As a pet parent, it is important for you to protect the health of your feline friend. This can be done with the help of routine veterinary care. Today, our La Mesa vets share the importance of wellness exams and how often you should take a cat to the vet.
How often do you take a cat to the vet?
Catching diseases and health concerns early will go a long way in helping to treat your cat quickly and efficiently. When diseases are left untreated they have the potential to lead to serious complications.
Bringing your cat to the vet regularly allows your veterinarian 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 Rancho Village 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 is a cat checkup?
Taking your cat to the vet for routine wellness exams is like bringing them to the doctor for a physical checkup. If you have a cat then you may be wondering 'How often do you take a cat to the vet?'. This 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 underlying health conditions should see their vet more frequently for an examination. So how often should you take your cat to the vet based on their age? Our vets discuss this further below.
How often should kittens see a vet?
If you have a new kitten that is at least 8 weeks old, your vet will likely request to see your kitten once a month until they are a year 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 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 be provided with these vaccines over approximately 16 weeks, which will go a long way in helping to keep them healthy their whole life.
The schedule for your kitten's vaccinations depends on the overall health of your kitten and any conditions that they may be experiencing.
Our vets recommend having your kitten spayed or neutered when they are between 5 - 6 months to prevent a host of diseases and undesirable behaviors as well as unwanted litters of kittens.
How often should middle-aged cats see a vet?
When to take your cat to the vet can depend on the health of your cat as well as any health concerns they may have.
Generally, 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 should be completed even 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 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 senior cats see a vet?
Once your cat reaches 11 years of age they will be considered a senior.
Your vet will likely recommend more frequent visits, typically every six months, in order to assess their overall health and monitor for any conditions or diseases. 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. 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.