Published by: Ingrid King. Last Updated on: July 27, 2023 by Crystal Uys
According to statistics, cats are substantially underserved when it comes to veterinary care. Even though pet cats outnumber dogs in the U.S. by 15 million, CATalyst Council and the American Humane Association estimate that cats go to the vet only half as often as dogs. Cat owners often express a belief that cats “do not need medical care.” According to Dr. Michele Gaspar, DVM, DABVP (Feline), “there is a misconception that cats are independent and they don’t need the level of care that dogs do. Cats also don’t show disease well. We can have cats who look normal but they are covering up a serious illness.”
One of the barriers to regular physical exams for many cats is that a trip to the veterinary clinic can be stressful and even traumatic for many cats and their guardians. Simply getting a cat into a carrier can be a challenge. And while there are things you can do to make your cat’s trip to the vet less stressful, having a vet come to your home can be a much better option for many cats.
Advantages of a mobile vet:
- The vet gets to see your cat in her natural environment. This will allow your vet to observe and evaluate behavior and conditions that may be aggravated by something in your cat’s environment that you may not even be aware of.
- No exposure to other cats (or dogs, if your veterinary hospital is not a feline only practice) and any potentially contagious diseases. This is especially important for very young cats who do not have a fully developed immune system, and for older cats with compromised immune systems.
- More personalized care. During a typical in-clinic appointment, you will spend 15-20 minutes with your vet. A typical in-home appointment will last anywhere from half an hour to an hour.
- Less stress for the cat guaridan. I’ve always found taking my cats on car rides extremely stressful. None of my cats have ever been good in the car, and as a result, both the cat and I were stressed by the time we arrived at the clinic.
- Ideal for senior citizens and others who are home-bound or don’t drive.
- No waiting times. Even though your mobile vet may not always arrive at the exact scheduled time due to traffic and other considerations, you’ll be waiting in the comfort of your own home, and not in a crowded waiting room with other animals.
How to find a mobile vet in your area:
The American Association of Housecall and Mobile Veterinarians provides a state by state listing. However, just like you shouldn’t pick a vet simply by location, don’t pick a mobile vet simply based on whether they service your area. Use the same criteria you’d use to choose a regular vet. Some question to ask are:
- How many veterinarians are at the practice?
- Will my pet always see the same veterinarian?
- How are emergencies handled?
- What services does the mobile vet perform? Not all mobile vets are full-service vets.
I’ve had housecall vets for many years, and the only time any of my cats have had to go to an actual clinic was for dental procedures.
We love our feline vet, Dr. Andrea Tasi of Just Cats Naturally. Dr. Tasi uses classical homeopathy, nutritional therapy, and behavior/environment-related techniques to help healthy cats stay well and help ill cats regain their health.
If you use a mobile vet for your cats, I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to share your vet’s contact information/website in a comment to help readers who might be looking for a housecall vet.
Featured Image Credit: Nejron Photo, Shutterstock
About the author
Ingrid King is an award-winning author, former veterinary hospital manager, and veterinary journalist who is passionate about cats.