vet check for rescue charity - gobsmacked by vet comments

(57 Posts)

Hi. Feel like I've been punched in stomach over this. Yesterday, after 4 years of grieving and missing our lovely tom cat, we bit the bullet and decided to go to a local charity to find a new cat. Chose a lovely 4 month cat and left our details so they could do a vet check. Had a call earlier from charity saying they needed more info as we only saw that vet twice ( I daftly assumed they would have obtained previous records). They said all that the last visit recorded was, " brought cat in, lethargic, and owners asked for it to be put down". Am I the only person who would find that extremely upsetting, bearing in mind the vet told us he was dying and it would be the kindest option? He hadn't eaten for a few days, eye sight had severely degenerated and the vet told us his organs were failing. We spent an hour talking options over with the vet and then making the decision to put him to sleep - it was one of the hardest things I ever had to do, and the vet told us it was the right option. Am I overreacting over the brevity of the notes? I certainly don't think it looks good on paper. The vets also failed to tell the charity we had him cremated and ashes returned. Maybe I'm overreacting, but it's made me feel very upset and I'm concerned it will affect our plans to give another cat a loving home.

I have never heard of a vet check, only a home check. That all sounds very strange. sad

I am not surprised you are upset, I would be too.

If you've had a cat before, they do a vet check only. Home checks are for the first time cat owners. Doesn't completely make sense to me.

cozietoesie Fri 16-Nov-12 17:02:38

I know of at least one rescue that does that, sparkling - it's a substitute for a home check rather than an add on.

So sorry, OP. Rotten for you.

Thanks cozie, I suppose it sort of makes sense as long as the vets write down relevant info. Bet the Vets charge for it though.

cozietoesie Fri 16-Nov-12 17:37:43

Don't know about the latter, Sparkling, but it's real unfortunate if the vets have just taken quick scribbled notes - and then may have left the practice so that they don't remember you and someone else is picking up where they left off.

Islets, I'd have word with the charity and explain to them what you set out to us in your OP. Best of luck.

cozietoesie Fri 16-Nov-12 17:50:17

PS - My understanding is that it's mostly down to the fact that so many cats nowadays are rehomed by internet, phone and email in the first instance. (And the charities, which are often not completely local to the person who would like a rescue cat, are so strapped for cash that they can't travel to do home checks.) I don't know for certain that that's the case so maybe one of the posters who assist on rescue work could comment.

Are you close enough to the rescue to pop in at the weekend, Islets? That would likely ease their minds considerably.

Welovecouscous Fri 16-Nov-12 17:52:48

I would be v upset, op sad

Thing is it will probably all be sorted out pronto when they meet you and see you are a lovely caring owner.

We went in to choose the cat yesterday, but only met one member of staff in the cattery area, who said she was new. The check was being done by someone involved in admin. I was a little upset when she rang and told me what the last vets had said and so I explained what had actually happened (in a non-ranty fashion). I rang my previous vets to see if they were happy to provide records (which they were) and gave the charity their number. Haven't heard back though, and we are supposed to be collecting him tomorrow. Getting paranoid sad. My husband and I are gentle, quiet and friendly, so I hope we gave off a good impression yesterday.

JustFabulous Fri 16-Nov-12 18:02:59

You poor thing sad. That must have been such a shock.

I really hope you can still have your cat.

cozietoesie Fri 16-Nov-12 18:14:20

I suspect that in this instance, not hearing back is a good sign.

Lots of luck with your new cat tomorrow.


Yes, I would carry on and assume everything is ok Islets.

Thank you all - I'll try to stay positive. I've just had a lot of sad memories being relived today...

Whatnowffs Fri 16-Nov-12 18:32:55

Oh bless you, how sad for you. To try and turn this around so you don't feel so upset, i just think that it was a breifly recorded record on behalf of the vet. For vet checks they often just print out a history.

How i read it is that this was the first time they saw you with the cat? That sadly, it was his time and you decided to be kind to him and have him put to sleep. There was really no need for further information on his records i guess at it was a final decision, the vet who wrote that probably didn't think for one minute it would be read in this situation. It was simply a factual representation of what happened. I think that if the rescue see it any other way then they are well out of order. I also think the person who read that to you was wrong, why did you need to hear that? sad

No news is good news though, i would happily rehome a cat to you, lucky cat!!! xxx

RedwingWinter Fri 16-Nov-12 18:35:03

I am not surprised that upset you. The vet should have explained the circumstances (and should have it in their notes).

Usually with the vet check they are wanting to know that you are the kind of person who gets your cats (or dogs) spayed/neutered, and keep them up to date with vaccinations.

It's good that you explained what had happened. I think it should all be alright.

Whatnowffs - I've tried to be rational about this and agree with what you say about the vet maybe not feeling they needed to put any other information down and kept it brief. It was the second time we saw him - the previous visit was for an annual booster vaccination. What concerned me was that the charity said they needed more information as there were no other medical treatment between the booster (Feb) and our last visit (September) and that there was no real explanation in the notes for him being put down aside from lethargy.

