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This section is for vet and vet nurse students and includes relevant information such as our CP Shelter Medicine podcast and links to other useful websites.

Please also see the other sections on the ‘For Vets and Nurses’ site for information on other relevant topics, such as  vet protocols, pre-pubertal neutering and CP Clinic.

For vets and nurses

This section contains documents produced for veterinary staff providing care to cats in the care of Cats Protection (CP).  The guidance applies veterinary shelter medicine principles to issues not infrequently faced by CP.

The guidance is not a substitute for specific clinical judgement and veterinary advice for individual cats, as it is appreciated that all cases are different.

The guidance and protocols do not translate to owned cats, where husbandry, infectious disease risks and feline stresses can differ significantly.

You may also find other sections on the website of specific interest, such as the neutering section and our public ‘essential’ and ‘veterinary’ guides.

Pre-clinical EMS

Are you studying to become a vet or vet nurse? If so, complete your pre-clinical Extra Mural Studies (EMS) placements with Cats Protection, the UK’s leading feline welfare charity.

Throughout your placement, you will develop animal handling, husbandry and communication skills. You will be introduced to CP’s minimum veterinary standards (MVS) and the principles of shelter medicine and learn about the importance of kitten neutering and population control. You will get the chance to meet and learn from our amazing team and will also have access to Cats Protection’s online learning platform and resources on topics such as cat behaviour, infectious diseases and their control, cat care and welfare and our Veterinary Guide.

Clinical EMS

For several years now, we have offered a limited number of subsidised places for students to undertake clinical EMS with the CP veterinary team. 
Placements are available at the National Cat Centre (NCC) in Chelwood Gate, West Sussex RH17 7TT. The NCC is the largest cattery in Europe and consists of 202 pens, enabling up to 500 cats to be housed at any one time

In practice, you are highly likely to treat cats housed in rescue centres and knowledge of shelter medicine will be invaluable when dealing with these cases. Hundreds of thousands of cats are funnelled through the various national and independent rescue establishments every year and the appropriate management and provision of veterinary care can improve the health of the national herd through optimal husbandry, treatment and rehoming strategies.

In a recent survey 94% of UK veterinary practices indicated they were involved in some form of rescue charity work. Veterinary care of cats in rescue centres is both challenging and rewarding, and requires consideration of many elements that can be very different to treating owned animals. During a placement at Cats Protection’s National Cat Centre in Sussex, students may gain experience in the some of the following areas:

  • Small animal herd health and epidemiology
  • Pre-pubertal (kitten) neutering
  • A wide variety of infectious disease diagnosis, treatment, control, and prevention
  • Veterinary care of pregnant queens and neonates
  • Feline behaviour
  • Kitten socialisation
  • Charity policies (e.g. FIV/FeLV, euthanasia, etc.), ethics and the roles within large organisations
  • Environmental enrichment, housing considerations, centre design and operation
  • Cat handling
  • Feline husbandry, nutrition, hygiene and cleaning regimes
  • Public health protection

Interaction with cattery staff, head office staff and volunteers
Please email if you wish to receive further details and an application form.


Access CP’s Shelter Medicine Podcast here. With both vet and nurse students in mind, these podcasts highlight different job roles within CP, discuss CP protocols and explore shelter medicine, cat behaviour and other relevant feline issues.

Kitten Neutering Database (KiND)

This site contains useful resources regarding kitten neutering, including evidence to support neutering at or before 4 months of age.

You can also find tips and advice regarding anaesthesia and the actual procedure here.

Behaviour hub

Cat behaviour is often subtle, potentially ambiguous and not always easy to understand. Our dedicated behaviour section contains a huge selection of useful information and resources.

Behaviour guide

Cats Protection have produced The Behaviour Guide – this exciting new guide discusses a variety of topics on cat behaviour. The guide has been written with particular reference to the ‘shelter behaviour’ approach, however many of the principles covered by the guide can be applied to cats in environments other than rescue.

While it is aimed primarily at CP volunteers and staff, as well as the vet profession that are involved in the care of CP cats, it is hoped that this guide will also be useful for other animal welfare charities and boarding catteries as well as veterinary, vet nurse, behaviour and animal welfare students.

Vet tour video

This video has been shot at our National Cat Adoption Centre in Sussex. It aims to give viewers a better understanding of the set-up of this centre, but also  of the ‘journey of a cat through CP’ from admission to homing. Included as well is information regarding our on-site vet clinic and the work that is being done here.