A Swansea veterinary practice has won an international silver award for its treatment and support of cats.

Gower Vets has been accredited as a silver-level Cat Friendly Clinic by the International Society of Feline Medicine (ISFM). The practice, which is owned by Linnaeus, treats thousands of pets every year.

The award is a testament to Gower Vets' work to look after its feline patients and their owners.

Clinical director Heather Davies said: “Cats can be really sensitive to changes in their environment, particularly when they’re not feeling well.

“Making their visit to the vets as relaxed as possible will help to reduce stress for cats and their owners, while making it easier for us to provide high-quality care.”

To achieve silver accreditation, the team at Gower Vets needed to prove that they understood the needs of cats; handled and nursed the animals with the right level of care; and invested in equipment for cat-specific treatment. Ongoing staff education, and an appointed Cat Advocate on the team were also required.

The practice has created a separate cat waiting area, which includes raised areas and visual barriers to separate cats from other pets on arrival. The hospitalisation ward also features visual barriers, along with soft bedding and hideaways for privacy.

Feline pheromone diffusers and quiet consulting rooms were introduced to provide a calm environment for cats. Gower Vets also offers cat-specific facilities, from its blood pressure monitors to more complex surgical and lab testing equipment.

Three members of staff have been appointed Cat Advocates – nurses Talis Jones and Lauren Williams, and vet Jenny Hopkins.

Heather added: “The team at Gower Vets has worked really hard to ensure that our feline patients get the treatment, privacy and support that they deserve. It was really important for us to focus on staff training and development; having three Cat Advocates shows how much our team want to give cats the best possible care.

“We are huge feline fans here at Gower Vets, and are really proud to become a silver-accredited Cat Friendly Clinic. We’re always looking for ways to improve patient care, and are aiming for gold accreditation now.”

To learn more about Gower Vets and its cat-friendly care, visit www.gowervets.co.uk or take a look at Gower Veterinary Surgery on Facebook.

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