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Even healthy cats need regular visits to the vet - here's our guide on how to finding a vet to suit you.

You and your vet

Even healthy cats will require regular visits to a veterinary practice, so it's important that finding a vet is one of the first things you do with a new cat. Take your cat for health checks at least once a year - early recognition of symptoms as well as treatment may prevent your cat from getting ill.

Choosing a vet

All vets working in the UK have to be registered with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS). Choosing a vet might be daunting - often a recommendation from a friend or neighbour is a good place to start. Otherwise, you could phone around your local vets or even visit them before you make your choice.

You'll want to make sure that the practice you choose has high standards of care, offers good facilities and has kind and knowledgeable staff.

Things to consider when choosing a vet

  • location - especially relevant in an emergency, you might want to make sure that your vet is near to you
  • facilities - some veterinary practices will allow you to take a look around on open days. You'll notice equipment like X-ray machines and laboratory equipment, and you'll want to make sure the operating theatre is clean and well-equipped
  • appointment system and routine opening hours. Are you able to get an appointment at short notice for urgent problems?
  • whether the practice is accredited to the RCVS Practice standards scheme (PSS). This is a voluntary initiative to accredit veterinary practices in the UK through setting standards and carrying out regular inspection

Visiting the vet

Once you've decided on the ideal vet, it is sensible to build a lasting relationship to ensure you can both do the best for your cat. When your cat has an appointment with the vet, take them in their designated cat carrier.

On initial consultation, your vet might ask a veterinary nurse to assist with handling the cat, especially if you are nervous about how your cat will react. They will examine your cat as well as asking you some questions about general health, eating, drinking and toileting habits. As always, if you have noticed anything unusual about your cat's behaviour, you'll need to let your vet know.


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