Black Country vet practice honoured with award for cat-friendly clinic

A Black Country vet practice has been honoured with a prestigious international award for its high quality of care for cats.

Tracey Tripicchio, cat advocate at Blacks’ Oldbury practice
Tracey Tripicchio, cat advocate at Blacks’ Oldbury practice

Blacks Vets, in Oldbury, has been recognised as a silver level cat-friendly clinic (CFC) by the International Society of Feline Medicine (ISFM).

Blacks’ cat advocate Tracey Tripicchio said the prestigious award for its Oldbury practice is recognition of their determination to deliver the highest standards of care for all cats visiting them.

Tracey said: “We are delighted to have gained a silver ISFM award in recognition of the steps we have taken to ensure our feline patients receive the best of care.

“It has been a real team effort and is a fitting reward for everyone’s hard work and dedication.

“We have introduced a raft of new measures to make cat visits to the hospital as stress-free and relaxed as possible.

“We have created a special allocated area in the waiting room and used a screen to section it off, so cats are unable to see any dogs or other people whilst waiting.

“A Feliway diffuser is now plugged in the kennel room which releases natural pheromones to help the cats feel calm and at ease.

“We have created ‘caves’ so the cats can relax and hide in the kennel, which helps them feel safe.

“We also now have a portable kennel, so if a cat is very anxious this is available and can be moved to a quiet dark room if required.

“Dark curtains are now used on the outside of our dog kennels, so dogs are unable to see us, which discourages them from barking.

“It also obviously means the cats are unable to see the dogs in the kennel room.”

Tracey explained the tough criteria which Blacks needed to attain to gain the award.

She added: “The ISFM is a highly respected international initiative which examines the provision of facilities and staff activities and attitudes to reducing stress in cats, both as in-patients and out-patients.

“Its criteria include having separate dog and cat waiting areas, feline-friendly hospitalisation cages and veterinary equipment specifically for treating cats.

“We had to demonstrate that the team here at Dudley understands the needs of cats and always strive to make visits to us cat-friendly and stress free.

“Clinics are also expected to maintain high standards of veterinary care, including continuing to update their knowledge of feline medicine as new knowledge becomes available.”

The ISFM launched the cat-friendly clinic initiative to encourage veterinary clinics to make changes to improve the welfare of cats in their care.

The programme advises practices on how to make their environment as welcoming as possible for cats, as well as providing support in staff training, handling techniques and cat-specific client care.

For more information about Linnaeus-owned Blacks Vets, which has an animal hospital in Dudley, plus practices in Lye, Sedgley and Quinton, visit blacksvets.co.uk

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