A Feline Friendly vet will stand out, mainly because cats are smart enough to know who to trust and who to avoid. If each is comfortable with the other, that’s more than half the battle already won.
If your cat is relaxed and at ease, especially when being poked, prodded and jabbed by a strange person in an equally strange environment, then it’s a pretty good sign that the relationship will be a good one.
Cats love going into carriers when they don’t think they’re going anywhere. Once they realise they’ve been duped, they can get their revenge by sitting as far back in the carrier as they can and just looking at both you and the vet with outright contempt when you ask them to come out of their own accord. A cat vet will be likely to have developed their own technique in such situations which will usually result in a scratchless and stress-free extraction.
Once out, a good cat vet will usually make a fuss of your cat for a minute or two as they discuss things with you. In that brief period of stroking and fussing, any previous indignation (the cat’s, not the vet’s) will often disappear quickly, and the consultation will become a much easier affair.
How long should a cat’s first vet visit ideally last?
The appointment should never feel rushed. A minimum of 20 minutes, preferably up to 30, is the ideal length of time not just for your cat to be able to relax, but for the vet to get through all the essential things that should be done in any consultation.
As an example, regular vets will often only weigh a cat if it is suspected that a diagnosis might be further confirmed by weight loss or gain. A Feline Friendly vet will understand the need for routine weight checks to spot loss or gain that might not be visibly apparent but which may indicate further investigation is needed. The same goes for the process of checking your cat’s heart rate and any changes in the way it sounds, a simple thing that is often ignored.
Watch how Dr. Kim conducts this first examination with the client present.
And if my cat doesn’t like the vet?
Your cat’s relationship with everyone at the cat vet clinic is as important as it is with you. If you do something to upset your cat, the relationship you’ve already built will get you both through it. If your cat doesn’t at least feel safe in the environment of the consulting room, there isn’t the luxury of familiarity to help ease tensions and it may well be a long and rocky road ahead.
Make your decision wisely because, if you don’t your pet cat will!