Feline Medical Care
Westbury Veterinary Clinic is proud to be the first and only animal hospital in Summerville to earn the Cat Friendly Practice certification from the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP).
This recognition represents a lot of effort both in the way we train our staff in friendly handling techniques to the way our facility is organized to create the least stress possible for our feline patients and their owners.
And we didn't stop with just being certified - we achieved Gold level certification which is the highest level offered by the AAFP and is part of our commitment to being the best place to bring your cat for medical care.
At Westbury Veterinary Clinic we know that cats are not just small dogs! Cats are a unique species with unique health issues.
The doctors at Westbury are knowledgeable in feline medicine and experienced at diagnosing and treating cats for their specific health
concerns. Our medical and surgical protocols are tailored to cats both as a species and as individuals. Your cat’s veterinarian will
discuss her diagnosis with you and answer any questions you have about her care.
Getting your cat to the veterinary clinic
Do you dread taking your cat to the vet because she gets scared? You’re not alone. The number one reason cats don’t get regular care is
that they are afraid – afraid of the carrier, the car, and the vet’s office.
Why is your cat so afraid? Most cats are not used to going anywhere – they stay at home. Their home is their territory and they are comfortable
in familiar surroundings. Unlike dogs they aren’t used to riding in the car. Cats don’t go to the park, the groomer, or go on visits to the
homes of friends or family. When you put your cat in a carrier she gets worried and may show signs of anxiety such as crying or panting.
This anxious behavior worries you as her owner and can make veterinary visits just as stressful for you as they are for your cat.
We can help!
There are some simple things you can do at home to make your cat more comfortable in her carrier:
- Make the carrier a part of kitty’s everyday life.
- Take the top and door off of the carrier and leave it out for kitty to use as a bed. If she has a favorite blankie put it in the carrier.
- Feed kitty her favorite treats or canned food while she sits in the carrier bottom.
- Once kitty is comfortable in the carrier and start to use it as a bed put the top on (leave the door off).
- When kitty is comfortable sitting in the carrier with the top on you can add the door but leave it open.
Spray or wipe the inside of the carrier with Feliway spray – a cat friendly pheromone that creates calm feelings for cats. (Contact us for
more information about Feliway).
Making the carrier a “safe place” for your cat will significantly reduce her fear when she rides in it. Being able to get kitty into the carrier
is important not only for vet visits but may also be life saving if you need to get her into the carrier quickly (such as in emergencies or
If you have more questions about getting your cat to our office just call us! We are always happy to help our feline patients enjoy a stress-free
trip to see us.
The Westbury Difference - Feline Friendly Care and Cats Only Waiting & Exam Rooms
Feline Friendly environment
Cats don’t like dogs. Why should they have to share a waiting room with them? Sitting in a waiting room full of strange dogs is very scary for
your cat. Westbury veterinary clinic was designed with the needs and preferences of your cat in mind. That’s why we have a separate cats-only
entrance, waiting room and exam rooms especially for the comfort of your cat.
Cats are very sensitive to noise, odors and touch. Our exam rooms are quiet and are equipped with formica tabletops, rather than cold stainless
steel (cats hate stainless steel!). Each cat is provided with a clean, fluffy towel to sit on during her exam.
If your cat is admitted to our hospital for additional care she will be housed in our dedicated feline hospital ward. Our hospital condos are
constructed from formica and have heated floors for your cat’s comfort. Your cat will even have a room with a view – our cat condos overlook
windows so your cat can enjoy natural light and watch the birds.
Low stress handling
At Westbury we think cats are special. That attitude shows in how we handle and care for your cat. Our doctors and staff use feline friendly,
low stress handling techniques so that your cat feels safe. Low stress means that we are sensitive to your cat’s emotional state. Your cat
will be treated gently because we understand that she is anxious. In the past, you may have visited veterinarians who handled your cat in a way
that made you uncomfortable. Some cats show their fear by growling, hissing or swatting. Rough handling will only heighten your cat’s fear.
We understand your cat and we will work with her so that she can receive a comprehensive physical examination without being frightened.
Cats don’t always cooperate with our efforts to give them medicine. If your cat is difficult to pill we can discuss alternative forms of
medication such as chewable flavor tabs, flavored suspensions or transdermal medications (medications absorbed through the skin). We can
even give you a few tips on how to pill your cat without stressing her out! Just ask us for a “pill demo”.
Does your cat always use the litter box? Are you having “outside the box” issues at home? House-soiling or inappropriate elimination – especially
inappropriate urination - is the number one reason that cats are surrendered to shelters and euthanized every year.
Did you know that the longer inappropriate elimination goes on the harder it is to correct? Bringing the issue to your vet’s attention right away
Many cats that urinate or defecate outside of their litter box have a medical problem that can be treated. Typically we can identify the problem
with a complete physical exam and diagnostic testing. Once we have a diagnosis your cat will be on the way to recovery and using the litter box
again in short order.
Some cats may have a problem that is behavioral. Behavioral problems can be treated too! The veterinarians at Westbury can determine if your cat’s
litter box issue is medical or behavioral. If the problem turns out to be behavioral we can help correct it by sitting down with you for a behavior
Prior to your consult you will be asked to answer some questions about your cat’s history, her environment and her behavior. This history will help
the vet to determine the triggers for your cat’s behavior. Then the veterinarian will sit down with you – either in person or by phone – and discuss
a personalized, step- by -step plan for modifying and correcting the cat’s behavior. After the consult you will have access to your vet by phone or
e-mail if needed, so that plans can be modified or added to as necessary.
Westbury offers feline behavioral consults for a number of issues in addition to inappropriate elimination:
- Aggression towards other pets
- Aggression toward people
- Unwanted biting or scratching behavior
- Destructive scratching of property
- Anxiety or excessively fearful behavior
You can also ask us for quick advice on these frequently asked questions:
- How do I introduce a new pet to my cat?
- How do I get my cat ready for a move?
- I am traveling by car or plane with my cat – what do I need to do?
- I am expecting a new baby – how do I introduce her to my cat?