Ensuring that your cat lives a long and healthy life is incredibly important to you. Our vets in Lancaster are here to talk about how often you should bring your cat in for routine exams and preventive care.
How often do you take a cat to the vet?
The key to ensuring that your feline friend lives a long and healthy life is to monitor and be aware of their general health in order to prevent serious illnesses or catch them early when they are more easily treated.
Routine vet visits help to provide your veterinarian with the opportunity to monitor your kitty's overall health and offer preventive care tailored to your cat's unique needs. These routine visits also allow your vet an opportunity to look for the earliest signs of disease and offer a treatment plan as quickly as possible.
At Sears 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, especially as cats are notorious for hiding any possible illness very well.
What is a cat checkup?
Just as you would for yourself, taking your cat to the vet for routine wellness exams is like bringing them to the doctor for a physical checkup. How often your cat should have a physical examination depends on its age, lifestyle, and overall health.
Bringing your cat in for an annual wellness exam is recommended by most veterinarians, but you may need to bring your kitty in more frequently if it is a kitten, senior cat, or has underlying health conditions.
How often should kittens see a vet?
We typically recommend bringing your kitten in for its first wellness exam around 8 weeks of age, and from that point on we would schedule monthly visits until they are around a year 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).
These vaccinations will be administered over the course of approximately 16 weeks and are very important for protecting your cat against various diseases and keeping them healthy throughout their 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 should middle-aged cats see a vet?
Healthy adult cats that are under the age of 10 should have routine exams annually. These examinations would be made while your cat appears to be in perfect health and are used to monitor for potential symptoms of diseases and disorders.
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.
At these regular visits, your vet will provide your cat with any vaccines or booster shots that might be due and speak with you about any concerns they might have as well as any diet and nutritional requirements or preventive measures that they might recommend.
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?
After the age of 11, cats are considered to be senior. As your cat ages, their needs and concerns will change and they will need to be examined more frequently to check for signs of ailments.
As your cat ages, some disorders and diseases are more common and therefore 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 your veterinarian will perform a few additional diagnostic tests to obtain extra awareness of your cat'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.