A GREATER Manchester veterinary practice is the cat’s whiskers – thanks to the care and dedication of nurse Michelle Robson.
Heywood Veterinary Centre wants to eliminate the stress for cats and their owners when they come into their surgery in Bridge Street for routine check-ups or treatment.
Owners can bring their cats into the practice without the threat of them being distressed by barking dogs as they now have feline-only waiting areas.
The surgery also has special facilities to comfort cats and is working hard to educate owners on feline care and behaviour.
The improvements in Heywood Veterinary Centre’s care of cats is thanks to veterinary nurse Michelle, who recently achieved her Certificate in Feline Medical Nursing.
And their work has just been recognised with a Silver Award from International Cat Care – a charity passionate about improving the welfare of all cats.
Michelle was inspired to study for her Certificate in Feline Medical Nursing after adopting two rescue kittens, Leo and Willow. Now she hopes to study for a qualification in cat behaviour.
She said: “You have to own a cat to understand them as they are so unique and require different care to dogs.
“We have worked really hard to ensure that coming to the vets is a less stressful experience for cats so we have special waiting rooms and shelves to place cat boxes on with towels over.
“We also encourage owners to allow their new kittens to play in their box at home so they get used to it and see it as a safe area. We have pheromone sprays in consult rooms and we make sure we gently coax them out of their boxes in the consult room.
“Clients say their cats are more relaxed and we have been impressed that dog owners respect the cat-only waiting area.”
Staff at the practice have also been trained in handling cats and clients have noticed a difference in their pets when they arrive at the surgery.
Practice Manager Polly Rickards said: “Michelle is a great asset and we have encouraged her passion for feline medicine.
“She has been educating the rest of the team on how to minimise potential stress levels and make cats feel more comfortable when they visit.
“We are very proud of Michelle for all the hard work she has put in and the positive effect it has had on our clients and their pets.”
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