Questions To Ask When Choosing A New Vet

Questions To Ask When Choosing a New Vet for Your Cat

Getting a new pet, or your first pet, is an exciting time. Getting to know your pet is one of the most enjoyable stages of the process of raising a pet. Especially with cats, as their natural curiosity and sudden feats of athleticism and energy are constant entertainment. Whether you’re adopting an adult cat or bringing a kitten home, you’re going to want to establish a relationship with a veterinarian.

Before you start to canvas your area for available pet hospitals and start asking questions to determine if they’re a good fit, you first need to decide whether you want to choose a small practice or a large practice. The answer to this question will help you qualify the pet hospitals into a smaller group. If you want your new kitten to see the same vet each-and-every visit, you’re going to want to select a smaller practice. With a big practice, you’re most likely going to see a handful of different vets during your various visits as your kitten grows into a cat.

Never had a pet and don’t know which to pick? Think about your personal preference when you see your doctor. Do you like to see the same doctor every time that knows your personally or do you enjoy the technology and speed of a large clinic? You’ll likely want the same for your pet.

Once you’ve decided, you’ll be able to glean from the different pet hospitals’ websites whether they qualify as a small practice or a large one. Also, quickly factor in location. Decide how far you’re willing to travel to see the vet. Make a list of three or four that are the right size and distance for you and prepare to ask them the following questions.

What Is the Average Wait Time for Appointments?

If you decided to go with a smaller practice, you should expect the wait time to be a bit longer than if you went with a larger practice. Since regular visits are scheduled in advance, those wait times shouldn’t be excessive, but what if your cat has an emergency or illness? In those cases, it may take a few days to get an appointment, but you’ll still have the peace of mind of knowing that you’ll likely be seeing your regular vet.

If your job makes it difficult to get away during the week, you may want to go with a practice that offers weekend hours.

Do You Have Emergency Services?

Hopefully, you never have a cat-related emergency, but if you do, you’ll want to have a clear course of action. Ask your vet if they can see your cat in the event of an emergency. More times than not, if the pet hospital is open 24 hours a day, they’ll be able to see your pet during an emergency.

If the pet hospital doesn’t have emergency services, that might not be a dealbreaker. Ask them who they’d recommend for emergency treatment and, if it’s nearby, they may still be a viable option.

Will You Accept/Share My Cat’s Vaccination History?

Depending on the age of your cat, your cat may have a vaccination history that you’ll want to share with your new vet. Most vets accept vaccination and medical histories from other pet hospitals, but you’ll want to make sure that’s the case.

Also, you’ll want to ensure that they’re going to share your cat’s history if you switch to a different provider. Whether you move or simply decide to change vets down the line, you’ll want your cat’s next vet to be up to speed on their medical history.

How Much Do Visits Cost?

If you’re concerned about costs related to treatment for your cat, learn more about how cat insurance could help.

Of course, every procedure and diagnosis will range in price, but you can get an idea of how much the standard checkup is going to cost by asking the vet. If you’re torn between a couple of vets, price might be the differentiator. You’ll also want to ask the vet if they have payment plans for expensive, unforeseen procedures that your cat may need in the future.

What Is Your Waiting Room Like?

All animals are different when it comes to riding in the car and visiting the vet, but there are pets, especially cats, who dread the experience. Cats can experience anxiety when they’re introduced to new places, and if those new places are full of other, unknown animals, that anxiety can be a lot on your cat.

There’s no way to ensure a completely peaceful vet visit for your cat, but by getting an idea of how busy your vet’s waiting room is, you’ll be able to mitigate some of the stress your cat experiences during their visit.

Learn More About Parenting Your Pet at PetPlace

By asking the above questions, you and your cat will be well on your way to forming the perfect relationship with your new veterinarian. If you’d like to learn more tips about raising your cat, PetPlace is a great resource for discovery. You can learn some helpful ways to train your kitten to enjoy their traveling carrier, which will make trips to visit your new veterinarian much more peaceful.

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