Your cat is hugely important to you and you want to make sure that you do everything you can to help them live a long, happy and healthy life. Here, our Groton vets explain how often you should be bringing your cat to the vet for routine checkups and preventive care.
How often do you take a cat to the vet?
The best way to ensure that your cat has a long, healthy and happy life is to prevent serious illnesses or catch them early in their development, before the conditions have a chance to become much more serious issues.
Bringing your cat to the veterinarian routinely gives your vet the chance to monitor your kitty's overall health and well-being, to check for the earliest signs of disease and offer you recommendations for the preventive care products that would best suit your feline friend.
Our vets understand that the cost of routine checkups and preventive care can be a concern. This may especially be the case if your cat seems to be in perfect health otherwise. By taking a proactive and preventive approach to your companion's care, however, you will not only take the best care of your cat, but save yourself more expensive treatments in the future.
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 generally recommend that healthy adult cats come in for a routine exam once each year, but kittens, cats with underlying health conditions and senior cats should see their vet more frequently for an exam.
How often should kittens see a vet?
If your cat is less than one year old, we advise that you bring them to see a vet once each month starting from when they are around 8 months 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).
Your adorable kitten will be provided with their initial vaccinations over the course of about 16 weeks. They will go along way towards protecting your young companion and keeping them healthy throughout their 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.
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 provide your kitten with any required vaccines or booster shots and have a conversation with you about your cat's diet and nutritional requirements. They will also recommend any 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 senior cats see a vet?
Cats are typically considered to be senior when they reach 11 years of age.
Since many diseases that affect cats tend to be a bit more common in older pets, we recommend that you bring your senior companion in to see your vet twice each year. These bi-annual wellness exams for your geriatric cat will include all of the checks and advice above with a few additional diagnostics and tests on top to get any extra insight necessary into your senior pet's 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.