Would you go to just any dentist if you need a root canal? Would you seek the assistance of just any hairstylist if you need to fix a botched cut? Would you take your prized Porsche to the first mechanic you stumble across in the Yellow Pages? We think not – and we don’t recommend taking your cat to a random veterinarian, either. Here are a few tips to help you with finding a veterinarian that will be the perfect practice for your pampered pet.
Seek out referrals. Whether you’ve just moved to a new town, or want to replace a less-than-perfect practitioner, begin asking every cat owner you know about the cat veterinarians they use. Those who have found a truly cat-friendly practice are certain to share the information enthusiastically. If you’ve yet to meet any fellow cat lovers, visit pet boutiques in the area and solicit recommendations from the staff members who have cats of their own.
Examine the philosophy. Veterinary opinions on routine wellness care vary. Call each practice you are considering and ask the receptionist about the clinic’s philosophy on wellness examinations, basic vaccinations and preventative medications. It’s important to choose a vet whose treatment approach meshes with your preferences.
Check out the establishment. For the most relaxing visit possible, a cat-friendly clinic should have examination rooms reserved for cats or appointment times when dogs are not present. While this may not be as important for gregarious cats, it can make a big difference in the stress level of those less accustomed to dogs.
Consider offered advice. You’re looking for a vet who truly understands cats. His staff should as well. When you schedule your appointment, they should offer advice on transporting your cat to the clinic. If they do not, ask. The car ride can be the most stressful part of any vet visit. A cat-friendly establishment will offer resources to make the process easier.
Ask about training and client satisfaction. Has the staff undergone specific cat-friendly training? Do they have reviews available from other cat-owners? Have they received the “Cat Friendly Practice” designation from the American Association of Feline Practitioners?
Shop around. If your cat’s first visit with the new vet doesn’t go as well as you hoped, continue to shop around until you find one who knows how to manage your pet’s unique personality. This is especially essential if you have a “challenging” cat – one who becomes extremely fearful or aggressive at the vet’s office.
A trip to the vet does not have to be stressful – when you choose the right one. Change those hisses to purrs with a veterinarian who loves, adores and understands the beautiful creature we call cat.
Share this article with all your cat-loving friends!