|The results are in for International Cat Care’s ‘Cattitude’ Facebook photo competition with the top 3 entries accumulating nearly 1200 public and practice votes between them. Winning veterinary practice, Clinica Veterinaria Bemavet in Italy stormed ahead in the final stages of the competition with 521 ‘Likes’ on their Cattitude entry, submitted by vet Dr Beatrice Funiciello. The clinic received £400 worth of Thames Medical vouchers to spend on equipment, and Beatrice, £200 worth of gift vouchers for her efforts.|
Runner-up was Registered Veterinary Nurse, Jo Ireson’s entry for the Cambridge Cat Clinic. Jo’s photograph of the clinic owner, Miranda (‘Mini’) Wright, with in-patient Toby, led for much of the competition’s duration, and clocked up 378 Likes. The clinic recently became accredited to Gold level of the International Society of Feline Medicine’s (ISFM: the veterinary division of International Cat Care) Cat Friendly Clinic programme, sponsored in Europe by Purina. Jo was given free registration to the iCatCare Conference in Birmingham in October as a prize.
|The win was particularly poignant as Toby, who was recovering from surgery for an intussusception at the time of the original photograph, sadly died a few weeks after the photo was taken. Jo said, “The photo I submitted was of the vet I work with, Mini Wright, and a very special patient – Toby. He was only 18 months old and had a very serious intussusception requiring emergency surgery. The photo was actually taken a few days before I heard about the competition, so I didn’t have this in mind at the time. It was just a lovely moment where Mini and I were sitting on the kennel room floor with him, giving him some TLC. He was such an affectionate, handsome boy. After initially doing well the condition, sadly, recurred and we lost Toby a week or so later. When I saw the competition advertised I asked his owner if she would mind me entering the photo, which she kindly agreed to. I’m not really sure where all our votes came from. Certainly lots of our clients voted as we did a few posts on our clinic Facebook page, and our personal friends also voted. But I think a lot of the votes just came from people visiting the ISFM page and voting for their favourite. Coming runner-up will help ensure that Toby’s memory stays alive with all of us at the clinic, though, being the lovely boy he was, that won’t be hard.”
The social media competition was run to raise awareness of the global Cat Friendly Clinic (CFC) programme with vet practices and pet owners. Vet practice staff took photos that to them embodied ‘Cattitude’, that is, the positive attitude and behaviours adopted by feline-friendly clinics that help to decrease the stress of visiting cats and their owners. Entrants were encouraged to highlight their involvement in the competition to clients and others to help to spread the word about their feline-friendliness and the Cat Friendly Clinic initiative.
In total there were 86 entries, with over 6000 visits to the competition page. Third place went to Simply Cats from Durham, with vet Lucie Allcutt’s photo following up with 284 votes. The full album of entries can be viewed on www.icatcare.org/cattitude.
Veterinary practices can find more information on the Cat Friendly Clinic programme at www.catfriendlyclinic.org. The site also hosts a comprehensive range of support materials to help clinics gain accreditation, including a photo library of cat-friendly facilities, a gallery of tips on cat handling, helpful client communications and an accreditation helpline.