Preventive care and routine wellness exams can help provide your cat with a solid base to live a long and healthy life. Today, our Mandeville vets discuss the importance of routine veterinary care and how often you should take your cat to the vet.
How Often Do You Take a Cat to the Vet?
The best way to make sure your kitty has a long and healthy life is to prevent serious illnesses or catch them early when they are more easily treated.
Bringing your cat to the vet regularly gives your veterinarian the opportunity to monitor your kitty's overall well-being and physical health, watch for the earliest signs of disease, and offer recommendations for the preventive care products that would suit your feline friend best.
At Riverside Veterinary Hospital we understand that the potential cost of routine checkups and preventive care can be a concern, especially if your feline friend seems to be in perfect health. However, taking a proactive, preventive approach to your cat or kitten's health could save you the cost of more expensive treatments down the road.
What Are Routine Wellness Exams For Cats?
Taking your cat to the vet for routine wellness exams is like bringing them 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.
We typically recommend annual wellness exams for healthy adult cats, but kittens, senior cats, and kitties with an underlying health conditions should see their vet more frequently for an examination.
How Often Should You Take Your Kitten to the Vet?
If your kitty is less than a year old, then we suggest bringing them to the vet once monthly starting when they are approximately 8 weeks old.
Throughout their first year, kittens need multiple rounds of vaccinations to help protect them from common infectious diseases. Kittens should get the Feline Leukemia vaccine and the FVRCP vaccine which help protect your feline friend from three highly contagious and life-threatening feline diseases, Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (FHV-1) Feline Calicivirus (FCV), and Feline Panleukopenia (FPL).
Your kitten will be provided with these vaccines over the course of approximately 16 weeks, which will go a long way in helping to keep them healthy their whole life.
The vaccinations, as well as the vaccination schedule for your cat, will depend on various factors such as where you live and the age and health of your cat.
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.
How often Should You Take Your Adult Cat to the Vet?
It is recommended that adult cats between the ages of 1 and 10 visit their vet once yearly at least when they are not in any distress or showing symptoms in order to have a complete wellness exam.
Throughout your adult cat's routine exam your vet will implement a head-to-tail examination to look for early signs of diseases or other issues, such as parasites, joint pain, or tooth decay.
Your veterinarian will also provide your kitty with any required vaccines or booster shots, and 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 detects any signs of a health issue, they will explain their findings to you and recommend the next steps.
How Often Should You Take Your Senior Cat to the Vet?
Once your cat reaches 11 years of age or older they will be considered a senior cat.
Since many cat diseases and injuries tend to be more common in older pets we recommend bringing your senior companion to the vet every 6 months. 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.
Some diagnostic tests we recommend for our senior patients include 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. Your vet will be able to provide more information as to how often you should be bringing your senior cat to the vet in order to meet their unique needs.
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.