Last Updated on: September 8, 2023 by Crystal Uys
If you’ve just moved or recently adopted a cat, and you’re looking for some vets to take them to for their checkups and medical emergencies, there are some surefire ways to determine if a vet is good for you and your feline.
We’ve compiled this step-by-step guide to help you look for a new vet.
The 5 Steps to Find a Cat-Friendly Vet
1. Search for a Vet Near You
It’s fairly easy to find a vet around you, but it’s harder to figure out whether or not they are cat friendly. The first step is using a site or search engine to find a vet near you. Once you’ve found one or more, you can follow these steps to determine which one is right for you and your feline.
2. Figure Out the Vet’s Credentials
There are multiple different things to look out for when finding the perfect vet. One of these things is the vet’s credentials. Certain feline-friendly certifications are important when searching for a new vet. You can usually call or look on the vet’s website to see their credentials.
Vets that are a Cat-Friendly Practice or Cat Friendly Clinics, are trustworthy when handling your cat. These vets are known for taking extra steps to ensure your cat’s safety, well-being, and comfort. This is important because the American Association of Feline Practitioners and the International Society for Feline Medicine work diligently to be credible feline medicine associations..
The Cat-Friendly Certificate is also an important credential that could come into play. Individuals within the practice may have this certification, showing they have done additional training in working with cats in a veterinary practice.
Less commonly, but with even more expertise, are veterinary nurses or veterinarians that have specialized in feline medicine, through various veterinary speciality groups, including the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners, the Australian College of Veterinary Science, and the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, to name a few.
3. Look Around the Clinic
The next step is to call in and ask if you can get a tour of the facilities to ensure that it’s right for your cat. Understand that many practices are extremely busy, so availability may be extremely limited. In lieu of a tour, visit their website, which will often show photos of their facilities, and staff. Or visit the waiting area, to see that separate facilities are available for cats, away from other animals. Even better are exam rooms or times of the week that are dedicated only to felines. Best yet, a clinic that only sees cats.
4. Visit the Website
Visit their website. Is the information up to date? Do they offer training classes for kittens, or talks from the staff about feline topics? Are they open hours that are workable for your schedule? This also gives you an opportunity to see how they handle out of hours care, and where your cat would need to go in an emergency.
5. Look for Positive Signs
Multiple good signs can point towards a great vet. Of course, not every vet will be able to fit all of them, so just look for the vet in your area that meets most of them, all while looking for the specific credentials stated above.
Signs That You’ve Found a Good Vet For Your Cat:
Ensure the clinic is a positive place for your cat
It will definitely be scary for your cat if it seems scary to you. Look at the staff and the environment. Are the staff friendly and trying to calm down animals they see? Are there calming diffusers in use for cat visitors? Are the waiting rooms quiet and spacious? Is there a place to put your cat? These are just some of the many questions you could be asking regarding which vet you choose.
If it overall seems like a positive place, then that’s a great sign. You’re looking for friendly and welcoming staff that provide a place you want to bring your cat.
Separate waiting rooms
While not all vets can accommodate this, it’s an important thing to look for when it comes to your vet. Some vets will have separate waiting rooms for cats and dogs to make the cats calmer when in the vet. If the waiting room is big enough for pets to stay out of contact with each other, that’s also a great sign.
Good handling of your cat, with comfort being the priority
When you bring your cat to your chosen vet, watch how they work closely. People that are accustomed to working with cats often go slow, are quiet, and are attentive to your cat’s needs. Ensure they’re trying their best to take care of your cat and ensure your cat is comfortable.
Hygiene is paramount when it comes to a vet’s office. Sick animals come through daily, and keeping the space clean is essential. If you notice dirt on the floor, an odd smell, or an unclean area, that’s a worrying sign. To keep all animals healthy, there has to be a level of effort to keep the area hygienic.
It can be hard to find a new vet. There are many things to consider, but this list helps put it all into one step-by-step guide. Important items such as credentials, hygienic areas, a large or separate waiting room for cats, and friendly, knowledgeable staff come into play when looking for the best possible vet for your cat.
Overall, your cat’s health comes first, and it is very important to ensure they go to a good vet.
Vets are an important part of your cat’s life, and it’s your job to ensure that the visits are as positive as possible and helpful for your cat’s health.
Featured Image Credit: Alice Rodnova, Shutterstock
About the author
Cat mom to Ivy – a feisty little rescue kitten that is her one and only child. For now! Throughout her life, she has been introduced to the special love that can be found in the bond with a cat. Having owned multiple felines, she is more than certain that their love is unmatched, unconditional and unlike any other. With a passion to educate the public about everything, there is to know about felines, their behavior, and their unique personalities, Crystal is devoted to making sure that all cats and their owners know the importance of conscious living – and loving!