You love your cat, and you want to ensure that they live a long, healthy life with you. Today, our Clackamas vets 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 vet regularly gives your veterinarian the opportunity to monitor your kitty's overall wellbeing 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.
In particular, if your feline friend seems to be in good health, we recognize that the possible cost of routine checkups and preventive care may be a concern. At the same time, though, you might be able to avoid future medical bills by being proactive and taking preventative measures for your cat or kitten.
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. 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 do kittens kittens need to go a vet?
Recommended vet visits for kittens, if they are less than a year old, is once monthly starting when they are approximately 8 weeks old.
In order to help shield them from common infectious diseases, kittens need to receive several rounds of vaccinations during their first year of life. The FVRCP vaccine, which guards against three highly contagious and potentially deadly feline diseases—Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (FHV-1), Feline Calicivirus (FCV), and Feline Panleukopenia (FPL)—should be given to kittens along with the Feline Leukemia vaccine.
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 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 in order to prevent a host of diseases and undesirable behaviors as well as unwanted litters of kittens.
How often do middle-aged cats need to go to the 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.
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.
Additionally, your veterinarian will discuss with you your cat's dietary needs and nutritional requirements, administer any necessary vaccinations or booster shots, and suggest the right parasite prevention products.
If your vet detects any signs of a health issue, they will explain their findings to you and recommend the next steps.
When should I take my senior cat to the vet?
Cats are typically considered to be senior when they reach 11 years of age.
We advise taking your senior cat to the vet every six months because older cats are more susceptible to many feline illnesses and injuries. A few extra diagnostic tests to provide more information about your senior cat's general health will be part of your twice-yearly wellness check-ups, in addition to all of the checks and recommendations mentioned above.
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.