Once you have a list of six or more vets to choose from, get on the phone and call the vets' offices. Gather information to compare and contrast to narrow down your list. Note how you are treated over the phone. Staff and doctors should be courteous, pleasant, and willing to listen and talk with you. Here are some basic questions to consider asking:
- What percentage of the practice is devoted to cat care? You are looking for a vet with plenty of experience with cats.
- If your cat is purebred, how many of this breed does the vet treat? Your vet should be well-versed in the idiosyncrasies and conditions that can affect your cat's breed.
- Does this doctor specialize? Some areas of specialization are surgery, dental care, eye care, orthopedics, and allergies.
- What range of services does the veterinary practice provide? Do they perform diagnostic tests on the premises, and what testing and evaluation equipment do they have? Are boarding and/or grooming services available?
- What are the office hours? Consider your schedule and whether you will require Saturday or evening office hours.
- How much do they charge for annual checkups and vaccinations? If applicable, inquire whether the office accepts (or will help you receive reimbursement from) veterinary insurance.
- What is the preferred method of payment? Do they accept credit cards? Debit cards? Checks? Cash?
- What are the procedures for after-hours emergencies? How are emergency calls handled during regular office hours?
- Is there 24-hour coverage at the office? If not, how often are overnight patients checked?
- When the doctor is on vacation or unavailable, who provides veterinary care?
- Does the doctor make house calls?
- If it's a multidoctor practice, can you request a specific doctor?
Continued on page 3: Visit the Office