Are you open as normal during the current Coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19) ?
The West Midlands Cat Clinic is open during the clinic’s advertised opening hours for routine appointments as well as to see poorly cats and feline emergencies. When the West Midlands Cat Clinic is closed, please continue to contact us on 01922 411755 as the same multi-award winning team will be available at 387 Veterinary Centre.
The West Midlands Cat Clinic shares the amazing diagnostic, operating and cat ward facilities at our same-site sister practice which has been awarded ISFM Gold Cat Friendly Clinic status so also offers a full portfolio of feline surgeries.
For any emergencies outside 387 Veterinary Centre’s opening hours, you’ll be directed to our out of hours provider.
Please phone if your cat needs veterinary support and we will be able to advise you on the best course of action. Whilst we are delighted to welcome cat owners and their feline companions into The West Midlands Cat Clinic, see below for protective measures in place at the clinic to help keep everyone safe at this time.
Coronavirus (Covid-19): what measures are in practice to minimise risk?
We kindly ask that all queries and appointment-booking be made by phone, as, given the stringent measures around social distancing and social gatherings, we will be strictly limiting the number of owners in the waiting room at any one time.
For owners with pre-booked appointments, please come straight into the clinic when you arrive if there is a spare sofa available, and sit in one of our partitioned seating areas where our receptionist will check you in. Whilst in the building, owners should wear a face covering at all times, and we ask that you make use of our hand sanitiser in the porch as you enter. If at all possible, we ask that only one owner accompanies the patient.
Whilst you are in our waiting room, please remain seated until otherwise advised by a member of our team. As we are not yet inviting clients back into consulting rooms, our vet or vet nurse will come to you, will take your cat for their appointment, and will then return to discuss the examination with you. Once your appointment is over, you will be directed to reception when the reception-desk is clear, to ensure we keep everyone as safe and as socially distanced as possible.
For on-going prescription fulfilment, please do ask us about the option of posting medications to your home. Registered clients can take advantage of our parasite treatment free home delivery service.
We are following government advice as issued and are constantly reviewing our protocols accordingly. We are being even more rigorous with our cleaning and disinfecting regimes to look after everyone’s welfare and minimise virus risk. Payments are taken over the phone where possible to reduce the risk of virus transferral via the card machine. Where we do need to take card payment, we will ask that you hold up your card so we can enter details and process payment as a remote transaction to keep you and our team safe. We are currently not accepting cash.
Our team remain incredibly vigilant about hand washing and hand sanitising and we are all wearing facemasks or visors and appropriate PPE when required in order to keep ourselves and others safe.
Understandably, during this time we are unable to offer home visits.
Coronavirus (Covid-19): what measures should I be taking as a client?
We have in place telephone and video consultation options with vets as an alternative option to bringing your cat into practice.
If you are coming to The West Midlands Cat Clinic for an appointment:
- Please adhere to our current coronavirus measures to help keep you, other owners and our team safe
- If, on the day of your appointment, you have symptoms of coronavirus (a new dry, continuous cough, a high temperature or loss or change in sense of taste or smell), have tested positive for coronavirus or are in isolation, it’s really important that you do not attend and phone us to rearrange. If it is critical that your cat is seen, we will discuss how we can best support your feline friend.
Can I catch Covid-19 from my cat, or can my cat catch it from me?
The virus is generally passed from person by person by coughing and sneezing, and there is no current evidence that companion animals can spread the virus from person to person.
The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) states that there is a possibility for some animals to become infected with Covid-19 through close contact with infected humans. Several dogs, domestic cats and tigers have tested positive for Covid-19 following close contact with infected humans. Studies are being carried out to discover why the disease is passed to certain species. It’s important to state that there is no evidence to suggest those animals infected with Covid-19 are playing a role in spreading the virus amongst humans.
If your cat is exposed to the virus, it’s possible that the virus may remain on their fur for a short period of time, just as the virus can remain on other surfaces such as tables and doorknobs. The British Veterinary Association’s main advice for animal owners is to practise good hand hygiene by washing your hands thoroughly (for 20 seconds with soap and water) after stroking, touching or cuddling your pet.
For any pet owners diagnosed with Covid-19 or self-isolating with symptoms, the British Veterinary Association (BVA) advise the following:
- Restrict contact with pets as a precautionary animal health measure until more information is known about the virus.
- If your pet requires care, wash your hands before and after any interaction with them and wear a face mask if possible.
- Keep cats indoors if possible, and only if they are happy to be indoors, and try to arrange for someone else to exercise dogs, taking care to restrict any contact with the person walking your dog and making sure they practise good hygiene. This is to reduce the likelihood of your pet spreading the disease through environmental contamination on their fur – there is no evidence that pet animals can pass Covid-19 to humans.
- If your pet shows clinical signs, please do not take it to the vet but call the practice for advice and alert them to the household’s status.
