Your cat means the world to you, and you want to do everything you can to make sure they live a long and healthy life. In this blog, our Palmyra vets will guide you on how frequently you should schedule routine check-ups and preventive care for your feline friend.
How often do you take a cat to the vet?
To ensure your cat stays healthy and lives a long life, it's important to visit the vet regularly.
Bringing your cat to the vet regularly allows your veterinarian to monitor your kitty's overall health, look for the earliest signs of disease, and offer you recommendations for the best preventive care products that would suit your feline friend.
At Palmyra Animal Clinic, we understand that the cost of routine check-ups 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.
What is a cat check-up?
Taking your cat to the vet for routine wellness exams is like bringing them to the doctor for a physical check-up. As with people, how often your cat should have a physical examination depends on their age, lifestyle, and overall health.
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 should kittens see a vet?
If your kitten is under a year old, it's a good idea to take them to the vet once a month. The first visit should happen when they're about 8 weeks old.
Throughout their first year, kittens 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).
The vaccines will be given to your cute little kitten over about 16 weeks, helping them stay healthy throughout their life. The timing of the vaccinations can vary depending on where you live and your kitten's health.
Our vets recommend having your kitten spayed or neutered when they are between 5 - 6 months to prevent a host of diseases, undesirable behaviors, and unwanted litters of kittens.
How often should middle-aged cats see a 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 check-ups that are completed when your cat seems to be perfectly healthy.
Your vet will implement a head-to-tail examination throughout your adult cat's routine exam to look for early signs of diseases or other issues, such as parasites, joint pain, or tooth decay.
Your vet will also make sure your cat gets any needed vaccines or booster shots and talk to you about what to feed your cat and how to protect them from parasites.
If your vet finds any health problems, they'll talk to you about what to do next.
How often should senior cats see a 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 a year, 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.