You may already have a vet you are very happy with, or may take the opportunity to change vets with the arrival of a new kitten. It’s essential to get your new kitten registered with a good vet as soon as you can, as it will require to be micro-chipped and spayed / neutered within three months from when it came to you. It’s always a good idea to take your kitten for a check-up soon after it has settled into your home so that you can discuss the timing for these procedures with the vet, and they can assess the kitten. Most often the choice of vet is determined by who’s closest to where you live – which is often the only practical option in rural areas but won’t be the case in larger towns. If you can, do go and visit a few practices before choosing one.
The topic of “what makes a good vet” is one worthy of an entire book, and is naturally very subjective We are lucky to have an excellent relationship with our own veterinary practice, and can share a view of what works well:
- Consultations are never rushed, are always thorough, and treatment options are always discussed. The advice given is always practical and balanced. Medication or other interventions are not the only answer.
- There’s always a two-way dialogue – we never feel we’re just being told what to do or what should happen.
- The staff are genuinely interested in our cats, share openly about their own pets, and are always ready to discuss some of the more complex topics we need to cover as breeders.
- We feel happy to pay for their services because we feel we’re getting value for money.
- We can usually choose which vet we want to see with reasonable notice.
- When we had to say goodbye to one of our cats, it was a very compassionate experience.
Our practice has not been bought out by a larger corporate entity as is happening with many vets today. It’s possible that some practices would be improved through this approach but in general we feel that independent vets are more likely to provide a more individual and personalised service.
It’s increasingly common for some vets, especially those operating as part of a group, to offer membership of schemes such as the “Pet Health Club” or “Healthy Pet Club” where a monthly payment provides access to vaccinations, worming, and various benefits or discounts. Whilst some might find it easier to budget based on a regular monthly amount, it’s likely that the overall costs are higher, and you’re also then tied into a plan or practice. Our own view on this is simple – these plans mean that a third party (the plan provider) is trying to make money by selling services through your vet – services which until recently your vet was able to supply you directly without anyone else being involved. We’d advise to look at what you really need and the costs involved before signing up.