As cat lovers, we don’t want to be separated from our pets when they are ill - but occasionally a hospital stay may be required. If it is, we hope this information will put your mind at rest as much as possible.
When a cat is ill, the last thing they want is a stressful hospital experience. This is why we have gone above and beyond at The London Cat Clinic to ensure that your cat has the most relaxing stay possible.
Our accommodations exceed the International Cat Care Gold Standard Cat-Friendly Clinic guidelines with lots of room for our patients to stretch out and relax. We constantly diffuse Feliway, a calming pheromone. We even soothe with relaxing music. We use Feline Forts® to enable our shyer patients to hide away and feel more secure. We also encourage owners to bring their cat’s favourite toys and blankets to give extra reassurance.
Alongside our top-flight accommodation comes the highest standards of patient care. Our nursing staff observe all our patients continuously throughout the day, paying particular attention to their catheter comfort.
We also place a soft collar on all of our patients that are hospitalised overnight as a precaution against unwanted catheter attention. Don’t worry - these collars are not like the traditional ‘lampshades’ and your cat will feel far more relaxed wearing them.
For overnight stays, you can be assured that your cat will get the right level of monitoring. We have the following 3-tier system in place:
Tier 1 patients are stable and low risk and so will stay in The London Cat Clinic overnight.
After the clinic closes and before the staff leave, we carry out a final ward round to check on the patients and give them their medication. We also make sure all intravenous lines are running. We check on food, water and litter trays and make sure your cat is as comfortable as possible before settling them down for the night. You can be assured that your cat will be safe overnight in the clinic as we have the highest security and fire protection measures in place.
Tier 2 patients are higher risk and will be transferred to our Emergency Service overnight.
Your cat will be given regular monitoring throughout the night and medication assistance if required. Please visit here or detailed information on this process.
Tier 3 patients are the most acute cases.
They are too fragile to be transferred to our Emergency Service overnight. Instead one of our staff will stay with them in the clinic overnight and continuously monitor them.
How can I find out how my cat is doing?
We will usually contact you at clinic closing time, unless your cat has only just been admitted. We will provide you with an update and answer any questions. In the morning, we welcome phone calls to update you further on how your cat is progressing. Between 11am and 12noon is the best time to call us.
What is the catheter for and is it painful or dangerous?
Catheters are very small unreactive tubes that we place into our patient’s neck or leg vein. Catheters are essential to deliver vital rehydration fluids and medication directly into your cat’s body when they are not eating or drinking or their illness won’t allow it.
In the vast majority of cases, our patients aren’t even aware the catheter is there. If a patient is very determined, it is possible to pull out the whole unit or chew through the line. Usually the worst impact of this is minor blood loss or some bruising. In extreme cases, part of a catheter can shear off and enter the venous system, causing an infection or even clot. Rest assured, these extreme cases are very rare. We also do our best to minimise risk by ensuring that catheter checks are a key part of our monitoring and ward rounds.
Will my cat receive too much fluid by accident?
No, all of our patients receiving intravenous fluid therapy or intravenous medications will be attached to electronic pumps that will deliver only the precise amount required and no more.
There can be a risk of a cat not getting enough fluid if they twist the intravenous line or, in an exceptional case, remove the catheter which this will prevent the flow of fluids. Again, to reduce this risk, line checks are an important part of our monitoring care.
Can I take my cat home overnight?
Occasionally we get asked if people can take their cats home overnight with the pump and catheter and lines. We understand the desire to do this but advise against it. Cats at home are more likely to wander about, potentially causing damage to the catheter and themselves. Also, ther animals at home can cause them anxiety at a time when they are often feeling a bit fragile.
We are not able to let the specialist fluid pumps leave the practice as the warranty is voided if they are damaged. We do not want our customers to have to worry about this significant expense.
I would prefer for my cat to be transferred to the Emergency Service for monitoring even though they are Tier 1. Is that possible?
Yes, that’s not a problem at all. We are here to help you and your cat. If this choice reduces your stress levels, then we are very happy to organise this for you.