Vet nurse Marianne Segev, cat advocate at City Vets.

A top animal hospital in Devon has been recognised as the crème de la crème in cat care.

City Vets in Exeter, which is owned by Linnaeus, has scooped a coveted International Society of Feline Medicine (ISFM) gold award for its highly-respected Heavitree pet hospital.

It’s the ultimate ISFM accolade and is only awarded to veterinary centres which deliver the highest level of care and facilities for cats.

Heavitree’s delighted cat advocate, vet nurse Marianne Segev, says she’s feline fine after landing such a prestigious award.


Marianne said: “We are really pleased to have achieved gold-standard cat friendly clinic status at Heavitree. The application process is pretty thorough, so it was a proud moment when we got the confirmation we were up to scratch.

“We always try to keep the visits of our feline patients as stress-free as possible. Our inpatients even get to watch a bit of cat-friendly TV to keep them entertained whilst they recuperate!

“Cats aren’t generally used to finding themselves staying away from home or making regular trips beyond their usual boundaries like perhaps dogs are, therefore they are often more nervous about visits to the vet in the first instance.

“At Heavitree, we use cat-friendly handling techniques to keep stress levels to a minimum and treat each cat on an individual basis. Some cats are very happy to come and see us and are quite relaxed in the hospital, whereas others may need a little more reassurance.

“We have ensured we provide a low-stress environment which respects the natural needs of our feline patients and we are always discussing way in which we can improve further.”

The ISFM launched the cat-friendly clinic initiative to encourage veterinary clinics to make changes to improve the welfare of cats in their care.

The programme advises practices on how to make their environment as welcoming as possible for cats, as well as providing support in staff training, handling techniques and cat-specific client care.

Marianne added: “The ISFM application involves providing evidence of practice facilities, equipment and practices to make sure we are providing a high standard of cat friendly care on a daily basis.

“We currently have dividers in our waiting room and some cat-friendly shelving. Our plans moving forward will involve completely separate cat and dog waiting rooms to further minimise stress for feline patients.

“Clinics are also expected to maintain high standards of veterinary care, including continuing to update their knowledge of feline medicine. Being an ISFM practice our staff have access to an ISFM login with lots of feline friendly CPD topics to choose from.”

City Vets has four practices across Exeter, in Alphington, Heavitree, St Thomas and Whipton, which are all committed to delivering the highest quality, professional and caring service.