Cats – of course ! …..
It appears that I forgot to mention my feline patients here in the North.
In Tromsø, just a few hundred kilometers from the Northkap, they are in for a special treat :
The World’s most Northern Cat Clinic !
Long gone are the days when dogs were sitting in the vet’s waiting room right next to frightened cats in their carrier boxes. Even the most remote small animal veterinary practice these days should have realised by now that this is stressful for both the cat as well as for the owner .
Simple interior design solutions like separate waiting room areas or elevated storage facilities for carrier baskets are employed to provide cats with a degree of privacy which in return results in a less stressed patient in the consulting room – which translates into more meaningful examinations and less cat bite injuries. ( A small fact on the side: in 30 years of companion animal practice I was never bitten by a cat…..ok, with that statement I have outed myself as a cat nerd…..)
However, the Gold Standard of cat friendly practices are Cat (only) Clinics.
These clinics are a fairly recent development in companion animal veterinary medicine and – here a serious health warning to all veterinary professional reading this block – they are addictive !
Cat Clinics operate in an alternative universe : time here is slowing down and the environment is quiet and peaceful, warm, soft and comfortable and anything that might still be considered as a threat by a cat is made as predictable as possible……Movements during the consultations are slower and with the help of feline pheromones and a deeper understanding of the specific behaviour of cats cleverly applied, any form of restraint is virtually always avoided.
What is comfortable and non-challenging for cats (no-surprisingly….) is also more enjoyable for humans…..
One of these feline only clinics is placed just opposite of the Small Animal Clinic (where we also treat some cats….).
Located on the 1st floor of a modern highrise building, just next to a well equipped gym, feline medicine is practiced in a spacious and ultra modern environment.
The consulting rooms have a minimalistic interior design with very little options for a feline escapee to hide (which is why most cats then happily remain on the consulting room table).
There are large windows on both sides of the building to provide good light (providing that the time of the year is offering some….)
…and even the operating theatre is a “room with a view”.
No wonder that this is a “Gold Standard” Cat Friendly Practice and even among the veterinary team the shifts at the cat clinic are extremely popular.
Who would have thought of this line of veterinary service provision just 20-30 years ago ?
With cats now overtaking dogs as more suitable companions for an urban lifestyle, prepare yourself that this will progressively become a common sight in the 21st century.