6 Feline-Friendly Tips For Choosing The Perfect Vet For Your Cat
The Cat Doctor is in! What you need to remember when choosing a vet for your kitty.
Cats may be more independent than other pets (we're looking at you, dog!), but that doesn't mean their health should be neglected. Annual trips to the vet are necessary to keep her in tip-top shape. To keep your kitty happy and healthy for years to come, you need to choose the right medical professional; one who is knowledgeable, experienced, and caring. Think of it this way—your cat’s veterinarian will be your ally in a long life spent with your purrfect partner!
However, it can be hard to find right vet for your cat. Sure, there are plenty of options out there, but finding the person who really understands your approach to your cat’s care is a challenge. Let's go over six important tips that will help you navigate the journey effectively and narrow the selection that will eventually lead to your final decision.
Don’t wait until you actually need a vet to find one. Choosing the right vet will be one of the most important decisions you make for your cat. Who can you turn to when your cat is ill? This person needs to guide you in making the best decisions for your pet. Starting a search should be done before bringing a new cat home. Planning ahead and taking your time to make the best choice is important when it comes to finding someone who meets your cat’s needs as much as yours.
Asking friends and family their opinions about good vets they know is one of the easiest ways to find a competent and caring professional. It's a great starting point, but you'll also have to evaluate each vet on your own. Search for online reviews from past and former clients, and check out the vet's website to see what services are offered, what conditions they treat, and if they specialize in feline care.
Meet The Vet (Before Your Cat Does!)
Make a date with the vet, sans cat. Go see the clinic on your own—make an appointment to see the facility and speak with the vet on your own to determine if he/she would be a good match.
Is The Vet Accredited?
The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) evaluates veterinary practices based on staff, care, equipment, and facilities. AAHA-accredited veterinary hospital in your area can be found on the association's website. It's important to note that not all great vets will be AAHA accredited (it's not mandatory—in fact, only 12 to 15 percent of animal hospitals go through the evaluation process), but it is a good starting point if you are trying to narrow down your options. Whether or not a veterinary practice is accredited by the AAHA, you want it to be staffed by well-educated and experienced workers at all levels in the facility.
Vets Who Love Cats
All vets love cats, but there are some that are comfortable and experienced in working with cats than others. These cat-loving vets may not have a feline-exclusive facility—they can take in a variety of different animals. You should be certain that the vet you bring your kitty to really is a cat enthusiast who truly enjoys being around and caring for these special pets.
Find an Emergency Vet
Emergencies happen outside of office hours, so find a back-up 24-hour hospital. This means that in addition to finding your cat’s primary vet, you'll have to research an emergency animal hospital—but trust us, it's worth the extra time and effort, especially when there's a midnight medical emergency.
Amy Tokic is the Editor of Petguide.com, the flagship site to over 70 different pet communities, which offers pet parents a one-stop-info-shop for all things dog and cat related. Amy's been with PetGuide since the beginning, guided by the wisdom of her Shih Tzu mix and furry roommate, Oscar. Together, this pet power couple has their paw on the pulse of the pet industry, sniffing out trends, advice, news, tasty treat recipes and other tail-wagging stories.