ISFM delegates enjoy cat topics in Riga

Nearly 400 participants partook of the quality mix of feline neurology, behaviour and surgery at ISFM’s European Congress held in Riga, the capital of Latvia, on June 18–22.

Laurent Garosi, a great cat enthusiast, led the audience through an approach to demystify feline neurology and gave them the tools to tackle even difficult problems with confidence. Professor Tony Buffington discussed many issues, the effect of environment and stress on illness in cats, Pandora syndrome and a thinking approach to working with cats. John Williams tackled some common feline surgical problems. These, mixed with presentations from congress partner sponsors, such as on lower urinary tract disease from Hill’s, cat parasitosis from Merial, compliance in geriatric patients from Boehringer, topics including CKD from Bayer, as well as on behaviour and welfare supported by Ceva on the pre-Congress day, gave delegates many and assorted tips to take home and use with cats in their own practices.

Masterclasses in neurology, nutrition and surgery allowed some delegates to delve further into their preferred topics.

The event was truly international, with delegates from 32 countries including Latvia, Russia, Australia, Japan, Malaysia, Romania, UK, France, Germany, Netherlands, Ukraine, Singapore and South Africa. As one delegate said, ‘I learned a lot and had fun’ – a simple and definite success for the aims of the Congress!

Although weather in Riga proved a little rainy, delegates had time to explore the city and nearby Jurmala – a beautiful historic and architectural beach resort, and learn some of the history of the region on their afternoon off. The Congress took part during the mid-summer festival that saw music and celebrations in the city for two days, (including overnight) and the wearing of flower and oak leaf garlands to celebrate the all-night light.

Practitioners who had successfully passed the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Science examination in feline medicine had an inaugural meeting of the ISFM Veterinary Academy to discuss how to work together. Their enthusiasm was infectious and gave great confidence for a future generation of highly motivated practitioners moving feline medicine forward.

The Congress dinner took place in the Latvian Society House and some party goers took on the Hollywood theme with great enthusiasm – Laurel and Hardy, several Marilyns, film directors, Hollywood beauties and famous faces, made it a lively evening with much dancing at the beautiful venue.

Over 100 people signed up to the special delegate rate for next year’s conference to be held in Porto, Portugal, July 1–5, with themes of feline dermatology (with renowned speaker Karen Moriello from the University of Wisconsin-Madison), haematology and a special day on feline fertility control in conjunction with the USA based Association for Contraception in Cats and Dogs, with which ISFM is working closely.

Pictures of the event from ISFM’s regular and fantastic photographer, Brendan Kelly, can be found on icatcare’s facebook page. Notes will be available to ISFM members on the ISFM portal in early autumn.

       Ends                               June 30, 2014

For further details contact Karen Bessant at or call on 01747 871 872


Party night Hollywood style

Laurent Garosi lecturing

Attendees at the inaugural ISFM Academy dinner