Whether you’re thinking about getting a cat or you’ve just brought one home, finding a cat vet nearby needs to be at the top of your list.
Having a great vet helps to make sure your cat stays healthy and happy. They can help with everything from making sure your cat’s on track with their shots to unforeseen emergencies.
Finding that great vet does mean putting in a little work, however. There may be specialists, vets in your neighborhood, and clinics of different sizes to consider.
So, where’s a good place to start?
We’re here to help. Below you’ll find the important steps to take and essential questions to ask to get you and your cat set up for a long, healthy life together.
When to Start Looking For A Cat Vet
The best time to start looking for your cat’s new vet is even before you’ve adopted him or her.
This is a good idea for a couple of reasons. For one, some veterinarians can get busy, so you might have to wait a week or two to set your first appointment. Scheduling ahead avoids that.
Another important reason is that your cat might contract an illness as you’re bringing them home. Having your vet in place before then will give you even more peace of mind.
Now that we’re on the same page about getting a vet as soon as possible, it’s time to find a cat vet nearby.
Where to Look For A Cat Vet Near Me
Even if you think your cat might love road trips, the best place to start looking for a cat vet is by looking close to home.
You can do this the old-fashioned way by talking to coworkers, neighbors, and friends about who they take their pets to.
You can also search online. Just look for a cat vet near me and your neighborhood. From there you’ll be able to see reviews and a website laying out their services.
For a more specific search, try a local or state veterinary medical association. If you know in advance you want a cat vet just for cats, you can try searching for that, too, or for your cat’s specific breed.
As a rule of thumb, try and keep your search within 5 miles of your home. While that may not be an option in some rural areas, it’s helpful to find a vet near you just in case of an emergency.
Questions to Ask a Cat Vet Near Me
Naturally, finding a cat vet near me is more than just getting the clinic’s address and phone number. You’ll want to make sure they line up with your schedule, your needs, and your values.
A quick way to gauge the fit between you and your new cat vet is with these five quick questions.
1| What are your evening and weekend hours like?
Knowing whether or not your vet works past 5 or on the weekends is valuable for anyone working traditional business hours.
2| What certifications does your practice hold?
Certifications, like those issued by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), are achieved through meeting a number of important quality standards. These can include fear-free certifications, which mean your vet has protocols in place to help keep your pet calm and free of anxiety.
3| Can I reach you if my cat has an emergency?
In addition to your vet’s office hours and availability, you’ll want to know how reachable they are for emergencies. This can mean knowing if and what kind of cat emergencies they handle in-house, which require urgent care, and if your doctor can speak 24/7. This will also help to set expectations about how fast overnight messages will be returned .
4| What types of specialists do you tend to refer to?
While your new cat vet may have a lot of the answers, it’s not unusual for them to refer to specialists. This can include for certain illnesses, breed-specific issues, or procedures. Knowing ahead of time the kinds of relationships your vet has within the community can help you make an informed decision.
5| How many other vets are involved in your practice?
In other words, is your vet going to continue being your vet? More veterinarians can mean more availability, but it might mean your cat’s not getting the same doctor each time. Depending on your cat’s personality or your preferences, this may or may not be a deciding factor for you.
Finding A Cat Vet Near Me
Whether you’re a new cat owner or moving to a new part of town, asking questions will help you find the vet that’s right for you. So feel free to ask questions and get to know the vet, the office, and how they work.
If you’re looking for a cat vet near me in Catonsville, Columbia, or Ellicott City and you’d like to meet our vets, give us a call at the Catonsville Cat Clinic. We look forward to meeting you.