You love your cat, and you want to ensure that they live a long, healthy life with you. Today, our Simi Valley veterinarians explain how often you should take your cat to the vet for routine checkups and preventive care.
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 veterinarian 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.
We understand that the cost of routine checkups and preventive care can be prohibitively expensive, especially if your feline companion appears to be in good health. Taking a proactive, preventive approach to your cat or kitten's health, on the other hand, may save you money on more costly treatments later on.
What is a cat checkup?
Taking your cat to the veterinarian 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 usually recommend annual wellness exams for healthy adult cats, but kittens, senior cats, and kitties with underlying health issues should see their vet more frequently.
How often should you take a kitten to see a vet?
If your kitty is less than a year old, then we suggest bringing them to the veterinarian 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 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 exact timing of your kitten's vaccinations will vary depending on your location and the overall health of your furry friend.
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 you take a middle-aged cat to see a vet?
If you have a healthy adult cat between the ages of one and ten, we recommend bringing them in for an exam once a year. These exams are yearly physicals that should be completed even if your cat appears to be in perfect health.
During your adult cat's routine exam, your veterinarian will perform a head-to-tail examination to look for early signs of disease or other issues such as parasites, joint pain, or tooth decay.
Your veterinarian will also administer any necessary vaccines or booster shots to your cat, as well as talk with you about your cat's diet and nutritional needs, as well as recommend 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 a senior cat to see a vet?
Cats are typically considered to be senior when they reach 11 years of age.
We recommend taking your senior cat to the veterinarian every 6 months because many feline diseases and injuries are more common in senior cats. All of the above-mentioned checks and advice will be included in your geriatric cat's twice-yearly wellness check-ups, along with a few additional diagnostic tests to gain more insight 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.