WORCESTER veterinary nurse Amy-Kate Jukes is sharing her knowledge of cat behaviour to help stop cute kitties turning into fierce felines when they visit the vets.
Cats make great pets because they are very affectionate but going to the vets for routine or emergency treatment can make them feel stressed, which may lead to aggressive behaviour.
Amy-Kate, who works at Severn Veterinary Centre’s Tybridge House surgery, has spent a year studying cat health, welfare and behaviour and has achieved her Certificate in Feline Nursing with distinction from the International Society of Feline Medicine (ISFM), the veterinary division of the charity International Cat Care.
She is passionate about cats and enjoys advising clients at Severn Vets about the health needs of pets and how to reduce their stress, both at home and when visiting the vets.
Amy-Kate said: “I’ve been able to use the knowledge I’ve learned through studying for my certificate to help keep our feline patients happy and healthy. We have modified our cat kennels so our in-patients are as comfortable as possible and they have somewhere to hide, which makes them feel safer. We also use pheromone sprays which have a calming effect.
“Giving cats time to relax and settle is so important, so we let them come out of their carriers when they are ready and treat each one as an individual with its own needs.
She said: “Cats are quite mysterious, which is what I love most about them, and I really enjoy adapting my nursing skills for each one so we can offer them the highest levels of care.”
Amy-Kate added that making the practice more cat-friendly has lots of benefits for the patients.
She said: “Cats respond much better to treatment if they are not stressed, and their recovery time is quicker, too. If they are relaxed, we also get more accurate results from tests and it’s a much nicer experience for the veterinary team and the cat’s owner.”
Amy-Kate owns two cats, including Pepper who came into the practice as a stray kitten.