Does your cat need a vet? Welcome to Coastal Cat Clinic!
Who are we?
We are a feline-only cat-friendly primary care veterinary clinic in Jacksonville, NC and the only cat specialty hospital in town. We are a small and personal place to take your kitty to the doctor in a quiet and relaxed atmosphere. Dr. Smith has been practicing since 1994 in eastern NC. Coastal Cat Clinic opened on March 2, 2000. Dr. Crystal Smith purchased the practice on June 1, 2005.
What do we do for cats?
Our focus is on wellness/vaccines and prevention and treatment of common problems. We do what we can to help you keep your cat healthy. We diagnose and treat common problems like abscesses, diabetes, over-active thyroids, etc. Being very aware of a cat’s problems with certain types of shots, we carry only the safest brands. Vaccine schedules are based on an individual cat’s life-style and needs and follow the AAFP’s recommendations. Accordingly, we believe that not every cat needs every shot every year to be healthy.
Helping you deal with common feline (mis?)behaviors and strengthening the human/animal bond is also very important to us. We perform common surgery such as spay/neuter, dental cleaning, simple oral surgery, laser declaw and other minor procedures, as listed under the “services” tab above. TNR feral surgeries are also performed here as we try diligently to do our part in helping control animal overpopulation in the area. Limited boarding is also available.
Your cat is an important part of your family and we try to treat your kitty and your time with respect. To that end, we work BY APPOINTMENT ONLY so as not to have long waiting room times and un-rushed visits with the doctor. *We do not accept walk-ins*. You will need to schedule at least one visit in person with Dr. Smith so that you can meet her. We want you to be confident that we are meeting yours and your cat’s needs. For returning patients and clients, we can also offer flexible drop-off appointments to allow better care without causing you to have to miss work. Please arrive at least a few minutes before your appointment. This is especially important if you are a new client or have a new patient because there is some basic paperwork that you will need to fill out.
You will always know who is caring for your kitty because we have only one veterinarian on staff. It is very important to us to build and keep yours and your cat’s trust so that we can work together towards the best solutions and for your cat’s needs.
A cat is NOT a small dog!
Cats are special and need a much quieter, gentler approach to handling and care than dogs. Thus, most cats appreciate our bark-free environment, feline-friendly handling techniques and pheromones. Nine out of ten cats approve of our nice basket and our Feliway plug-ins in both exam rooms. We do our best to be “fear free” in a quiet and relaxed setting. These special things usually make the cat’s visit (and therefore also your experience) superior to other practices. Often people tell us that their cat did great here but hasn’t always been the best patient at other places. We can’t work wonders on all of them, but we’re willing to give it a try at least. If not…. see “We cater to cowards” below.
We are a “Cat Friendly Practice” (recognized by the AAFP) at the silver level. Because of lack of a dental x-ray machine and an ultrasound machine we do not meet the requirements for gold level. If we think those services are necessary, we can refer to other practices in the Wilmington area. We also use much safer vaccines made with a cat’s special sensitivities in mind.
We cater to cowards:
Not all of our patients are happy to see us. Cats aren’t really very easy to reason with when they get very stressed, and it can take them a really long time to settle down afterwards. For some of our more timid patients, we offer pre-appointment anti-anxiety medications to try to reduce stress, just call ahead. For our patients that don’t handle anxiety and stress constructively and can’t be touched awake, we can also offer drop-off appointments for a sedated exam and whatever other services your cat may need. Most cats don’t like to leave the house and go see the doctor, and we understand that! We do not “get the gloves” or forcibly restrain an upset cat. That only worsens the problem and makes the cat even more upset and potentially dangerous to handle in the future.
What are your hours?
Our normal office working hours are Monday through Friday 8 to 5 but the doctor’s hours are by appointment only. Yes, you need an appointment so that the doctor is certain to be in the office and available to see you when you arrive with your cat. We do not have overnight or weekend hours or staffing, so critical cases sometimes need referral for continued care. We are closed certain holidays and during bad weather conditions.
What about emergencies?
This is not a 24/7 facility. If you need emergency care while we are closed, please see our “emergency” page. We will refer all critical cases or things requiring more advanced or intensive care to referral hospitals in the Wilmington area or to the Triangle. If there is inclement weather, please check our message board on this site, our Facebook page, and our Google business site page. Some of our staff lives far from work, so if the weather is bad or the roads are icy, we may adjust business hours for everyone’s safety.