- If your pet requires essential treatment, call the practice for further advice. Do not take your pet to the surgery unless the vet instructs you to. You may need to arrange for someone else to transport your pet for treatment.
Click here for more information and advice for pet owners from the BVA around pets and Covid-19.
What are our opening times?
We are currently open Monday to Friday 8.30am to 10.30am and 4.30pm to 6.30pm, with slightly shorter opening hours on a Thursday of 8.30am to 10am and 5.30pm to 6.30pm, and will be running 15-minute appointments during these hours.
Outside these hours, please continue to call 01922 411755 as our same-site sister practice 387 Vets is open from 8am – 6.30pm on weekdays and 8.30am – 2pm on Saturdays, and our team will be delighted to welcome you when The West Midlands Cat Clinic is closed.
Cats being admitted for surgery: Unless otherwise advised by our team, any cats coming in for pre-booked surgery need to be taken to our 387 Veterinary Centre reception for admission, with surgery taking place at our interconnecting 387 Vets sister site.
Repeat prescriptions and pre-ordered food: to enable us to streamline this service, please always collect from our 387 Vets reception. We ask that you ring us on your intended collection day so that we can ensure we have your request ready to take away, and, in addition, we’ll take pre-payment and agree a time slot in which to collect to reduce your waiting time.
How much is a consultation?
Our consultations are 15 minutes long – 5 minutes longer than most of our neighbouring practices. Our consultation fee is £34.90, and related repeat visits are charged at a reduced fee of £29.90. Should your cat require medication, tests, further procedures or any surgery, an estimate will be given by the vet on a case-by-case basis.
What methods of payment do you accept?
We accept cash and card payments (except American Express). We regret we no longer accept personal cheques.
If you are making a claim for insured pets, we ask that you settle your account with us on the day and claim the cost of treatment back from your insurance company.
Direct claims are occasionally offered, but this is on a case-by-case basis with a pre-agreed insurance provider and on receipt of your original policy documents showing proof of cover. Please speak to a member of our team for more information.
We accept Cats Protection neutering vouchers.
Do you see second opinions and referrals?
We are very happy to see cats for a second opinion. Three of our vets are additional postgraduate certificate holders having undertaken considerable study, research and examination in various fields of interest: Emma Goncalves in Feline Practice, Carlos Boix Boente in Small Animal Surgery and Hamish Duncan in Small Animal Medicine. Hamish is one of just 200 vets in the UK with Advanced Practitioner status in this field. With your permission, we will need to contact your existing vets for a clinical history so that we can familiarise ourselves with your cat’s condition and any treatment or tests to date.
We are happy to refer cases that warrant it or if requested. Referral centres will usually contact you directly to arrange a mutually convenient appointment, except in the case of emergency referrals where we will liaise directly with the referral centre.
Should you wish, it is your right to seek a second opinion at another practice, and this will in no way compromise our ongoing service to you and your feline friend.
Am I eligible for financial support?
Free vet care: If you receive Housing Benefit or Council Tax Benefit, means-tested help with your rent or Council Tax and live within a PDSA PetAid Practice catchment area, your pet might be eligible for free treatment funded by the veterinary charity PDSA. Visit the PDSA website to find out if you qualify (www.pdsa.org.uk). If you are eligible, you will need to attend a PDSA Veterinary Practice to receive free treatment. The nearest PDSA is the PDSA Pet Hospital, Wolverhampton (Tuxford Close, WV10 0JQ).
Means-tested cat neutering scheme: If you need financial assistance to neuter your cat, Cats Protection run a means-tested scheme and may be able to help. Contact their neutering helpline on 03000 12 12 12 (Mon-Fri 9.30am-1pm), or visit their website (www.cats.org.uk) to find out about current regional and national campaigns.
How will you use my data?
We are committed to protecting your personal data and to storing this safely and securely on our Practice Management System. We will use your personal data to register you as a new client, to manage our relationship with you and manage payment for services provided. We will also use your data to contact you with regard to your cat’s condition should your cat be admitted, and to keep you up to date with vaccination reminders, appointment reminders and parasite treatment reminders for the health and wellbeing of your cat.
You can choose how you would like to receive communications from us, and can opt in to a range of communications around services we offer.
Please see our privacy notice for further information on how we manage your data under General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and your rights in relation to your personal data.
Can I access my pet’s records?
On request, you are entitled to copies of your cat’s clinical records. Radiographs taken on site remain the property of The West Midlands Cat Clinic as x-ray fees relate to interpretation only.
How do I make a complaint?
We hope you’ll be very happy with the service you receive at The West Midlands Cat Clinic. However, if you are unhappy, please do tell us so that we can work to improve our service for you and the rest of our clients. Do speak to one of our members of staff. If the person you need to talk to is not available, we will ask them to contact you, or if you prefer, please put your complaint in writing to our Clinical Director Hamish Duncan.
