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Whether you are adopting a new cat, moving with your current cat or unhappy with the care your cat is receiving it is important to properly research a switch to a new cat vet. Lots of factors from money to services effect this decision. Here are our top factors to look at when finding a new vet.
A great place to start for referrals is the shelter you are getting your new cat from. If you are moving you can ask your current vet if they know anyone in your new area. We got a recommendation for a great vet from our cat sitter. They have contact with a lot of different pet owners so they are often in the know about different vet practices.
Ask Your Friends
Now it is time to poll the audience. See what veterinarians your friends with animals (preferably cats) are going to and see what they say about them. Especially ask about how much time the cat vet spends with their animal and also about how well they feel the veterinarian knows them and their cat. Combine these with your referrals and you have a short list of vets to check out further.
Vet the Vet
How big is the practice? How many vets and patients are there? How long does it take to get an appointment? What are the emergency procedures? These are all great questions to call and ask a veterinary office once you get it narrowed down to a few practices. We went from a large vet to a small one and I was amazed by how much more time the new vet spent with our cat. That said that is not necessarily because they were a small vet but it certainly did not hurt. On the flip side my current vet does not carry one of pills that my cat needs that the big vet had. It takes a little more time (and a little more money) to every month to go to a neighboring suburb to pick up the medicine at a specialized compounding pharmacy.
Ask If They Are A Cat Friendly Practice
At our previous vet my cats sat in the same waiting room as all the animals. They did not like this. All the Feliway in the world could not keep them calm with the dog smells and barks. When we moved our new cat vet was a Cat Friendly Practice. You can read all about this at the American Association of Feline Practioners but essentially the goal is to make sure your cat has the best breed specific care. One of the biggest differences is that the minute we get to the clinic we are taken to a cat specific room. No more waiting in the dog heavy waiting rooms. You can ask a potential vet office if they are cat friendly and there is also an online directory.
Find Out What Services They Offer
All vets offer the same general care but some have more specialized treatments, medicines and lab tests. There is no right or wrong answer to whether a vet should offer all the bells and whistles but it is important to know what they offer. For example my current vet (who is small and homey) sends out a lot of lab tests that the larger vet we used to go to ran in house. It takes a little longer but the tradeoff is having a vet that really knows my pet and we do not feel like a number.
Ask For A Price Sheet
Vet offices can range in price. While the cheapest may not be the best knowing price differentials can certainly be a factor. If you have pet insurance also make sure that the vet is covered under it.
Meet The Vet
All the research in the world will not tell you if you like your new vet until you have met them. Remember you can always switch different vets and easily switch to a different veterinary practice as well. Having a vet that you trust and you feel cares about your cats is important and it may take a try or two to find the best vet!
I hope this article has helped you in choosing a great cat vet for your animals! Be sure to check our our posts about cat essentials and our cat tested toy favorites.