You adore your cat, and you want to ensure they enjoy a long, healthy life with you. Here, our Riverbank vets discuss how often you should take your cat to the vet for pet checkups and preventive care.
How Often Do You Bring Your Cat to the Vet?
The best way to help your feline friend live a long, healthy life is to prevent serious illnesses or catch them early, when they can be treated more easily.
Taking your cat for regular checkups gives your veterinarian the chance to assess your kitt's overall well-being and physical health, look for the earliest signs of disease, and offer recommendations for the preventive care products that would best suit your feline friend.
Our team at River Oak Veterinary Hospital understands that the potential costs of routine preventive veterinary care may be an issue for pet owners, especially if your feline friend seems to be in perfect health. That said, taking a proactive, preventive approach to your kitten or cat's health may save you the cost of more expensive procedures or treatments in the future.
What is a Cat Checkup?
Scheduling routine vet care for dogs and cats - including wellness exams - is similar to booking our own physical checkups with our human doctor. Like people, how often your cat should have a physical examination will depend on their overall health, age and lifestyle.
While we usually recommend annual wellness exams for healthy adult cats, senior cats, felines with an underlying health conditions and kittens should visit their vet more often for an examination.
How often should kittens see a vet?
Is your feline companion less that one year old? We recommend bringing them to the vet once per month, starting when they are about 8 weeks old.
Your kitten will require multiple rounds of vaccinations during their first year so they'll be protected from common infectious diseases. The Feline Leukemia vaccine and the FVRCP vaccine both help to protect your feline friend from three highly contagious diseases that can become life-threatening for our kitties: 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.
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. Cat and dog checkups near Riverbank are annual physical exams that should be completed even when your pet 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 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.
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 geriatric cats and dogs 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.
If you are looking to schedule a pet checkup near Riverbank and are still unsure about how often your cat should see a vet due to their specific circumstances or health status, we would be happy to assess them and provide advice.
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.