It's rubbish because it's the vets failing to put the right information that's caused this. Surely a quick phone call between the rescue and the vets is all that's necessary?

This is all very upsetting at what should be an exciting time getting a new
cat to love. sad

The more I think about this, the more upset I am with the rescue place for querying the idea we took a tired, but otherwise healthy cat in to be put down. Feel quite sick about it and it is tainting the whole experience.

The rescue centre have boxes to tick though Islets. They know that a vet presented with a cat just suffering from lethargy would not advise it be put to sleep.

They just want to tick the 'Vet Check' box and are being a bit thorough.

I hope so Sparkling - I'm going to have an early night, clear my head and ring with a positive attitude tomorrow morning smile

Good idea Islets, hope all will be fine. xx

Holtby Fri 16-Nov-12 20:17:31

Islets, I do understand why you're so upset - it's just badly worded in the vet's records. Please don't be cross with the shelter though. I volunteer for a little shelter and we see some horror stories - people who give cats up for adoption when they redecorate, because the cat doesn't 'go' with the new colours, kittens who've been through 4 families before they're 6 months old, people who hand in malnourished year-old cats named "Shithead". For that reason, they will just have wanted to be absolutely sure that you were the right sort of cat owner.

I am so pleased that a lovely rescue cat will have a wonderful new home with you! Post some pics, please. x

cozietoesie Fri 16-Nov-12 20:19:53

.....'someone involved in admin'.... you said ? (And maybe not a great cat person.) Don't worry - and hope everything goes well tomorrow.


cozietoesie Fri 16-Nov-12 20:21:07

doesn't go with the colour scheme ? God help us.

Pourquoimoi Sat 17-Nov-12 09:01:37

What happened?

This worries me massively as we have two cats from a rescue centre when they were one. They hardly ever see the vets because they are healthy cats. To be honest we haven't kept their boosters up to date, mainly as a vet friend said they didn't really need to be done every year but also cost to be honest.

We have however taken them straight to the vets if we have had concerns at all they are happy and healthy cats who have had 11 yrs with us so far but we would probably not be deemed suitable to have any more based on this?

Perhaps when the time comes we'd be better off getting a random kitten rather than a rescue centre cat and potentially being deemed bad cat owners?

Holtby Sat 17-Nov-12 09:16:34

No, Pourquoi, please don't buy a kitten. I could tell you some hair-raising stories about private dealers too.

When the day comes, find a local shelter and tell them about your lovely cats and they'll probably do a 'homecheck' - which is only very slightly about checking that you can provide a suitable home and much more about giving them an opportunity for a longer conversation with rehomers about their expectations, experience, weeding out any nutty ideas (people who want their cats to have a vegetarian diet is a regular thing etc). Generally they'll only ask for vet references if there's a reason why a homecheck is impossible.

Vet check with old vets was absolutely fine! We are collecting Frazer on Monday - will post a piccie if someone can tell me how to! Thank you all so much for your wise and calming words last night, it really helped, as did the early night smile

Oh Islets that's fantastic. Squeal!! <hugs> have you got to go out now and buy all the essentials like Ping Pong balls?? grin

Frazer is a great name.

cozietoesie Sat 17-Nov-12 11:51:39

Excellent, Islets! Looking forward to the pics.


Pourquoimoi Sat 17-Nov-12 12:07:06

Islets brilliant, I am pleased for you.

holtby thanks for that, i do consider us as good owners and we do care deeply for our very happy cats. Good idea re finding a local shelter. The time is not there yet but I would rather have a rescue cat than a kitten anyway. And if we were to get a kitten, it wouldn't be a pedigree one from a breeder but a standard moggie from someone who needs to find a good home.

We aren't telling the girls until he's here, so will have to do some stealth shopping..... luckily DH works in Waitrose so can get all the essentials (including ping pong balls Sparkling at work! Borrowing a carrier from a friend on Monday (will buy one for us ASAP). I'M SO EXCITED NOW!!!!!

Don't forget post it notes on all outside doors with CAT!!! written on. I had to do that to stop DC letting the cat out accidentally. wink

Aldi cat litter is very good-they only sell the one sort.

We have a plastic carrier with a silver metal door at the front. It's crap, and I never know if it's shut properly as it doesn't seem very positive IYKWIM. So peruse the carriers carefully.

cozietoesie Sat 17-Nov-12 12:24:43

I'd second Sparkling's comment on carrier perusal. They're quite a big expenditure so try to get one that works well and will be robust.


I think the lid comes off ours too cozie but it just seems really plasticky and horrible. I quite like the look of the wicker ones.

cozietoesie Sat 17-Nov-12 12:30:51

Personally, I wouldn't get a wicker one, Sparkling - at least not without looking them over very carefully. I had one once and when you actually looked inside, there were quite a lot of unfinished jaggy bits of thick twig which had been simply cut off. They weren't necessarily standing proud of the surface much but they could have made a bit of a mess of a cat if it was vexed and moving distractedly about the cage.

