My wife found a very large parrot cage at an antique store. We refurbished it a little and strategically placed in our reception
area. All of the rescued cats are given a bath upon arrival, thoroughly examined and found to be as healthy as we can determine.
We treat for ear mites, deworm them, and treat with a one-dose regimen of ponazuril for coccidian.
We provide personalized information about caring for new kittens, vaccinations, nutrition, etc. They receive a free dose of
a top flea product. (The company even reimburses us.)
We ask the new pet parent to take the kitten home and follow our directions, emphasizing the feeding of some canned food for
at least the first three to four weeks. We can give away premium food samples and coupons for the pet owner to go purchase
high-quality food to get these kittens started right.
An appointment is scheduled for them to return in seven days for evaluation and to begin the initial kitten vaccination series.
They are also told to return immediately if any health problems are observed.
To date, we have had one kitten returned from a household where the owner smoked two to three packs of cigarettes a day. The
kitten's cough and sneeze disappeared in 48 hours without treatment other than lots of staff love and clean air.
Many practice owners are trying to determine whether to advertise more, use coupons, give discounts for clients returning
late for vaccinations. I suggest we visit the local shelter and pick a couple of healthy kittens to show off in your reception
area. It will not only save some lives but help increase the kitten traffic in your practice.
Maybe we all need to spend some of our charitable giving by facilitating pet adoptions. Afterall, don't you think an adoption
by one of your current clients would offer better odds that you will see the cat again?
It's been said that a pet's senior years are the most profitable years for veterinary practices. I totally disagree. Senior
pet visits start with the first pediatric visit.
One last thing: Don't be surprised to see some of your clients making donations to your new Love At First Sight Kitten Adoption
To date, I have adopted more kittens in four weeks than the shelter had all year. The majority of my clients do not visit
the local shelter, but they do come see us several times at least during the first year with the new addition to their family.
Dr. Whitford is a practitioner and veterinary management consultant based in Clarksville, Tenn.