What happens if I have an emergency after closing?
If you are concerned about you cat and wonder whether they need out of hours treatment, please refer to our symptom checker under the Resources tab on our website for guidance. If in any doubt about your cat’s condition, if your cat’s symptoms are not listed, or for clear emergencies, please ensure you call 01922 411755 and follow the answer machine instructions. Our out-of-hours provider is Pool House Veterinary Hospital in Lichfield (Fosseway Lane, WS13 8JY), and the on-call team will be able to advise you whether your pet needs to be seen.
Out of hours consultation fees (excluding any treatment) are as follows:
- Between 7pm and 11pm:
- Cat consultation: £128.44
- After 11pm:
- Cat consultation: £165.13
Out of hours care on Sundays and Bank holidays:
- Between 10am and 1pm: £86.95
- 1pm to 11pm:
- Cat consultation: £128.44
- After 11pm:
- Cat consultation: £165.13
What overnight care is available if my cat has to stay in?
If your cat requires hospitalisation overnight, the vet will discuss care available to you. For pets that require close observation, our out of hours provider Pool House (in Lichfield) is staffed 24 hours a day, and night duty staff will be on hand to monitor your cat. You will need to transport your catt to the hospital facility, or we can arrange for a pet ambulance (fee applies).
The West Midlands Cat Clinic does not have staff on site overnight. If your cat stays here (after discussion and agreement with you), the admitting vet and duty nurses will agree out of hours checks, but generally pets on the premises will not routinely be checked between 10.30pm and 7.30am.
Do you offer home visits?
Unfortunately, in the current climate, we are not carrying out any home visits until further notice. In normal circumstances, where appointments accommodate, we will always try to arrange a home visit, on request, between 8.30am and 6.30pm.
What are the benefits of neutering?
Did you know that an un-neutered female can have around 18 kittens a year and could have as many as 20,000 descendants within 5 years! If you are not planning to have a litter from your cat, in addition to cat population control, we recommend neutering for a range of feline and wellbeing reasons:
- No further seasons or noisy ‘calling’ when in season
- No unwanted pregnancies
- No potentially life threatening womb infections (pyometra)
- Massive reduction in the risk of developing mammary cancers (if neutered at a young age)
- Less likely to inappropriately mark territory by ‘spraying’ in the house
- Cannot develop testicular tumours
- Less fighting and roaming (statistically entire male cats are more likely to be involved in traffic accidents and more likely to catch fatal FIV infection from fighting).
- Entire male cats can smell very bad!!
See our neutering page to find out more.
When is the best time to neuter your cat?
We now recommend ‘early’ neutering in cats – between four and five months of age – as advocated by Cats Protection. This markedly reduces the risk of unwanted litters.
What age does my cat have to be to have its first vaccination?
We recommend cats receive their first vaccinations at 12 weeks of age and they’ll need two injections which must be 3 to 4 weeks apart. See our vaccinations page for more information.
If my cat lives indoors, do I still need to vaccinate?
Even if your cat lives indoors, they can still be susceptible to vaccine-preventable airborne disease such as cat flu. Vaccination helps to prevent against any unforeseen contact with cats (such as an emergency visit to the vet or admission to a cattery) that could put your cat at risk.
I’ve read that cats have different life stages. What does this mean?
Cats have different care requirements at different life stages. For example, neonates have specific worming requirements and kittens need a vaccination course rather than single adult booster injection. Nutritional needs change as cats gets older too. We’ll discuss different life stages with you at your cat’s routine vet and nurse clinic appointments. Here are some pertinent age bandings to help with understanding terminology:
- Neonate (From birth to weaning)
- Kitten/ junior (Post weaning to 11 months)
- Adult (1-6 years)
- Mature/ Senior (7 – 10 years. We run senior cat clinics from 8 years+ as some cats show significant signs of aging earlier than others)
- Senior/ Geriatric (11 years+)
Should I insure my cat?
Veterinary medicine is always progressing and becoming increasingly more advanced. We are able to diagnose and treat conditions that in the past would have been left undetected, sometimes with fatal consequences.
But this more advanced treatment can be costly. Pet insurance gives you peace of mind that should your pet need surgery, an emergency procedure or long term medication for an underlying condition, you can focus on the best care for your pet rather than worrying about making potentially difficult decisions around treatment options based on treatment cost.
Why is it important to choose the right insurance?
As with all insurance policies, premiums vary significantly and depend on a number of different factors. It is important to select an insurance policy that provides a long term commitment to the health and happiness of your pet, but is also convenient for you. This needs to be right from the outset as in our experience, if you don’t purchase the right policy early on you may struggle to switch to a better policy at a later date, and changing insurer could result in a break in cover and mean conditions that you have claimed for previously become pre-existing and are therefore not covered on your new policy.
See our resources page for more advice on choosing pet insurance and to try pet insurance for free with no obligation to buy.