may not be up for play time. We also ask that dogs are not allowed to approach cat carriers.
If your dog is frightened to come to see us, we encourage you to make frequent visits for your dog to be weighed and generally made a fuss of in the waiting room or consulting room, without any injections. Our nursing team run puppy and socialisation clinics for this purpose. It is also helpful to get your dog used to being ‘examined’ at home from an early age, including checks of teeth, ears and feet, with plenty of rewards for good behaviour.