An Essex vet practice has received a glowing endorsement of its top-quality care for cats with a silver award from the International Society of Feline Medicine (ISFM).

Animal Ark, in Ilford, which is owned by Linnaeus, has been recognised as a cat-friendly clinic (CFC) by the prestigious ISFM.

Animal Ark’s cat advocate Nicola Young says it’s a welcome recognition of the practice’s determination to promote wellbeing and the highest possible standards of care for all cats visiting or being hospitalised.

Nicola, pictured here with a feline friend, said: “We’re very proud to have achieved silver cat-friendly clinic status. It really has been a big team effort and is a fitting reward for everyone’s hard work and dedication.

“We have ensured we provide a low-stress environment which respects the natural needs of our feline patients. It’s a continuous priority across the practice and we always look to keep improving.

“We have regular meetings to discuss changes we’ve made and things we can still change, with our next aim of achieving the ultimate CFC gold award.”

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.

Nicola added: “The ISFM examine the provision of facilities and staff activities and attitudes aimed at 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.

“Most importantly, staff are encouraged to approach and handle cats sensitively and respectfully.

“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.”

For more information about Animal Ark visit, or search for Animal Ark on Facebook.

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