Your cat means the world to you and you want to be able to do everything you can to ensure they live a long, comfortable and healthy life. Here, our Grass Valley vets explain how often you should be bringing your cat to the vet for a routine checkup.
How often do you take a cat to the vet?
The best way to make sure your kitty has a long and healthy life is to prevent serious illnesses or catch them early when they are more easily treated.
Bringing your cat into the vet will routinely provide your veterinarians with the chance to monitor your cat's overall health, to search for the earliest signs of disease and to provide you with recommendations for preventive care products they thing would best suit your cat's needs and lifestyle.
At Grass Valley Veterinary Hospital we understand that the cost of routine checkups 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 checkup?
Bringing your cat in to see us for a routine wellness exam 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 typically recommend annual wellness exams for healthy adult cats, but kittens, senior cats, and kitties with an underlying health condition should see their vet more frequently for an examination.
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 a month, with their first veterinary appointment taking place when they are approximately 8 weeks old.
Throughout their first year, kitten's 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 given these vaccinations over the course of about 16 weeks and will go a long way towards helping to keep your pet healthy their entire 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 also advise that you have your kitten spayed or neutered when they are between 5 and 6 months old in order to prevent a whole host of diseases and unwanted behaviors, as well as unwanted litters of kittens.
How often should middle-aged cats see a vet?
If your adult cat is generally healthy and between 1 and 10 years old, we recommend bringing them in for routine checkups once each year. These examinations are yearly physical checkups on your cat's health that are meant to monitor their well-being and identify health issues before they have a chance to properly take hold.
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 senior cats see a vet?
Cats are typically considered to be senior when they reach 11 years of age.
Since many diseases and injuries that affect cats tend to be much more common in older pets, we advise that you bring your senior cat to see us every 6 months. These 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 your cat involves a more proactive care philosophy to make sure your aging cat remains comfortable and healthy as health issues associated with age become more and more possible. If you have a senior cat, ask your vet about 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.