Taking your cat to the vet: finding the right cat clinic
Whether you’re welcoming a new cat or kitten to your family or you’ve moved to a new area, choosing the right cat-friendly clinic is a big decision. We’ll help you make the right choice for you, your family and – of course – your feline friend.
Finding a cat-friendly veterinary clinic
Visits to the vet may be stressful for your cat or kitten. Cats often don’t travel well. They can be anxious away from home, and may become stressed out by the sight, sound and smell of other animals in the waiting room.
A good veterinary clinic will do everything they can to reduce this stress for your cat or kitten. A good guideline is to find a clinic that’s been awarded the ISFM (International Society of Feline Medicine) Cat Friendly Clinic standard. Vets can be awarded bronze, silver and gold standards, which are outlined here.
Cat-owning family, friends and colleagues will love to share their stories, and recommendation is a great way to learn about other people’s experiences with vets in your local area.
Once you’ve gathered a few recommendations, check them out online using Google (or your favourite search platform), on review sites like Trustpilot, and through social media sites such as Facebook.
Reading reviews will help you narrow down your selection – you may then want to call or visit a couple of local vets for yourself, to judge how friendly, caring and professional the staff are before you make your choice. This is your chance to ask any questions, such as how long they’ve been established, what services they provide, how much they charge for those services, and what hours they’re open.
All UK vets should be qualified and registered with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), and will have either MRCVS or FRCVS after their name.
Other things to consider when choosing a cat-friendly clinic include:
- Is the clinic in a convenient location, close to your home or easy to travel to?
- Is there parking close by, or good public transport links?
- Are veterinary staff friendly, caring and professional?
- Are they qualified, knowledgeable and experienced?
- Do they explain things in a way that’s easy for you to understand?
- Do they offer daytime and out-of-hours care for your cat?
- Is their surgery and reception area clean and tidy?
- Do they have separate cat and dog areas?
“Recommendation can be a great way to learn about other people’s experiences with vets in your local area.”
Trust and communication
It’s vital to find a vet you can trust with the care of your cat or kitten, so look for one who’s caring, friendly, sympathetic and professional. It’s worrying enough to have a poorly pet without feeling like you don’t understand what’s going on, so good communication skills and knowledge are also important.