Get creative and turn your veterinary clinic cat-friendly

November 27, 2018
Michael Nappier, DVM, DABVP
Michael Nappier, DVM, DABVP

Michael Nappier is assistant professor of community practice in the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine in Blacksburg, Virginia.

It doesn't take a massive effortor investmentto look at your hospital from cats' perspective.

Many veterinary professionals and pet owners would likely agree that cats are misunderstood creatures–and widely misunderstood patients. And so they could use a little different treatment in the clinic. Fetch dvm360 conference speaker Michael Nappier, DVM, DABVP, believes there's a misconception that in order to accommodate cats you must undergo enormous changes to your facility–or even to your practice's identity. The truth is simpler, he says: Work with what you have.

"I think the biggest thing that you can do to be cat-friendly without really making any physical changes, is simply look at things from the cat's point of view," Dr. Nappier says.

Kitty corrections for your clinic

Fast feline-friendly fixes.

On the fence about embracing the AAFP's Cat Friendly Practice Program?

Why your excuses aren't valid when it comes to being feline-friendly.

Instead of walking through the front door and making a bee line for your office, pause to get the feline feeling. Then consider what you might do differently.

Dr. Nappier has some tips:

Clear the counter

Make sure there's room to place a cat carrier on the front desk at check-in, as opposed to putting crate and contents on the floor.

Give 'em the cold shoulder

Once in the exam room, let the cat out and ... forget about it.

"Ignore the cat," he says, "Go about taking your history and getting information from the client."

This gives the patient time to acclimatize.

Set up space

Devote what room you can to cats. If your clinic doesn't have space for a cat-only room, how about a "cat-mostly" room?

"We're going to have all of our feline friendly stuff in there," Dr. Nappier says, including the likes of pheromones.

Watch the video for more.