Cats are independent, a little stubborn and are very sensitive to their environment. Most cats don’t like leaving the safety and comfort of their homes. When going to the veterinarian, even for a quick annual checkup, a cat’s anxiety level can skyrocket. There are steps you can take to make your clinic more feline friendly. Most of these tips won’t require major renovations or cost a lot of money to implement. It just takes a little planning and foresight to keep your feline patients less stressed and their owners happy.
Try to designate one exam room for cats only. Cats are very sensitive to smell, especially odors from other animals. If a cat has entered the same exam room a dog has been in, chances are the cat will pick up on the dog’s scent, making the cat even more uncomfortable. Having a cat-only exam room will help keep this stress to a minimum.
Find a spot in the waiting room where cats are separate from other animals. The waiting area is the one spot in your veterinary practice where your patients are all grouped together. Preventing dogs from sniffing around cat carriers and barking in close proximity will be one less stressor. This doesn’t mean your clinic needs an expensive remodel, you just need a barrier separating the two areas to make it more feline-friendly. The barrier can be anything from furniture to a room divider. Some clinics even use large fish tanks. As we all know, cats love to look at fish!
If your clinic is too small to accommodate an exclusive waiting area for cats, then try to get them into a feline-designated exam room right away. The smaller, quieter space will put both the cat, and owner, at ease.
The perfect perch. Cats love to perch in high places. It makes them feel comfortable, content and can ease a lot of stress. In your clinic’s boarding area, place cats in the top cages so they have a bird’s eye view of the room and are away from the dogs. In the exam rooms, shelving can be installed so cats have someplace to perch while waiting for their appointment. This will be much easier on the cat than sitting on the floor in a carrier.
Train Your Veterinary Staff About Cats
In addition to your clinic design, it’s also important to train your staff on the proper handling of cats, feline behavior and understanding a cat’s special needs. Complementing your hospital design with good staff training will ensure your feline friends and their human companions stay happy and safe.
Great Veterinary Hospital Design Ideas
Whether your clinic caters exclusively to cats or you treat all animals, implementing a feline-friendly design will keep your patients and their owners happy. If you’re looking for hospital design inspiration, visit Our Pinterest Page to see pictures of how other veterinary clinics have modified their designs to to make them more feline-friendly.