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Add these Items to the Utter box, a sleeping place, and a earning case and
you are outfitted for the life of your cat. One trip to the pet shop is all it
should take.


Selecting a veterinarian to whom you can entrust your cat may involve
trial and error, but do not be afraid to change if you have any doubts-
unless, of course, you live in a remote area where you have little choice.
As you will see in the chapter on kittens, your young cat will need a
number of inoculations in its first year and then boosters thereafter. Also,
in the event of sickness, you will need to have a veterinarian handy. The
best way to choose a veterinarian is through a recommendation from a cat
or dog owner, from a neighbor who has used a local veterinary service, or
from a breeder in the area. A local veterinary medical society will provide a
list of names, but without recommendation.
The chief considerations are (1) cleanliness of the office and waiting
room and (2) whether or not the veterinarian inspires confidence. He
doesn't need all the latest equipment if he seems genuinely interested in
your pet. If he sees your cat as a piece of moving machinery on his assem-
bly line of patients, drop him and find another. You should feel about a
veterinarian as you would about a pediatrician for your child and a general
practitioner for yourself.
Here are some pointers:
L As stated above, cleanliness of office and feeling of confidence in
the veterinarian should predominate.
2. Ask to see the facilities at a convenient time. If the veterinarian
balks, he may be hiding something.
3. See if the veterinarian does a complete examination of the cat, or
if he makes a spot diagnosis.
4. Age should be no factor. Experience is no substitute for know-
ledge, nor is knowledge a substitute for experience.
5. Sex should not be a factor. Women are coming into veteri-
nary medicine in ever larger numbers, and they are as capable as any
6. Lavish equipment is in itself no sign of a good veterinarian. Does
he use the equipment to its best advantage?
7. Assistants and desk people should seem alive and interested in
their work.
8. Fees should be clearly stated. Most items have a fixed fee, de-
pending on the time and equipment needed.