What Being a Cat Friendly Practice Means
Big Sky Pet Center is proud to be recognized by The American Association of Feline Practitioners as a certified Cat Friendly Practice!
By becoming a Certified CFP (Cat Friendly Practice), we have taken steps to:
reduce the stress associated with veterinary visits;
increase the quality of care provided to our feline patients;
support the veterinary team with making changes that consider cat’s distinct needs and behaviors;
provide a more calming environment for both you and your cat.
What does it mean to be a Cat Friendly Practice? What can you expect?
- We escort you and your cat straight into an exam room so the cat doesn’t have to encounter unnecessary traffic (both human and dog!) in the main waiting area. These efforts help to reduce the stress that can be associated with noise, other pets and unfamiliar smells that your cat will encounter while waiting for their exam.
- Our staff members have been trained in how to approach and handle cats in a gentle, empathetic and caring manner. We understand the individualized needs of cats including feline specific facial and behavior cues. By understanding these cues, we can adapt our approach to best suit your cat.
- We have incorporated the use of Feliway® in our treatment room. Feliway® is a synthetic copy of feline facial pheromones. By mimicking the cat’s natural facial pheromones, Feliway® can create a sense of familiarity and security in the cat’s local environment, which in this case is the carrier or treatment room.
- We have instituted the use of Feliway® -treated carrier covers in the waiting room! In order to help your cat relax while waiting to be examined. you are welcome to use one of our carrier covers to drape your cat’s carrier which can create an environment of security, thereby helping to make the process less stressful for your cat.
Our Commitment to You and Your Cat
By becoming a Cat Friendly Practice, we have made a commitment to provide a superior feline experience. You can be confident that your cat will be given exceptional care and attention through all phases of the visit including examinations, procedures, hospitalization and lodging. We have demonstrated a higher level of commitment and excellence in feline medicine by becoming CFP certified, and we can’t wait to share that with you and your cat (or cats)!
Cat Friendly Practice Tip List
Do you have a difficult time getting your cat to the vet? As a Certified Cat Friendly Practice, we would like to give you some tips for making the trip to the vet a little easier!
- Cats like things to be familiar. A carrier that appears once or twice a year can be quite unsettling to your cat.
- Try leaving the carrier out all the time in a room where your cat enjoys spending time. Leave treats inside of the carrier. The carrier will becomes less intimidating when it is a treat-bearing part of the daily scenery at home. If you can’t leave it out all the time, at least start a few days before the vet visit. Reward your cat with treats anytime she is calmly sitting in or near the carrier.
- For urgent vet visits, take the carrier (with familiar bedding in it) into a small room with no hiding places. A bathroom works well. Cats can sense your stress and anxiety so calmly carry the cat into the bathroom, closing the door behind you. Try coaxing her into the carrier with treats or a toy but if that doesn’t work you will need to gently cradle the cat, lowering her down into the carrier. Remember to do all of this slowly and calmly so as to not further stress your cat. Do not punish or speak harshly. Cats do not respond well to this type of energy.
- Cover the carrier with a sheet or towel for the entire time the cat is in the carrier. Cats can feel exposed in a carrier; covering it with a towel or sheet makes the space feel more protected and can be reassuring to your cat.
- Once in the car, be sure to secure the carrier with a seat belt to ensure your cat doesn’t experience trauma from a quick stop or carrier tumble.
- Occasionally owners will ask for a sedative for their cat and after a careful physical examination of the animal, the doctor may dispense medication for specific use. However, if your cat is exhibiting any signs of injury or illness, or if we have not evaluated them in several months, there can be a number of underlying problems which make sedation harmful or even dangerous for them. The doctor’s physical exam is the most important part of any pet’s health and safety. Sedation is always evaluated on a case by case basis.