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Owners of dogs and cats are fairly lucky compared to other pet owners when it comes to being able to access local veterinary care for their pets-virtually all clinics in the UK large or small are experienced in caring for our most popular pets, and wherever you live, you probably won’t be far from a vet that can register you!
However, it is still a good idea to shop around and consider some of the various factors that can affect your cat’s care when it comes to choosing the best vet, and make your decision wisely after comparing all of the different variables.
In this article, we will look at some of the factors to consider and what to look for when choosing the right vet for your cat. Read on to learn more.
In larger towns and cities in the UK, you may be lucky enough to find a clinic that only sees cats and specialises in them, and is set up specifically to care just for our feline friends.
However, even if there is not a cat-only vet in your area, you might be able to find a mixed practice that is accredited as a cat-friendly clinic, which means that they will offer a range of facilities and make a little extra effort to keep their feline customers happy-such as their own waiting room away from dogs, and a cat-only ward in their hospital. Look for or ask about the ISFM Cat-Friendly sign or certificate when you visit or phone up!
Word of mouth recommendations can be one of the best ways to find the right vet for you, and if you know other local cat owners who hold their vet in high regard, find out which clinic it is and why, and try to sign up there.
As most veterinary clinics today have their own websites, take a moment to browse through the local vets near to you, and look for the pages that will give you further information about each of the staff. There will usually be short biographies about each of the vets on the team that will tell you their areas of specialisation and special interest, and even in some cases, tell you what pets they own themselves!
If there is a strong cat-centric theme among the biographies or one vet in particular specialises in feline medicine, this can be a good sign when picking the ideal clinic.
It is also important to find out what would happen if you needed to take your cat to the vet outside of normal consultation hours, so find out how your local clinic handles their out of hours care. Will you be able to take your cat to the local clinic and be seen by one of their own vets, or would you have to make a trip to a different vet in another clinic for emergencies?
Also, if your cat had to be hospitalised and cared for outside of the normal hours, will this happen in your local clinic, or would they need to go somewhere else for this too?
The better equipped your local clinic is, the better the care that they will be able to offer will be, and the more procedures and investigations they will be able to take care of in-house, which can save you both time and money in the long run if your cat needs tests or ongoing treatments.
While not every potential test or procedure any cat could need will be able to be performed in your local clinic, the better equipped they are, the easier things will be!
Finally, no cat actively enjoys going to the vet and being examined or having a procedure performed, and some cats will simply do everything that they can to make everything as challenging as possible! Providing veterinary care to a cat that is fighting all the way can be challenging and stressful for the cat, the owner and the vet alike, but you should at least feel that your cat and your vet don’t actually dislike each other, and that your vet handles even very difficult cats with empathy and regard.
On your first appointment with a new vet, keep an eye on things to ensure that you are happy that your vet is handling your cat in a way that you are comfortable with, and that they do everything that they can to make your cat feel at ease and more comfortable.
If you are not confident or happy with the way your vet deals with your cat, bearing in mind that your cat might be making it harder, try somewhere else.
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