7 Tips For Choosing The Best Veterinarian For Your Cat

Lisa Selvaggio
by Lisa Selvaggio
Handy advice for finding the perfect vet for your cat

Your cat’s veterinarian will be your ally in keeping your beloved companion happy and healthy for years to come. Therefore, choosing the right medical professional who is knowledgeable, experienced, and caring is one of the integral components of being a good cat parent.

Sometimes, though, it can be really difficult to locate the perfect vet for your kitty. Despite plenty of options in your area, you may find it hard to find the individual who really understands your approach to your cat’s care. The tips below, however, can help you navigate this challenge more effectively and nail down the vet who is right for you and your pet.

Related: 4 Basic First Aid Tips For Cat Emergencies

Ask for Referrals

Getting referrals to good vets from friends and family is one of the easiest ways to find a competent and caring professional, but make sure you also evaluate each facility and vet on your own. Search for reviews from other pet parents and read each veterinarian’s website to see what services are offered, what conditions they treat, and if they specialize in feline care. If you volunteer for an animal rescue or shelter, you can even ask them who they use if you find that the vet care their animals receive is top-notch.

Consider Meeting the Vet Before Your Cat Does

You don’t have to bring your cat to a potential new vet on your first visit. Instead, you can make an appointment to see the facility and speak with the vet on your own to determine if he or she would be a good match.

Related: How To Administer Medications To Your Cat

Find an Accredited Vet

Veterinary practices are evaluated by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) in terms of their staff, care, equipment, and facilities. To search for an AAHA-accredited veterinary hospital in your area, check the AAHA website. Not every great vet will be listed on this site, but it is a good starting point if you are trying to narrow down your current options. Whether or not a veterinary practice is accredited, you want it to be staffed by well-educated and experienced workers, from techs to receptionists and surgeons, and you want the facility itself to be modern and clean.

Evaluate the Other Vets on Staff

Many veterinary practices have more than one vet on hand at all times, and they often cover for each other. Therefore, getting to know one vet at a multi-vet facility isn’t always enough. Take the time to learn about the other members on the staff to ensure you will always be comfortable with the doctor you see. Every vet should be knowledgeable, patient, and willing to take the time to answer all of your questions, both in the office and over the phone or email.

Seek Out Vets Who Love Cats

Some vets are more comfortable and experienced in working with cats than others. While you don’t have to go through the trouble of finding a cat-exclusive veterinary facility, you should be certain that the vet you’re planning on seeing is a cat enthusiast who truly enjoys being around and caring for these unique animals.

Find an Emergency Vet

If your veterinarian’s facility is not open 24 hours a day in case of emergencies, you have to find a hospital that is. So, in addition to finding your cat’s primary vet, you should also take care to research an emergency animal hospital with a great staff.

Plan Ahead

Choosing the right vet will be the most important decision you make for your cat. Knowing who you can turn to in the event of an illness or emergency and who will guide you in making the best decisions for your pet is something that should be done before bringing a new cat home. Don’t wait until you actually need a vet to find one. Planning ahead and taking your time to make the best choice is key in ensuring you’ll find someone who meets your cat’s needs as much as yours.

Lisa Selvaggio
Lisa Selvaggio

Lisa Selvaggio is a freelance writer and editor, and our resident cats-pert, with certifications in pet nutrition and pet first aid. She enjoys producing content that helps people understand animals better so they can give their pets a safe and happy home.

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