You love your cat, and you want to ensure that they live a long, healthy life with you. Today, our Los Angeles vets explain how often you should take your cat to the vet for routine checkups and preventive care.
How often should 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 well-being and physical health, look for early signs of disease, and make recommendations for the best preventive care products for your feline friend.
At Washington Dog and Cat 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. However, taking a proactive, preventive approach to your cat or kitten's health could save you the cost of more expensive treatments down the road.
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.
When to take kittens to the vet?
If your kitty is less than a year old, then we suggest bringing them to the vet 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 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.
When to take middle-aged cats to the 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.
During your adult cat's routine exam, your veterinarian will perform a head-to-tail examination to look for early signs of disease 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 detects any signs of a health issue, they will explain their findings to you and recommend the next steps.
When to take senior cats to the 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.
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.