How To Choose A Veterinarian For Your Cat
If you own a pedigreed cat the simplest way to find a really good vet is to phone your local rescue organization for your breed. They usually have the best recommendations regarding veterinary care.
Otherwise you should make plans to find a “regular doctor” for your cat or cats as there is nothing more traumatic than having a medical emergency with your pet and no veterinarian to turn to for help.
The best way to approach looking for a veterinarian for your cat is to treat it as if you were looking for a personal doctor for yourself. Here are some questions you should ask after visiting a prospective clinic.
- Is the place clean or does it smell like unsanitary?
- Are the people friendly as well as knowledgeable, or do they act like they have no time for you?
- Do the medical equipment and other technology look modern?
- Are there any obvious gaps in their medical equipment, such as no x-ray machine?
- Would my cat be comfortable in the "kennel room"?
- Does this look like a safe place for my pet to have to spend the night or longer if need be?
- Do my gut instincts tell me this is not a place that I can trust with the care of my pet or do I feel like I can trust the staff?
In essence, you are looking for a vet that is competent, is accessible, friendly and not too expensive. You are looking for one that can easily refer you to an NEARBY emergency service if needed or that has an emergency service it can provide in-house. It might also be important to find an experienced doctor for your cat, especially if it is older. Veterinarians that send out reminders by email or snail mail about when your pet’s shots are due, diseases going around and other important information are preferable to vets that don’t follow up.
One way to get feedback about vets is to simply ask members of your community. When it comes to pets, very few people lie about the credibility of their doctors. Ask friends, neighbors, family members, animal shelters, and local cat breeders about who the best vet in your area is. You should also consult the yellow pages to see if any ads or names catch your attention.
Once you have found a few prospects to be your pet’s doctor, you should then write down some pertinent questions to be answered by an employee at the clinic. Usually an employee, not the busy vet, is the one who will be instructed to deal with general questions. If the vet is a really good vet and you have a particular question about your cat breed or a specific question the clinic will immediately book you and your pet an appointment for a consultation. An excellent vet will call you back right away, no charge to see how your pet is and ask if everything is okay. However, in these harsh urban times this kind of old style vet is becoming rarer and rarer, especially in the cities.