Your cat means the whole world to you and you want to do everything that you can to help them live a long, healthy and happy life. Here, our Gilbert vets explain how often you should be bringing your cat into the vet for routine checkups and preventive veterinary care.
How often do you take a cat to the vet?
The absolute best way to ensure your cat has a healthy and long life is to prevent serious illnesses or catch health issues in their earliest stages when they are most easily treated.
Bringing your cat to the vet regularly provides your veterinarian with the opportunity to monitor your kitty's overall health, look for the earliest signs of disease, and offer you recommendations for the preventive care products that would suit your feline friend best.
At Crossroads Veterinary Hospital, we know that the cost of routine checkups or other preventive care may be a concern when your feline companion seems to be in good health. But taking a proactive and preventive approach to your kitten or cat's health may save you money on much more expensive treatments in the future.
What is a cat checkup?
Bringing your cat in to see your vet for a routine wellness exam 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 generally recommend annually scheduled wellness exams for adult cats in good health. However, kittens, senior cats and cats with underlying health conditions may need to visit a veterinarian for a physical checkup more often than that.
How often should kittens see a vet?
If your kitty is less than a year old then we suggest bringing them to the vet once a month, with their first veterinary appointment taking place when they are approximately 8 weeks old.
All through your cat's first year of life, your kitten will require multiple rounds of vaccinations to help protect them from common infectious diseases. Kittens should get 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 adorable young kitten will be given these vaccines over the course of about 16 weeks and will go a long way towards helping them to keep healthy and happy all through their life.
The exact timing of your kitten's vaccinations will vary depending on your location and the overall health of your furry friend.
Our vets advise that your have your kitten neutered or spayed when they are between 5 and 6 months in order to prevent a whole host of diseases and undesirable behaviors in addition to unwanted litters of kittens.
How often should middle-aged cats see a vet?
If you have a healthy adult cat between 1 - 10 years old, we recommend taking them in once a year for an exam. These examinations are yearly physical checkups that are completed when your cat seems to be perfectly healthy.
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 provide your cat with any required vaccines or booster shots and have a conversation with you about your cat's diet and nutritional requirements. They will also recommend the appropriate parasite protection products for your pet.
If your vet finds any signs of health issues emerging in your cat, they will explain their findings to you and recommend any next steps you may need to take.
How often should senior cats see a vet?
Cats are typically considered to be senior when they reach 11 years of age.
Since many disease that affect cats tend to be more common in ilder pets, we advise that you bring your senior cat in to see us every 6 months or so. 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 more proactive and preventive care in order to keep your feline friend as comfortable as possible as they age and age-related conditions like joint pain become more common. If you have a senior cat, ask your vet how often you should bring them in for a checkup.
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.