Keeping your cat happy and healthy will always be the most important thing for any cat parent. Our vets at Fairhaven discuss how often to take your cat to visit their vet for their routine wellness exams and preventive care.
How often do you take a cat to the vet?
Catching serious illnesses as early as possible is imperative to your cat living a long and healthy life.
By bringing your cat in for routine wellness examinations you are providing your veterinarian with the opportunity to monitor your kitty's overall health, look for the earliest signs of disease. During these visits, your vet will be able to offer recommendations for preventive care and products based on any signs or symptoms they might have spotted during the exam.
At New England Animal Hospital we understand that the cost of routine checkups and preventive care can be a concern, especially if your feline friend seems to be in perfect health. But these routine visits could save you the cost of more expensive treatments in the future if you were to discover a serious disease, injury, or illness.
What is a cat checkup?
Bringing your cat in for a routine wellness exam is the equivalent of bringing yourself to the doctor for a physical checkup. As with people, how often your cat should have a physical examination depends on their age, lifestyle, and overall health.
Typically our recommendation for healthy adult cats is an annual wellness exam, but kittens, senior cats, and kitties with an underlying health condition should see their vet more frequently for an examination.
How often should kittens see a vet?
If your kitten has reached the age of 8 weeks old it is then time to book their visit checkup. After their initial visit, they will then continue to be seen once monthly until the time they reach approximately a year old.
During the visit year of their life, your kitten will receive multiple rounds of vaccinations to help protect them from common infectious diseases. It is very important that your kitten gets the Feline Leukemia vaccine and the FVRCP vaccine which helps protect your feline friend from 3 highly contagious and life-threatening feline diseases, Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (FHV-1) Feline Calicivirus (FCV), and Feline Panleukopenia (FPL).
Your kitten will receive these vaccines over the course of the first 16 years of its life and these vaccinations will help protect them from diseases over the course of their entire life.
Your vet will decide what the best vaccination schedule is for your kitten based on your location and your kitten's overall health.
Our vets recommend having your kitten spayed or neutered when they are between 5 - 6 months in order to prevent a host of diseases and undesirable behaviors as well as unwanted litters of kittens.
When should your middle-aged cat see a vet?
Annual examinations are recommended for all cats that are between the ages of 1 to 10 years old. These examinations are yearly physical checkups that are completed when your cat seems to be perfectly healthy.
During your adult cat's routine exam, your vet will monitor for early signs of diseases or other issues, such as parasites, joint pain, tooth decay, or anything else that could possibly cause future complications.
Your veterinarian will also provide your kitty with any required vaccines or booster shots at this time and may have a conversation with you about your cat's diet and nutritional requirements, as well as recommend the appropriate parasite protection products.
If your vet happens to notice any signs or symptoms of any diseases or disorders they will want to sit down, discuss their findings, and talk about preventive care for your kitty.
How often should senior cats see a vet?
Once your cat reaches 11 years of age they will then be considered a senior cat. Once your cat is a senior their needs will change as will their preventive care requirements.
Bringing your cat in for a vet visit every 6 months is ideal since many cat diseases and injuries tend to be more common in older pets. Twice-yearly wellness check-ups for your geriatric cat will include all of the checks and advice listed above, but with a few additional diagnostic tests to obtain extra insights into your furry friend's overall health.
There is a chance that your vet might require diagnostic tests for your aging cat such as blood tests and urinalysis to check for early signs of problems such as kidney disease or diabetes.
Geriatric care for cats also includes a more proactive approach to keeping your feline companion comfortable as age-related issues such as joint pain become more common. If you have a senior cat, ask your vet how often you should bring your pet in for a routine exam.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.