The new principles were announced in a London ceremony.
Veterinary and animal welfare charity International Cat Care (iCatCare) has launched new Cat Friendly Principles to outline and inform the charity's work.
In a 'Being Cat Friendly' event, held on 29 April at Church House in London, iCatCare CEO Claire Bessant revealed the new principles in front of the charity's patron, Lord Black, past and recent trustees, supporters and friends of iCatCare.
Claire Bessant explained: “We have always been a difficult charity to put neatly in a box with a short snappy sentence to explain about our work in the veterinary sector, with owners and caregivers, and those working with unowned cats on such a wide variety of subjects.
“Over the past two years, we took the time to articulate what it is we have instinctively done over the years in our approach to cats.”
The principles are as follows;
• respect cats - respect the diversity of the species and understand the individual cat
• keep cats well - giving equal consideration to the physical health and mental wellbeing of cats
• do cats no harm - ensure cats are no worse off as a result of people or their activities
• be solution-driven - find evidence-based, pragmatic and sustainable solutions for cats
• communicate for cats - communicate considerately and share knowledge generously for the sake of cats
• collaborate for cats - work together, locally, internationally and with people from different backgrounds, always supporting and valuing each other
• evolve for cats - be innovative, remain curious and keep learning for cats.
“The cat friendly principles will guide us in what we do,” added Claire. “We hope that others will sign up to them and they will aid the navigation of the tricky cat dilemmas which face us all everyday.”
Alongside the unveiling of the new principles, iCatCare held a ceremony for the recipients of the Cat Friendly Clinic Awards. Orchid Vets was the winner of the physical category, for the separate cat friendly level the team created in the clinic.
Niki Pullen RVN, who submitted the entry, commented: “Winning shows us it was worth it.. but even if we hadn’t won the evidence it was worth it shows in our clients and our patients.. since we have implemented these changes the (previously protective) cats are letting us examine them.
“Those practices thinking about becoming cat friendly but (think) it’s a lot of effort, no, it is so worth it.”
The procedural change category was won by DAP De Witte Raff for its use of the lick mat as a distraction technique.
The DAP De Witt team spoke of the achievement: “Winning the competition is the icing on the cake for our efforts to make our clinic as stress free as possible for our feline friends.
“It’s the ideal incentive to keep searching for ways to improve our cat friendly approach!”
Image (C) International Cat Care