Selecting a Cat Veterinarian
All veterinarians know how to care for cats or felines, but some are more knowledgeable, had better training, work in better facilities or clinics, interact better with cats, and their owners. Selecting a cat veterinarian should be done, before purchasing or adopting a cat and, not during an emergency. Foremost, the best way to find a cat veterinarian, asking for referrals, from cat – breeders, coworkers, neighbors, friends, relatives or people you know. Contacting your local shelters, and human societies, and cat rescue organizations are good sources. Also, contacting the American Association of Feline Practitioners, by city, state or zip code. Members of this association are professional veterinarians that have increase knowledge of feline medicine, and surgery. Furthermore, association promotes feline research. E-mail Address: Info@aafponline.org. Address: 203 Towne Centre Drive, Hillsborough, NJ 08844-4693. Telephone#: 800 – 204 – 3514.
Once you have chosen a veterinarian, contact your local better business bureau, and State licensing board, to determine if any complaints were filed, against the veterinarian or clinic. Next, visit their facility, for your cat’s first ‘checkup.’ When you call the office, inform the receptionist that you would like, some extra time with veterinarian, ask some questions, and request a tour of the facility. Questions you should ask the veterinarian, and what you should know:
How many veterinarians are on staff? When your cat needs to be examined or treated, is there another attending veterinarian, when your doctor is away on vacation or unable to see your cat.
Will the veterinary facility provide emergency care? Beside normal hours, there should be an emergency number to call. Will any member of the staff open the office for emergencies or provide information to the closest emergency clinic.
Requesting referrals from current cat owners. Often in many offices, post cards and letters are posted from happy clients.
Over night staffing, available for sick cats, recovering from surgeries and / or providing kennel services? Critically important to have a trained staff member, available for observation and provide any necessary care, when veterinarian facility is closed. Also, available to clean and feed cats and other animals. Determine if cats, and other animals are kept separate or in the same area or room.
Will the veterinarian provide alternative forms of medicine or supplement forms of vitamins and care, which may not be recognized by his profession? Sometimes over the counter vitamins, minerals, holistic medicines, and acupuncture is effective, to treat ailing cats.
Does the veterinarian offer and accept pet insurance? Certainly medical insurance for cats, and dogs, will offset many of the costs associated to pet care, and treatment.
Will the veterinarian accept credit payment and provide financing or installment plan? This question can be asked over the phone, when speaking to the receptionist or office manager. Remembering cheap or inexpensive services may not always provide, the best care. Also, any discounts offered for multiple pets from the same home, and do senior citizen pet owners, get any discount?
Does your veterinarian sell cat food? Sometimes a veterinarian may sell special types of cat foods, which is more nutritional or healthy for your cat, and sometimes may not be available at most pet stores.
Are there any grooming staff members? For many, a nice service, convenient when you bring your cat for an examination or have to leave for an errand.
Ask the veterinarian, opinion on de-clawing a cat, and what is their recommendation? Some cat owner’s may object and others may favor this surgery, for different reasons.
Is the location near your home, and provides adequate / convenient parking? During an emergency, you want to arrive, as soon as possible, and available plenty of parking places.
Does the veterinarian or staff, provide any special treatment including geriatric, and behavior treatment for cats? Also, friendly and courteous to pet owners needs? These facilities provide better care for cats, and pet owners happy.
Pet microchip offered at the clinic, hospital or office? This will ensure the identification of your cat, when lost or stolen. Veterinarians and pet shelters have scanners, which positively identify any pet, with implanted microchip.
Asking for a second opinion regarding a medical treatment or care is good idea. Confirming what you have learned, will reassure your decision or will provide new information.
Does the veterinarian make house calls? This happens rarely, but certainly convenient for the pet owner.
When you visit a veterinarian hospital or office, observe if the entrance, waiting area, and private rooms are kept clean, especially not seeing any animal hairs. Request tour of the area were cats and/or dogs are kept or care wards, and observe if their cages are clean. Also, if the animals are given plenty of clean water, food, and kept in dry comfortable temperature areas, and no odor is present. Confirm with staff or veterinarian, if air-conditioning and heating is provided, when necessary. Some clinics or veterinarian offices, may allow cats freedom to play, and move around without any restrictions. Observe, if each cat have their own litter box or shared among other cats, and litter boxes are fresh / clean, for good sanitary effectiveness.
A cat owner knows their cat better, than any other person. If cat becomes aggressive or behaves unfriendly, being examined by a veterinarian, which maybe unfriendly place to bring your cat. If the your cat is friendly to the veterinarian, cuddles to other staff members, and shows no aggressive behavior, would be positive reaction, receiving good veterinarian care. When a cat gets use to being a pet carrier, their anxiety level will diminish, when visiting the veterinarian. Some cats prefer not being near any dogs, while other cats have no problem.