Gold Star for Paragon’s Cat-Friendly Credentials

The team at Paragon celebrate being awarded cat-friendly status. Left to right; Kirsty Clark, Kelly Bywater, Stacy Carlton, Lydia Barry and Maddie Enderby.

Cats are guaranteed to get the cream of the attention at a new £5 million veterinary referral centre in Yorkshire, which has been awarded gold-level cat-friendly status only three months after opening.

Paragon Veterinary Referrals, in Wakefield, has been accredited as a gold Cat Friendly Clinic, a scheme developed by the International Society of Feline Medicine (ISFM) to encourage best practice in caring for cats.

Paragon had to meet strict criteria set out by the ISFM to achieve the accreditation, including appointing a cat advocate, offering a separate cat waiting area, installing feline-friendly cages and veterinary equipment specifically for treating cats. Staff also need to demonstrate they are trained in caring for cats sensitively and respectfully in order to minimise stress.

Paragon’s cat advocate, registered veterinary nurse Maddie Enderby, said: “Cats are sensitive animals and offering them a stress-free environment is really important. This is something which we care deeply about at Paragon and has been in place since the day we opened.

We have a cat-friendly consult room with a diffuser and blankets, which is situated in a quieter place away from the other rooms and our cat kennels have clear plastic doors which close quietly, unlike metal ones which can be quite noisy.

Our food bowls are wide and shallow, as studies have shown this is popular with cats and we also ask all cat owners what food their pet usually eats, so there is continuity in their diet.

We also have wood or gravel litter, depending on what the cat likes and if they are an outdoor cat we can dig up soil from outside for them. All these things add up to give the best possible experience for cats in our care.”

Paragon, which is part of the Linnaeus Group, has invested heavily in first-class equipment for the 18,000sq ft site, including a £1 million imaging suite with state-of-the-art MRI and CT scanners and five operating theatres.

The centre is part of Dewsbury-based Calder Vets, which has 12 first opinion practices across Yorkshire.

Paragon is now listed as an accredited practice on the ISFM website,