Cat Friendly Features

Pinnacle is not just the only AAFP Cat Friendly Practice in San Jose, but we also received the highest level of certification: Gold Status! We appreciate that cats have medical, behavioral, and environmental needs that are unique, and we cater to them. At Pinnacle, our cat patients have an entire wing of the hospital to themselves where they never have to see or encounter a dog. Our cat wing is the ultimate in feline-friendly!

We know that many cat owners put off coming to the vet simply because of the stress on their kitty. But just like dogs, cats also need regular preventative care to help them stay healthy. So what do we do differently at Pinnacle that keeps our feline patients so happy? Our philosophy is that cats are most likely to accept a thorough veterinary exam when they are handled with respect and patience. Whenever possible, we perform all exams and basic procedures in the exam room because we have found that cats feel most comfortable when their family is nearby. Cats by nature don’t like feeling forced to do things, so we don’t resort to using harsh restraint methods such as “scruffing.” We always use low-stress handling techniques such as towel wraps. Working cooperatively with our feline patients keeps their anxiety level low and makes future visits much easier for everyone!

Helpful hints for a stress-free visit

There are also many things you can do as a pet owner to help your kitty have a positive visit with us. A cat that arrives calm and relaxed at our clinic is more likely to have a pleasant experience. But a cat that is scared from the get-go may end up feeling more stressed during the visit. So what can you do to help your cat arrive at Pinnacle in a better frame of mind? Here are some ideas:

1. Teach your cat to love his or her crate.

2. Pick the right crate! Airline crates with lids that can be unscrewed allow us to examine our patients in the comfort of their crate bottom. Cats don’t appreciate being dumped or pulled out of the safety of their crates.

3. Carry the crate into the clinic from the bottom, as you would carry a box, not by the handle. Jostling around inside the carrier can frighten your cat, so keeping the crate steady as you move in and out of the car is important.

4. When you arrive at Pinnacle, please feel free to place your cat’s crate on the couch in the waiting area while you check in. Sitting on an elevated surface feels safer to kitties.

5. Use calming pheromones like Feliway spray or a Thundershirt to help soothe your cat.

6. Bring your cat’s favorite canned food or treats. We use them to create positive associations with the vet and encourage positive behaviors. Toys can also help ease the tension in the exam room for frisky cats.

For more ideas to get your cat to Pinnacle with minimal stress, check out this information from the AAFP.

The feline wing of our hospital includes five distinct cats-only spaces:

  • A separate waiting area
  • Two feline-only exam rooms, complete with fun wall perches and windows
  • A cat treatment room where many procedures are performed
  • A cat ward for our hospitalized and surgical patients.
  • Cages in the feline hospital ward are oriented such that patients have privacy, and added sound insulation helps keep the ward quiet.