Just my own view though - maybe there are expensive ones which are better finished.


Sunnywithachanceofshowers Sat 17-Nov-12 12:46:45

Fantastic news! smile

We had a huge metal cage for Jerry as he was enormous (he had been a stray and wasn't neutered until he was 6!!). He just would not fit into any of the standard plastic ones! Gave it to a cat shelter after he died. And the post it note idea I will definitely steal!

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 17-Nov-12 16:31:08

I think our carrier was from pets at home, just a standard plastic with metal door jobby.

I am pleased for you getting you new cat.

RedwingWinter Sat 17-Nov-12 16:34:45

That's great news Islets! I hope you have a lovely time with your new cat. Don't be offended if he hides under the bed at first, it's a big adjustment for him. Frazer is a lovely name smile

Holtby Sat 17-Nov-12 16:35:51

Ah, I'm a bit of an expert on carriers. You really don't want a wicker one - car sickness makes some cats wee and wicker is neither waterproof nor watertight.

We've gone through dozens to find the ones that work best and I would recommend this one above all others:

Top-loading boxes make it a million times easier to box up a grumpy cat and the front door can be opened with one hand which is very useful. It clips open at the middle to be cleaned/stored but is still really robust. And it has a slot in it for a seatbelt if you're ever on your own in the car with the cat box.

(You can probably tell I feel strongly about this. So many adopters buy the basic model from Pets at Home which is only about £5 cheaper than the one above and then I have to wrestle a wary cat through the tiny frontloading opening and normally end up wounded, panting and fraught!)

cozietoesie Sat 17-Nov-12 16:42:21

The watertightness is a good point which I forgot to mention. I've had one accident in years of cats (but sadly in a wicker carrier) and the scrubbing, cleaning and drying afterwards was no fun. Having an impermeable base gives you a lot of confidence while travelling -especially remembering that you may be in someone else's car/a taxi/a hire car and that most car's seats and coverings are material; which might absorb pee.

Lonecatwithkitten Sat 17-Nov-12 19:06:05

I have to say I am surprised that the vets actually wrote clinical details as these are confidential. The most normal vet check is what pets had this person owned, how long have they been registered with you and have they visited you as regularly as expected ( if they have been once a year that would be a yes less than that a no).
We receive no payment from anyone for this.
If a rescue asked for clinical details we would have to obtain an owners permission to release these.

cozietoesie Sat 17-Nov-12 19:29:05

Out of interest, Lone - to your knowledge, would it normally be a vet that would do this or would this sort of task be delegated to a practice assistant?

Lonecatwithkitten Sat 17-Nov-12 22:20:49

The forms we receive require the signature of a veterinary surgeon, but do not request clinical history in any shape or form. They are presented to a vet who reads the history fills the how long, how many pets etc and then sign.

RedwingWinter Sat 17-Nov-12 22:23:14

I agree with Holtby about carriers. Much easier to get a cat in if you can take the top off.

However, once you've got your cat home, I'd also recommend training him to go into his carrier. Keep it in a room that you use often, with a towel in the bottom, so he can go in there if he wants some peace and quiet; and throw treats in there from time to time. Mine were scared of the carrier at first so I had to start with them going just to the doorway of it for the treat, and then progressively move the treat further back. Now it's dead easy when we go to the vet as I just say 'basket' and they go in happily. I really wish I'd done this with previous cats too.

I've posted a piccie of Frazer on my profile - we brought him home Monday and he is settling in very well. He's very sociable and spends most of his time purring! He's enjoying his ping pong balls too! Took me ages to take a photo as he won't stay still, and as he's black, he can be difficult to see sometimes!

Thanks again for all the advice x

Fab, sounds like he's quite at home already. Can you make your profile public? Ta. smile

Sorry - thought I had done, but obviously hadn't saved it. Should be visible now!

cozietoesie Wed 21-Nov-12 08:38:15

Oh he is just gorgeous.

What a confident chappy!


He looks right at home doesn't he? grin He's a handsome cat.

mayihaveaboxofchoculaits Wed 21-Nov-12 08:51:36

What a great looking kitty!

Fluffycloudland77 Wed 21-Nov-12 12:20:36

He's a gorgeous cat. I do have a soft spot for black cats though.

He looks like he's waiting for tummy fuss.

cozietoesie Wed 21-Nov-12 12:25:45

Bit like a pasha waiting for attention from his slaves if you ask me!

He is very affectionate, although tummy fuss seems to lead very quickly to dabbing....

He already has the entire family as captive slaves! Although dd2 is a wee bit nervy around him....

cozietoesie Wed 21-Nov-12 13:09:11

That's OK. Better to be a wee bit cautious when you're young than too aggressive. They'll relax with each other soon enough.


Horsemad Wed 21-Nov-12 13:31:18

That is one handsome boy!

RedwingWinter Thu 22-Nov-12 21:56:44

Aw he's gorgeous!!

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now