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Cynthia Awards for good ‘cattitude’

Three Cynthia Awards - the equivalent of Oscars for good ‘cattitude’ in veterinary practice - were awarded by The Feline Advisory Bureau (FAB), a charity dedicated to the health and wellbeing of cats, in The Groucho Club, London on Friday, 10 November. Representatives from 23 veterinary practices gaining Gold, Silver and Bronze Awards in the nationwide FAB Cat Friendly Practice Competition were also present to receive awards from the charity.

Cynthia Awards were given to Anna Chalmers, veterinary surgeon at Avalon Veterinary Clinic, Glasgow, Sarah George veterinary surgeon at the Pet Vaccination Clinic, West Midlands and Clair Loding head veterinary nurse at the Ivy Lodge Veterinary Clinic, Upminster. These people impressed the judges as ëchampioning cat care within their practicesí. The Cynthia Award is a bronze statue modelled on and named after the cat on the FAB’s logo.

Clair Loding with her Cynthia Award for great ‘cattitude’. Clair is head veterinary nurse at the Ivy Lodge Veterinary Clinic.

Launched in April this year, the aim of the FAB Cat Friendly Practice Competition was to raise awareness of the needs of cats in practice and make the visit to the vet less stressful for cats, owners and vets alike. Historically, veterinary practices have centred around dogs. Cats are now, however, the most popular pet in the UK. There are an estimated nine million cats (seven million dogs) in the UK.

FAB received 200 nominations from cat owners for over 80 veterinary practices across the UK. Nominated practices were invited to submit a report showing what they had undertaken to make their practice feline friendly. Top awards were only presented following visits to the practice by veterinary surgeons who were members of the FAB feline expert panel.

Gold Award Winners with the Sponsors - Abbey House Veterinary Hospital, Leeds; Ivy Lodge Veterinary Clinic, Upminster; Mill House Veterinary Surgery & Hospital, Kings Lynn and Oxford Cat Clinic, Oxford.

Thanks to the support of sponsors Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Pfizer Animal Health and Direct Line, FAB has provided veterinary practices with a free handbook on Creating a Cat Friendly Practice and information leaflets for them to distribute to cat owners.

‘There are excellent veterinary practices out there - both small animal and otherwise - and it is good to see some of those gaining recognition from an organisation as well respected by the public and vets alike as the FAB,’ says Mrs Lynne Hill MRCVS, President of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.

Anna Chalmers with her award. Anna is one of the vets at Avalon Veterinary Clinic, Glasgow.

Awards were presented by Chairman of the FAB, Dr Andy Sparkes who said, ‘Our knowledge of cats, their behaviour and how stress can affect them both mentally and physically has increased immensely recently ñ we wanted to integrate this knowledge into practical advice for vets and nurses working with cats.’

Gold Award winners

Oxford Cat Clinic, Oxford;
Abbey House Veterinary Hospital, Morley, Leeds;
Mill House Veterinary Surgery and Hospital, Kings Lynn;
Ivy Lodge Veterinary Clinic, Upminster

Silver Award winners
Avalon Veterinary Clinic, Glasgow;
Edinburgh Cat Clinic;
Farthings Veterinary Group, Horsham;
Endell Veterinary Group, Salisbury

Bronze Award winners

Astonlee Veterinary Surgery, Newport Pagnell, Bucks;
Pet Vaccination Clinic, Wythall, West Midlands;
The Cat Clinic, Southsea, Hants;
Exclusively Cats, Ayr, Ayrshire;
Kynoch Vets, Camberley, Surrey;
Moor Cottage Veterinary Hospital, Binfield, Berks;
Okeford Veterinary Clinic, Okehampton, Devon;
Riverside Vets, Marlborough, Wilts;
Strathmore Veterinary Clinic, Andover, Hants;
Top Cat Veterinary Clinic, Brighton, Sussex;
Watkins and Tasker Veterinary Group, Nailsea, Bristol;
Pet Doctors, Guildford, Surrey;
Nine Lives Veterinary Centre, Redbourn, Herts;
Cat and Rabbit Clinic, Northampton;
Goddard Vet Group, Brixton, London.

Founded nearly 50 years ago, FAB is a charity dedicated to promoting the health and welfare of cats through improved feline knowledge, to help us all care better for our cats. FAB supports residencies at the UK veterinary schools, provides advice to veterinary surgeons and health advice to cat owners through its website.

For more information on the work of the charity and the FAB Cat Friendly Practice Campaign go to www.fabcats.org or call 0870 742 2278.