Before visiting us

Our aim is to try to make your visit us as reassuring and straightforward as possible, for both you and your pet.

We understand that people and pets have individual needs so we want to do our best to minimise any stress you may have.The following are some suggestions to help us make your visit as smooth as possible:

Helping your pet be as relaxed as possible

If you know your pet is stressed by car journeys and visits to the vet, or may be anxious or nervous while in our care, please inform us. We may be able to give you suggestions for the journeys and work with you to minimise stress for your pet while in our care. In some cases, we may suggest administering medications to reduce stress and anxiety prior to the visit. Although any such medications could only be dispensed through your own vet, we would be happy to have a discussion with them prior to referral.

When you arrive

If you are bringing your cat to Granta Veterinary Specialists ensure the basket is large enough to accommodate your cat and provide adequate bedding to avoid direct contact with the plastic or metal wire floor. An incontinent pad can be placed over the bedding in case your cat is sick or toilets in the basket (a change of bedding /incontinence pad and a bag to store soiled material can be useful). For your own and your cat’s safety, secure the basket when travelling by car (with a seatbelt on the rear seats, or place it in the footwell), to prevent it from moving while you drive, or should you have to suddenly brake. You can download relaxing music for cats, to be played during the journey. Easily stressed cats may feel safer if their basket is covered with a blanket or towel, especially if there is a chance they may see other cats or dogs. Pherormone sprays may be useful in reducing stress. Cat baskets come in all shapes and forms, sometimes sacrificing functionality in favour of design. Some require considerable skills to be taken apart and put back together. Ideally, your basket should allow easy access for the cat, be of rigid construction and easy to take apart and clean.

Cat waiting and the Dog-pod

We have a dedicated cat waiting area, where you will be directed by our reception staff, and a dedicated cat consulting room. We also have a dedicated “dog-pod” for dogs who prefer not to be around other dogs, so let us know in advance and we will direct you there on arrival.

Helping us understand and get to know your pet

We will ask you to complete a short form that will help us look after your pet, based on their individual needs. This will be particularly important if your pet is on a special diet. Although we provide most types of cat and dog food, it is always useful to know in advance if there is a particular type they have to eat or other foods they need to avoid.

Feeding whilst your pet stays at Granta Veterinary Specialists

Unfortunately due to the health risk to our team and other patients associated with handling of raw food, we are unable to accept or feed your pet a raw food diet whilst hospitalised. We are, however, able to cook and accept home-cooked meals if you wish but overall we would prefer no food to be admitted with your pet.

When we contact you to confirm your consultation/booking, we may give you instructions about not feeding your pet prior to your visit. Please read these carefully, as not following the prescribed starvation period may unfortunately result in procedures being delayed. You can find information about starvation prior to sedation and anaesthesia here. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Providing details of your pet’s problem

If the reason for your visit to us includes abnormal behaviour or anything that can be filmed, we would be very grateful if you could bring with you a video of such episodes – a mobile phone video will do. These can be very helpful in diagnosing certain conditions.

Here to help you

We are sure you will have questions for us before your visit. Please do not be afraid to prepare a list of questions to be asked during the consultation with our clinicians. We are here to help you and your pet, and the best outcomes are achieved when pet owners/carers and clinicians (both us and your vet) work together.

Paperwork before your appointment

Paperwork is part of a vet’s work. We want to dedicate most of our time to looking after your pet and discussing your pet’s condition with you so we ask that you email all of your relevant documents and insurance details to us at least 24 hours ahead of your appointment if possible.

Pricing and insurance

We believe that we have created a fair pricing structure, but understand that modern veterinary medicine may be expensive because it reflects the cost of the treatments we are now able to offer and the skills of the people we have invested in. If you are insured, we request you to contact your pet insurance before you come to confirm that they will cover your visit and possible treatments. In some cases, your insurance will then ask us to provide an estimate of what we may do and how much it may cost, to “pre-authorise” payment. Obviously, this will not be possible in an emergency, and in this case we will prioritise your pet’s health and welfare.