This requires qualifications, but can be an extremely rewarding job. It takes approximately four years of study to become a veterinary nurse, and you will also need to build up hands-on work experience within a veterinary practice. Your role as a vet nurse will be assisting the veterinarian in his role which may include pre and post operative care, assisting the veterinarian in surgery and consultations, treating minor wounds, applying dressings, caring for the animals staying in the practice, giving medications and general veterinary practice duties.
This is the next step up, a veterinarian is a qualified doctor. It takes approximately 8 years to become a qualified veterinarian, depending on the country. High school grades are essential in order to be accepted into a university as places are extremely limited.
Working as a vet can be a challenge, your role is varied and will include consolations with pet owners and their pets to assess and diagnose medical conditions, offering general pet care advise such as nutrition, care, behaviour, surgery, diagnostic testing, spay and neuter, vaccinations, ongoing treatment of medical conditions, and much more.
You may choose to go into general practice and work with a range of animals or specialise in one area.
This is a relatively easy one with low set up costs. You would need to check with your local council about specific rules and regulations. Do you need a first aid certificate of some sort, what about insurance? A little medical knowledge would go a long way such as being able to identify if a cat is sick while in your care. Are you able to administer medications such as tablets, injections? What about handling a difficult cat? Do you have a car? Reliability is an absolute must when people are relying on you to care for their pets while they are away. But, this can be a marvellous job that you can do from home.
Word of mouth is especially important for pet sitting work. Build up a good reputation and people will gladly refer you to their friends and acquaintances.
Set up costs are more expensive than that of a pet sitter. You will have to obtain council permission to erect an adequate shelter for pets in your care. Pros are that you can work from home, so no travelling involved. Cons may be that it is difficult to get time off work.
As with pet sitting work, basic medical knowledge is extremely useful as you have to medicate a cat in your care. Check with your local council about rules and regulations in setting up and running a boarding cattery.
Do you have an interest in photography? What about becoming a cat photographer? You should obtain the relevant qualifications in order to call yourself a professional photographer. Set up costs can be expensive as camera equipment isn’t cheap. You may wish to have your own studio at home or take photos on location such as at cat shows or in the cat’s own home.
Nationally accredited courses are available for people wishing to become a pet groomer. Most countries don’t require formal qualifications in order to work as a pet groomer, but they certainly help. You have the choice to either find work with an established groomer or set up shop yourself, however, this will come with expenses.
Obtaining qualifications is highly recommended and gaining experience necessary. You can offer your services for free to animal shelters such as the RSPCA or see if any pet grooming salons are willing to give you work experience.
Pros are that eventually you can set up shop and work for yourself, but it’s not all grooming pampered felines. Your job will involve handling sometimes difficult cats who resent being bathed, clipping some cats who’s fur is too long or matted, animals who have parasites, impacted anal glands. But on the plus side, you get to hang out with cats all day. What’s better than that?
In most cases, shelter workers are not paid, they rely on volunteers to keep shelters running, however some of the larger shelters do employ full and part time staff. The role is varied and may include receiving animals brought to the shelter, temperament testing them, general care such as cleaning out cages, grooming, giving basic medicines etc. It can be a sad job at times, seeing perfectly adoptable animals being euthanised, but it can also be an incredibly rewarding and satisfying job knowing that you are helping less fortunate animals.