Veterinary ICU - An Intensive Care Unit For Your Cat


Dr. Lacie and ICU cagesA crucial part of our hospital is our Intensive Care Unit. After your cat has been examined and a plan developed for their care, they may need to be hospitalized for care and monitoring. These cats are admitted into our hospital ICU for specialized care and monitoring by our doctor and experienced veterinary nurses. The amount of time spent in ICU depends upon the severity of the illness and amount of care required to get them through a severe illness.

Our veterinarian and support staff have made feline friendly accommodations to our hospital ICU based on the unique needs of the cat. A hospital environment can be very stressful for our feline friends. Cats are particularly sensitive to unfamiliar sights, such as seeing other cats who may be receiving treatments. They are also sensitive to new sounds. Because cat's ears are created with many unique features for a life adapted to hunting, they hear things many times louder than we do. Cats can hear a large range of sounds from low to high frequencies making them unique to other mammals. Their sense of smell is also much more developed than ours and is so important to the cat. It is one of their primary forms of communication, and through specialized sensory organs that process scents, they can receive messages from their immediate environment. All of these factors, if not specifically addressed in the cat, may lead to a stressful experience, delayed healing, and longer hospital stays. At Cat Care Center, our veterinarian and staff follow guidelines set forth by the American Association of Feline Practitioners in feline handling and feline nursing care. These are designed with the specific needs of the cat in mind to aid in stress reduction, anxiety reduction, and the creation of a positive veterinary experience with a positive association for future veterinary care. See our blog post on Pandora Syndrome to learn more about why it is important for the unique needs of the cat to be a top priority!

ICU cagesSome of the Unique Features of Our ICU

  • A floor-to-ceiling wall partition designed to create a privacy barrier for those felines recovering from illness or surgery.
  • An examination table on the side of the wall partition opposite the patients to prevent one cat from visualizing another as a perceived threat during out doctor's daily examinations and treatments.
  • No two cages in our hospital ICU face one another, therefore our cats don't see other cats, and the potential stressors that entails, during recovery.
  • All cages are built off the ground to prevent the detection of many hospital smells and give the cat a feeling of security from being elevated (this is one reason why cats love cat trees).
  • Each cage is equipped with frosted glass for privacy, and a ledge for resting creating vertical space.
  • Soft, plush, absorbable, and wicking vet bedding for warmth comfort and coziness is provided.
  • Any specific needs an owner requests in order to create a home environment will be met to the best of our ability.
  • Specialized cameras are installed that allow the doctor to look in on each cat in a close range at all times.
  • Custom, separate, cubbies are provided for each cat's belongings, toys, treats, etc. in order to keep their scent as intact as possible.
  • Mounted televisions in front of the hospital ICU cages will display soothing cat scenes, such as aquarium or nature scenes for visual stimulation.
  • Music and sounds are available to promote relaxation and healing.
  • Feliway pheromone plugins are in place and bedding is sprayed daily with Feliway products.
  • Each cat will have certain times during the day when they will receive love, pets, brushes, or anything they like without the anticipation of a medical treatment.
  • Fresh resources such as food, water, bedding, litter box, toys, scratchers, among others will be offered multiple times a day.
  • This area is a quiet zone where feline friendly nurses speak softly and respect their sense of hearing.
  • Specialized medical equipment is utilized with quiet settings to observe their sensitive ears.
  • A separate, fully stocked, and properly vented isolation ward is available for those experiencing contagious diseases equipped with televisions and special feline features.
  • Among other feline friendly features!

Oxygen cagesOur pet ICU contains modern veterinary medical equipment and technology, as well as highly experienced staff members trained to deal with any medical needs. This allows our cat ICU to offer many specialized treatment options including:

  • Monitoring by veterinarians and veterinary nurses with a feline focus
  • Complete diagnostic lab for immediate test results
  • Oxygen therapy
  • Pulse-Oximetry, End-Tidal CO2, blood pressure, and continuous ECG monitoring
  • Continuous rate infusion for IV fluids and medications
  • Advanced pain management
  • Nutritional support

ICU Surgical Recovery

Surgical recovery and oxygen cagesAt Cat Care Center of Baton Rouge, we are able to perform a wide variety of surgical procedures. Many of these patients will require intensive care post operatively. Our ICU is equipped and staffed to aid our patients in a gentle, safe, warm, and pain-free recovery. After surgery, and these patients are recovered from anesthesia, they are admitted into our ICU to optimize the recovery process. Our veterinarian and technicians will care for your pet as if it was their own to ensure a gentle surgical recovery in preparation for their return home.

AAFP - Nursing Care for your Cat

When Can Your Cat Leave the ICU?

Your cat should stay in our hospital ICU until its medical conditions have stabilized, and the in-home care you can provide will be sufficient to support them through the rest of their recovery. We do not like to keep cats away from their families and homes any longer than absolutely necessary, but it is important to understand that intensive care and monitoring may be necessary after some surgical procedures and medical illnesses. Our goal is to make sure that your beloved cat can return home safely and enjoy a full recovery. At Cat Care Center of Baton Rouge, we will provide you with written, emailed, and verbally communicated instructions on how to care for your cat once you are home. We will also answer any questions you may have or concerns you wish to address once you are home. Please don't hesitate to email or call us at 225-228-1039.

While everyone hopes to avoid an emergency situation with their cat, we are here for you during the time when you need us. At Cat Care Center of Baton Rouge we are committed to providing the highest quality veterinary care when you and your cat need us most.

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