Sometimes you need a compassionate cat expert to talk to about a tough diagnosis or treatment decision. I’ve been there.
Sometimes you want someone to walk you through making diet changes for your cat. Other times you may want a gentle and wise cat-loving person to help you through pet loss.
Good news–there is someone who offers all these things. I’m speaking of Ingrid King. You may already be familiar with her blog, ConsciousCat., but I also wanted to spread the word about her consulting because it fills a need.
Tell me about the kind of consulting you provide for cat lovers
“I provide consultations in three different areas:
- Health and lifestyle, which includes reviewing your cat’s current diet, making recommendations on how to improve it, and recommending supplements, if indicated. I will also review your cat’s current environment to ensure that it’s free from toxins and common psychological stressors. We’ll discuss your cat’s play and exercise routine, and offer suggestions to improve it, if needed.
- Sick cat consultations can be helpful if your cat was diagnosed with a serious or chronic illness by your veterinarian, and you’re feeling overwhelmed with everything. You may have a difficult time sorting through treatment options, or be unsure whether you can follow through on your veterinarian’s treatment plan (injections, medication, subcutaneous fluids). During our consultation, I can help you review your cat’s diagnosis and treatment plan and offer support for implementing your veterinarian’s suggestions, offer suggestions and tools for caring for a sick cat, both physically/logistically and emotionally, and provide resources for your cat’s specific health condition, including what alternative treatments may be available for your pet’s condition.
- I also provide pet loss counseling. As pet parents, it is inevitable that at some point, we will be facing the loss of our beloved friend. Sadly, our pets don’t live nearly as long as we would like them to. Sometimes, it helps knowing that you’re not alone in dealing with this difficult situation. In our consultation, I can help you determine whether it’s time to let your cat go. Euthanasia is never a simple decision, and it’s different for each individual cat and person. I can help you sort through the emotions and the facts surrounding this difficult issue.I can talk through available options for what to do with your cat’s body, and help you find the one that is the best solution for you and your family. I can also help you navigate through your grief. Sometimes, being able to talk to someone who has experienced this devastating loss can be very helpful.”
Can you share one of your favorite stories about this work?
“I recently worked with a client with three cats who wanted to get her cats off dry food and onto a healthier diet. We worked together to transition the cats to a grain-free canned diet. My client was nervous about making the transition and wanted to be sure she did everything right. The cats did great, and my client is so thrilled with the results that she now wants to take the next step and transition them to a raw diet.
I have numerous stories about clients who call me after receiving a difficult diagnosis for their cat, and they’re feeling completely overwhelmed with everything their vet just told them.
Recently, I helped a client whose cat had multiple serious issues sort through the treatment options offered by her veterinarian. In this case, I also encouraged her to seek a second opinion. Even though I’m not a veterinarian, something about what this client told me about her cat, and what her vet suggested as a treatment program, just didn’t sound right to me.
The challenge in working with these types of clients is that I can only go on the information the client relays to me, which is inevitably filtered through not only their understanding of the medical facts, but also through their emotions. But this is also where the value of working with me comes in: I can guide my clients as to what questions to ask of their vet when they’re not caught up in the initial emotion around receiving a bad diagnosis.”
What inspired you to do this work?
“I did a lot of this type of work with veterinary clients when I worked as a veterinary hospital manager. Sometimes, clients are more comfortable talking to someone other than the veterinarian about their pet’s health issues. I also did a lot of this type of consulting for friends (at no charge). Patient advocates and patient care coordinators are becoming more prevalent in human medicine, and I think veterinary medicine could use them, too. My consulting practice fills that need.
Additionally, I’m just plain passionate about cat health. This comes into play especially with my health and lifestyle consults. Getting cats off of dry food and on a healthier diet, enriching the environment of a bored single cat, and making cat parents’ lives easier- all of these inspire me to do this work.”
To learn more and get in touch with Ingrid: See her consulting page here.