When to Take a Cat to the Vet
Your vet can often prevent serious illnesses in your cat or catch them early, when they are more easily treatable. By taking them in for preventive care and a regular checkup, you'll allow your veterinarian the chance to monitor your cat's overall health, check for early signs of disease, and provide recommendations for preventive care products that would best suit your kitty companion.
At Miller Clark Animal Hospital, our team understands the cost of preventive care and routine checkups may be a concern, especially if your cat seems to be in great health. That said, by taking a proactive preventive approach to your cat or kitten's health may save you the close of much more expensive treatments in the future.
What is a cat checkup?
Scheduling a wellness exam for your cat is like going to the doctor for your routine physical checkup. Just like with humans, how often your cat should come in for a physical examination will be determined by factors including their overall health, age and and lifestyle.
Typically, we recommend annual wellness exams for healthy adult cats. Kittens, cats with underlying health issues and senior cats should come in for an examination more frequently.
How often should kittens see a vet?
Is your kitty under one year old? If so, we recommend bringing them in once a month, with their first veterinary appointment booked around the time they turn 8 weeks old.
Kittens need multiple rounds of vaccinations during that first year to help prevent common infectious diseases. Kittens should have the Feline Leukemia vaccine and the FVRCP vaccine which help protect your cat from 3 highly contagious and life-threatening feline diseases: Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (FHV-1) Feline Calicivirus (FCV), and Feline Panleukopenia (FPL).
Your adorable kitty friend will receive these vaccines over the course of about 16 weeks. These shots will go a long way to helping keep them healthy their entire life.
Your location and the general health of your cat will both factor into when exactly your kitten should receive their vaccinations.
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 1 - 10 years old, we recommend taking them in once a year for an exam. These examinations are yearly physical checkups that are completed when your cat seems to be perfectly healthy.
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 detects any signs of an arising health issue they will explain their findings to you and recommend the next steps.
How often should you take a senior cat 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 wellness 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.