Choosing A Vet For Your Cat
You need to find a good vet
before your cat has an accident or an emergency arises. It is wise to have
done this before the cat comes into
your home. If you found your cat or kitten locally, ask the sanctuary or
breeder for who they would recommend. You may be able to use the vet that
you cat has already been seeing. If your cat comes from a different place, ask
your neighbours who may have a cat for their recommendations. Or a local cat
club, telephone numbers are available from the Governing Council of the
Fancy Cat in the United Kingdom, or the Cat Fanciers' Association in the
United States, and equivalent organizations in other countries.
Choosing a vet for your cat, is just like
choosing a doctor for your family, but while doctors only have to deal with
one species, a vet has many. They probably won't specialize in all fields,
and some may not be totally up to date with cat ailments. This can be a
problem if you live in a rural area, as they will tend to geared towards the
larger animal such as horses and cows. In urban areas, they are more likely
to be devoted to treating small animals.
If you have a list of
different practices, ask for a list of fees for consultations and the cost
of care items such as vaccines, blood tests, flea and worming treatments.
Before you visit the vet, consider what
it is you would like from the vet. If you have a neutered house cat, you
will probably only see the vet once a year for booster vaccines, so ask
about their policy for routine check ups. If you have a show cat or wish to
breed from your cat, you will need to think about locating a vet that
specializes in breeding and has a good knowledge of pedigreed breeds. This
is normally easier in the city than in the countryside.
Once you have found a
practice that is cat friendly, it is worth going through a mental checklist
of what you need to know.
Check the opening hours.
Is an appointment needed, or do they run a drop-in clinic between certain
hours. Both can operate well in the same practice, but if you are working
you may need a combination of these options for flexibility. Make sure there
are weekend and occasional evening clinics.
Check the arrangements
for emergencies. Will your cat be treated by one of the practice vets or
will your cat be emergency staff. This may be significant if you have a pedigreed
cat at requires special attention. What is the policy for home visits? This
may be important if you have a breeding cat, incase you need help with the
birth. Does the practice specialize in feline medicine and surgery.
If it is a member of a
national advisory organization (such as the Feline Advisory Bureau in
Britain) it will be up to date will all the latest health care information.
Ask about alternative and
complementary treatments for your cat, such as homoeopathy, chiropractice and
acupuncture. Look for a good holistic approach, as the benefits of these
treatments, especially for the older cats, can be immense.