Dr Andy Sparkes, Veterinary Director at International Cat Care, was delighted to pick up the Veterinary Record Innovation Award for the charity's Cat Friendly Clinic programme
International Cat Care (iCatCare) has been announced as the 2016 winner of the Veterinary Record Innovation Award for its Cat Friendly Clinic (CFC) programme. This prestigious annual award is presented to individuals, or veterinary teams, whose innovation has brought about a change or improvement in any aspect of veterinary practice.
Dr Andy Sparkes, the Veterinary Director at iCatCare, was delighted to pick up the award, which was presented at the British Veterinary Association’s Members’ Day on 22nd September. Dr Sparkes said, 'We are thrilled and delighted to receive the award. Cat Friendly Clinic is changing the way small animal veterinary clinics approach cats and cat clients across the world, and we are delighted with the enthusiasm it has received within the veterinary profession.'
The judges felt that iCatCare's CFC Programme (founded by iCatCare's veterinary division the International Society of Feline Medicine [ISFM] in 2012), demonstrated innovation and also provided practical solutions for problems that many practitioners face when dealing with their feline patients. The CFC programme was commended not just for raising the standard of care and welfare of cats when in the clinic setting, but also for being good for veterinary business by strengthening the clinic’s bond with its feline clients. The judges were also impressed by the global reach of the programme, which has accredited over 1600 cat friendly clinics around the world, in over 25 countries.
ISFM developed the CFC programme to tackle some of the key problems identified in the care of cats, including:
- fewer cats were being taken to the vet than dogs, with vets seeing a decline in the number of clients with cats
- high levels of stress, experienced by both cat and owner, when visiting the clinic
- difficulty in handling the animals during examinations
- results of diagnostic tests being affected by stress
- delays in recovery as a result of stress
The programme provides a wealth of educational material, for both veterinary clinics and owners, to enable a better understanding of why cats get stressed during a veterinary visit. In addition, the scheme encourages veterinary clinics to show off their ‘cattitude’ – their cat friendly attitude – by helping them to approach and treat cats in a way that cats do not find stressful.
Using its CFC programme, iCatCare hopes to continue helping clinics around the world adopt a more ‘cat friendly’ approach to improve the care of all cats. The recognition brought by this award will certainly help to achieve this aim.
For more information about the programme, visit: www.catfriendlyclinic.org.