grey cat smiling

Cat Friendly Clinics

We understand that cats are unique creatures and present novel challenges when bringing them to a veterinary practice.

Colleagues at every accredited practice have promised to handle and treat cats with understanding, gentleness, and respect, and to make every effort to make the visit to the practice as stress-free for you and your cat as possible.  

The International Society for Feline Medicine (ISFM) is the veterinary division of International Cat Care (, a charity dedicated to improving the health and welfare of cats worldwide.

We understand that cats are unique creatures and present novel challenges when bringing them to a veterinary practice.

  • Cats often do not travel well and feel unsafe away from their home
  • They are highly sensitive to new sights, sounds, and smells
  • Most cats prefer quiet and solitude and are highly susceptible to stress
  • Most cats are highly stressed by nearby dogs in a vet surgery
  • Cats need to be handled gently and with respect in the practice

Achieving the Cat Friendly Clinic accreditation involves all colleagues, from receptionists, nurses and technicians, through to vets. Each accredited practice also has at least one ‘Cat Advocate’ – someone who ensures the cat friendly standards are adhered to, and who would be happy to talk to you.

What does it mean for my cat and me?

An ISFM Cat Friendly Clinic gives you peace of mind and reassurance, letting you know that:

  • The practice has achieved certain minimum accreditation standards
  • The practice and practice colleagues have thought about the specific needs of cats
  • The colleagues in surgery will be happy to talk with you, show you what they do and show you around the practice

What are the different levels of ISFM Cat Friendly Clinic accreditation?

  • Bronze: Cat-only appointment blocks if no separate area for cats
  • Silver: Must have separate area in waiting room for cats
  • Gold: Additional facilities in waiting room (baskets off floor etc.)
  • Bronze: Not necessarily required
  • Silver: Dogs and cats separated in ward and minimum cage sizess
  • Gold: Cats hospitalised in a separate ward to dogs (two separate rooms), with kennels meeting minimum size requirements.
  • Bronze and Silver: Safe, secure and well equipped consulting room. A minimum of 10-minute duration for consultation
  • Gold: A dedicated cat consulting room. 15-minute consultations
  • Bronze: Surgical facilities not required on premises, but arrangement in place with another clinic to provide when necessary (and this clinic must meet Silver criteria)
  • Silver: Appropriate equipment for anaesthesia must be available
  • Gold: Separate dedicated operating theatre with advanced anaesthetic monitoring available