You love your cat, and you want to ensure that they live a long, healthy life with you. Today, our Riverside County vets explain when to take a 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.
Taking your cat to the vet on a regular basis allows your veterinarian to monitor your kitty's overall wellbeing and physical health, look for early signs of disease, and make recommendations for the best preventive care products for your feline friend.
We understand that the potential cost of routine checkups and preventive care can be a concern, especially if your feline friend 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 expensive treatments down the road.
Should I take my cat to the vet for a routine 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 typically recommend annual wellness exams for healthy adult cats, but kittens, senior cats, and kitties with an underlying health condition should see their vet more frequently.
How often do kittens need to go to the vet?
Recommended vet visits for kittens is 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 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 depend on your location and your pet's overall health.
Our veterinarians recommend that your kitten be spayed or neutered between the ages of 5 and 6 months to avoid a variety of diseases and undesirable behaviors, as well as 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 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.
Additionally, your vet will give your cat any necessary vaccinations or booster shots, talk with you about your cat's diet and nutritional needs, and suggest the proper parasite control products.
If your veterinarian notices any symptoms of a health problem, they will inform you of their findings and suggest a course of action.
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 diseases and injuries tend to be more common in older pets we recommend bringing your senior companion to the vet every 6 months. 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.
We advise blood tests and urinalysis for our senior patients to look for early indicators of conditions like kidney disease or diabetes.
As age-related conditions like joint pain become more prevalent, geriatric care for cats also includes a more pro-active strategy for maintaining your feline friend's comfort. Ask your veterinarian how frequently you should bring your cat in for regular checkups if you have an older cat.
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.