Routine checkups are important to any animal's health in order to prolong their happy and comfortable life. Here, our Benton vets share how often you should take your cat to the vet for consistent wellness exams.
How often do you take a cat to the vet?
The key defense against harmful diseases is prevention.
Bringing your cat to the vet regularly gives your veterinarian the opportunity to monitor your kitty's overall wellbeing 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.
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.
What is a cat checkup?
Just like with humans, 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.
How often should kittens see a 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.
Kittens require multiple rounds of vaccinations throughout their first year to help protect them from common infectious diseases. Kittens should receive the Feline Leukemia vaccine as well as the FVRCP vaccine, which protects your feline friend from three highly contagious and potentially fatal 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.
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?
If you have a healthy adult cat between the ages of one and ten, we recommend bringing them in for an exam once a year. These exams are yearly physicals that should be completed even if your cat appears to be in perfect health.
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, 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.
How often should senior cats see a vet?
Cats are typically considered to be senior when they reach 11 years of age.
Because many feline diseases and injuries are more common in senior cats, we recommend taking your senior companion to the vet every 6 months. All of the checks and advice listed above will be included in your geriatric cat's twice-yearly wellness check-ups, along with a few additional diagnostic tests to gain additional 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.
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.