You love your cat and want to do everything you can to make sure they live a long and healthy life. So how often do you take a cat to the vet to keep them looking and feeling they're very best? From kittenhood to their golden years - here's what our Edgewater vets recommend.
Keeping Your Cat Healthy
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. This is the most basic answer to when to take a cat to the vet.
Taking your cat to the vet regularly allows your veterinarian to monitor your kitty's overall health, look for early signs of disease, and make recommendations for the best preventive care products for your feline friend.
Our veterinarians at Animal General understand that the cost of routine checkups and preventive care can be prohibitively expensive, especially if your feline companion appears to be in perfect health.
Taking a proactive, preventive approach to your cat or kitten's health, on the other hand, may save you money on more expensive treatments in the future.
Physical Checkups for Cats
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 usually recommend annual wellness exams for healthy adult cats, but kittens, senior cats, and kitties with underlying health issues should see their vet more frequently.
Preventive Healthcare for Kittens
For cats less than a year old we suggest monthly exams, with their first veterinary appointment taking place when they are approximately 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).
Your feline friend will be provided with these vaccines over approximately 16 weeks and 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 veterinarians recommend having your kitten spayed or neutered between the ages of 5 and 6 months to avoid a variety of diseases and undesirable behaviours, as well as unwanted litters of kittens.
Caring for Your Middle-Aged Cat's Health
If you have a healthy adult cat between the ages of one and ten, we recommend bringing them in for an exam once a year. These examinations are yearly physical checkups performed when your cat appears to be in good health.
During your adult cat's routine exam, your veterinarian will perform a head-to-tail examination to look for early signs of disease or other issues, such as parasites, joint pain, or tooth decay.
Your veterinarian will also administer any necessary vaccines or booster shots to your cat, as well as talk with you about your cat's diet and nutritional needs, as well as recommend parasite protection products.
If your vet spots a developing health issue they will explain their findings to you and recommend the next steps.
Geriatric Care for Senior Cats
Cats are typically considered to be senior when they reach 11 years of age.
Because many feline diseases and injuries are more common in senior cats, we recommend taking your senior companion to the vet every 6 months. All of the checks and advice listed above will be included in your geriatric cat's twice-yearly wellness check-ups, along with a few additional diagnostic tests to gain additional insights into your furry friend's overall health.
Blood tests and urinalysis are two diagnostic tests we recommend for our senior patients to look for early signs of problems such as kidney disease or diabetes.
As age-related issues such as joint pain become more common, geriatric care for cats includes a more proactive approach to keeping your feline companion comfortable. If you have a senior cat, inquire with your veterinarian about how frequently 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.