Loving your cat and giving them cuddles is only one part of caring for them. Along with food and regular at-home care, you will need to bring them for vet visits. Today, our Los Angeles vets discuss how often you will need to take your cat to the vet and how this changes through each stage of their life.
When to Take a Cat to the Vet
When you own a cat, you will need to ensure that they receive regular veterinary care to keep them happy and healthy. When you bring your cat to the vet you allow the opportunity 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.
At Mohawk Alley Animal Hospital we understand that the potential cost of routine checkups and preventive care can be a concern, especially if your feline friend seems to be in perfect health. With these routine exams, we can help you avoid the cost of more expensive visits later on to treat serious conditions that could have been spotted earlier with a wellness exam.
What is a cat checkup?
Routine wellness exams for our cat can be compared to a physical checkup for you. The frequency with which your cat should visit the vet will depend on a number of factors including their health, age and lifestyle.
So how often do you take a cat to the vet? We typically recommend annual wellness exams for healthy adult cats, but kittens, senior cats, and kitties with underlying health conditions should see their vet more frequently for an examination.
How often do kittens need to go to the vet?
If you have a new kitten, you should bring them in for a complete exam and any preventive care once a month until they reach a year 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 three highly contagious and life-threatening feline diseases, Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (FHV-1) Feline Calicivirus (FCV), and Feline Panleukopenia (FPL).
Over the first 16 weeks of your kitten's life, they will receive these vaccinations. This will help provide them with a solid foundation for lifelong protection against various diseases.
Your vet will determine the vaccination schedule that meets your kitten's needs.
Our vets recommend having your kitten spayed or neutered when they are between five and six months old in order to prevent a host of diseases and undesirable behaviors as well as unwanted litters of kittens.
How often do you need to take an adult cat to the vet?
All healthy adult cats should visit the vet once yearly. These visits will be used to monitor the ongoing health of your seemingly healthy cat.
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 also provide your kitty with any required vaccines or booster shots, and have a conversation with you about your cat's diet and nutritional requirements, as well as recommend the appropriate parasite protection products.
If your vet happens to spot any concerns they will share their findings and offer their recommendations on next steps.
When to take senior cats to the vet?
Senior cats are considered to be any cat that is over the age of 11.
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.
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.
Why is it important to take your cat to the vet?
When you are asking yourself 'How often should you take a cat to the vet?' you now know that this will depend on the age of your cat and the state of their health.
Ultimately, following the advice of your vet can help to ensure that all of your cat's needs are being met. Routine care will be a vital part of keeping your feline friends safe and healthy while allowing your vet to monitor them for any potential conditions and issues that may arise.
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.