Your cat means everything to you! And you want to do everything you can to help ensure they live a long, healthy and happy life. Here, our Enterprise vets explain to you how often you should bring your cat in to see us for routine checkups and preventive care.
How often do you take a cat to the vet?
The absolute best way to make sure your cat has a healthy and happy life is the prevent serious illnesses and catch them as they just begin to emerge and are at their most treatable.
When you bring your feline friend into the vet, you are giving your veterinarian the chance to monitor your cat's overall health and well-being, to check for the earliest signs of emerging diseases and to offer you recommendations for the kinds of preventive care products that would best suit your kitty.
At West Gate Veterinary 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 taking a proactive, preventive approach to your cat or kitten's health could save you the cost of more expensive treatments in the future.
What is a cat checkup?
Bringing your cat in to see us 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 that you bring your healthy adult cat in to see us once each year for an annual wellness exam. However, when it comes to kittens, senior cats or cats with underlying health conditions, you should bring them in to see us much more frequently.
How often should kittens see a vet?
If your cat is less than 1 year old, we advise that you bring them into our office at least once each month. Their first veterinary appointment should take place when they are around 8 weeks (or two months) old.
Throughout their first year, kitten's 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 kitten will be provided with their required vaccinations over the course of about 16 weeks. These will go a long way toward keeping them healthy for their whole life. The precise timing of your cat's vaccinations will depend on their location and their 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.
How often should middle-aged cats see a vet?
If you have an adult cat that is perfectly healthy and between 1 and 10 years old, we recommend that you bring them in to see us at least once per year. The exams we provide at these routine checkups are meant to make sure that you cat is indeed as healthy as they seem.
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 be able to provide your cat with any required vaccines and booster shots as well as have a conversation with you about your cat's diet and nutritional requirements. We will also recommend appropriate parasite preventive products and treatments.
If your vet detects any signs of an arising health issue they will explain their findings to you and recommend the next steps.
How often should senior cats see a vet?
Cats are typically considered to be senior when they reach 11 years of age.
Since many cat injuries and disease will tend to be more common in older pets, we advise that you bring your feline friend in to see our Enterprise vets 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 of the diagnostic tests that we recommend for our senior cat patients include blood tests and urinalysis in order to check for the early signs of issues like 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.