The CATalyst Council, a national initiative comprised of animal health and welfare organizations working on behalf of cats, has compiled the following list of five things to look for when seeking a cat-friendly veterinary practice.
- The first time you call for information about a practice, the receptionist should be able to tell you what the practice recommends for routine wellness care for cats that are the same age as your cat. This should include not only the basic vaccinations but also preventive medications and annual visits.
- The practice should have either separate exam rooms for cats or should offer special times during the day when they only see cats.
- When scheduling an appointment, the person you speak to should ask whether you are at all worried about transporting your cat to the practice. There are many tips and resources for cat owners that can help alleviate the stress that some experience when transporting a cat and your veterinarian's office should be able to explain them to you.
- Ask what types of carrier the office recommends for transportation. Most cat-friendly practices would recommend a carrier with a removable top so that if your cat seems nervous or scared it can be examined without extracting it from the carrier.
- Ask if the practice sends out reminders when wellness care is needed again. They should; it's something that shows they are committed to their feline clients and the health of their patients.
Taking your cat to see its veterinarian should not be a stressful task, and finding a practice that is committed to making your cat's visit as pleasant as possible is something you can accomplish with a few phone calls to practices in your area. In addition, the American Association of Feline Practitioners has recently created a Cat Friendly Practice designation for veterinary practices. To see if a veterinary clinic near you has received this designation, visit www.catvets.com.
The CATalyst Council is a national organization which includes a wide variety of animal health and welfare organizations as well as corporate members of the animal health industry that are working together to improve the health and welfare of America's favorite pet. It was founded in response to troubling statistics released by the American Veterinary Medical Association that indicate an increase in our nation's pet cat population coupled with a decline in veterinary care for those cats. More information about the CATalyst Council is available at www.catalystcouncil.org.