Obviously we have had to bring in huge changes to our work practices, and this may all change again.
We are working a ‘lock-out’ situation – no person is allowed on the premises, fit or healthy. All staff wear separate clothes to-and-from work, and do not visit any other place such as the petrol station en route. We all strictly follow the no-socialisation rule. This way we can be of virtually no danger to you, even if you are in a high-risk category, and vice-versa.
It doesn’t need to be an emergency!
Our governing bodies have addressed this issue with common sense – ‘urgent’ cases can also be seen. This includes any condition that may deteriorate to become emergencies or welfare concerns such as fight wounds, and being simply unwell.
This is very important as far as cats are concerned as we all know how cats hide their illness, so that by the time we notice quite minor changes in them they can already be quite poorly. We have had cats that have been off colour for 2 days, been sick once, and when blood-tested have been found to be in acute kidney failure – a condition that can be rapidly fatal.
Don’t try and decide yourself
Please don’t make your own decision that your cat is not poorly-enough to be seen - please phone in the first instance and Pete or Sarah will speak with you and decide if your cat needs to come and see us.
Also please don’t use email or messenger in the first instance as we don’t monitor these constantly – though we may use various social media subsequently to evaluate your cat via video or photographs.
We don’t want to catch your bugs
You must let us know if you are poorly! If you are, we will find a way of giving your cat essential care.
Coming to Jaffa’s
If your cat does need to visit us we ask that you cleanse the cat-basket handles having first washed your hands. Ensure that the basket is secure once our patient is inside.
Let us know when you arrive at Jaffa’s, and when we are ready we will ask you to place the basket and cat on the picnic table on the front path. We will wear protection when fetching the basket, further minimising risk of viral transmission.
We have bought in good supplies of medications – unless things really go downhill we don’t expect stock shortages. Please help us by giving us 48 hours notice when ordering medication. We can post out most medications and flea/tick products – but allow 3 to 4 days since our local post-box has a 7am collection only.
To avoid us having to queue at Post Office counters we are removing the ‘outers’ of most medicines to permit items to be posted in a letter box as letter post.
You may also collect drugs from our picnic bench dispensary!
Collection of food is as for medications – you can order and pay over the phone and we can bring it out to the bench.
Please don’t overstock on food. If demand stays steady we see no reason to run short. We don’t want to end up create a shortage as has happened with toilet-rolls.
Cats and Covid
Dont get freaked by reports that a cat has Covid. Modern genetic tests pick up traces of pathogens at very low concentrations. Coronavirus was found in the intestines/faeces - quite possibly from it having been handled by the infected owner, then grooming itself and swallowing its fur. There is currently no evidence that cat has infected its owner. It had respiratory signs - but so do lots of cats with cat 'flu. The cat was not examined by a vet, and no post mortem was performed.
Tests are underway to check if it is the same strain of virus – but even if it is that doesn’t mean cats are a significant source of the disease’
So follow normal hygiene precautions as always and whilst we cant say there is no risk, this is one suspect cat out of 800,000 human cases. The human sneeze and cough is the danger. Don't go trying to disinfect the cat!
Please stay in touch and let us know how you and your cats are faring. We’d love to receive your pictures to share on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Jaffas-Health-Centre-for-Cats-128166714031062/
Time permitting we will also be posting further updates and some interesting cases on our website ‘snippets’ page https://jaffavets.com/category/snippets
A quick bit of advice about insurance. You may be tempted to change to a cheaper policy from a different company to save money – please be aware that any pre-existing condition will not be covered by the new policy even if you ‘forget’ to mention the full facts. Don’t think that they won’t know about your cat’s past – insurers always demand sight of previous veterinary history.
There is always a worry that insurers won’t pay out if cats havn’t been seen within the demanded time-frame (ie they must have annual health checks). Pet Plan for one have just announced that they will be ‘flexible’ in the short term.
We will be contacting you when annual health checks are due for a free phone catch-up and we will schedule a proper examination 3 months down the line (moving it another 3 months if still in lockdown). We are forever seeing insured cats that have not had their regular checks so this is a timely reminder to ensure that they happen or risk your cat not being covered when push comes to shove! And it is your responsibility not ours to make sure this happens.