Hopefully, you will not need to attend your vet’s surgery with your cat too frequently. Even so, do not be misled into thinking that you should only take your cat there when you suspect that something is wrong. As a cat grows older, there are likely to be considerable benefits in regular check-ups. Signs of deteriorating health will be detected at an early stage, and will be much easier to correct before the cat’s well-being is seriously affected.
Insure your cat with one of the companies operating in the animal health field. Details can be found in veterinary surgeries, pet shops, and in animal magazines. Check out several companies and compare what is on offer before selecting a policy.
The most common exclusions are the cost of vaccinations and neutering, and any preexisting conditions that your cat had from when the policy was taken out. You can keep the cost down by opting for an excess sum, which you will pay first in the event of any claim. There are also limits for claims under the policy, and as always, you should read the small print very carefully and follow the correct procedure in the event of a claim.
Careful examination of your cat by the vet, coupled with blood or urine tests if necessary, will highlight any problems at a routine examination. It is also important to ensure that your cat’s annual vaccinations are kept up-to-date, because a cat’s immune system is likely to function less effectively as the years pass.
A SECOND OPINION
There may be times when you are unhappy with your vet, in which case you may want to discuss your concerns with the head of the practice. But remember that, unfortunately, vets cannot always bring good news. It can be hard to accept that your pet is suffering from a serious illness, especially if your cat appears to be reasonably fit and is not very old.
You may instinctively feel that you want a second opinion, but in the vast majority of the cases, sad as it will be, the conclusion will be exactly the same. However, a second opinion could be helpful in the case of a particular orthopaedic injury for example, where a specialist in the field may be able to offer a different technique to treat the problem.
- A record of vaccination is important to both you and the vet. Always keep it in a safe place, and check that it is up-to-date from time to time. Take the record with you whenever you visit the vet.
- A veterinary practice is obliged to offer cover around the clock, every day of the year to deal with emergencies. However, you must not consult your vet on a non-urgent matter outside regular hours. Such consultations could prevent a genuine emergency receiving urgent assistance.
- If you wish your cat to be treated with complementary remedies, such as homeopathy, there are veterinary surgeons now specialising in this field.
- It’s not a good idea to discuss your cat’s health with your vet when he is listening to your cat with a stethoscope. He may not be able to hear you, and it can be a distraction as well!