There are many benefits to vet visits, even when your cat seems perfectly healthy. At these checkups, the vet can perform exams and administer much-needed vaccines. Today, our Rochester vets discuss how often you should take your cat to the vet and what will happen during their appointment.
So, how often do you take a cat to the vet?
By bringing your cat to the vet you can help to ensure lifelong health and wellness. 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 Ridgemont 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. 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.
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.
Recommended Vet Visits For Kittens
You may have asked 'How often do kittens need to go to the vet?'. You should expect to bring them much more frequently than you would an adult cat. The first vet visit for a kitten should occur when they are approximately 8 weeks old.
At these visits, your kitten will be given 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. These will help in providing lifelong protection for your kitten.
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 do adult cats need to visit the vet?
Once your cat is between the ages of 1 and 10, you should be bringing them in for a checkup at least once a year. These examinations are yearly physical checkups that should be completed even when your cat seems to be perfectly healthy.
These exams will include a full examination, diagnostics and a discussion about their behavior.
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 cat is showing any concerning signs or symptoms the vet will provide their recommendations for further diagnostic tests or treatment..
How often do senior cats need to go to the vet?
Once your cat is over the age of 11, they will be considered a senior. Their golden years will bring a different set of concerns and considerations.
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.