As a cat parent, your biggest role is to not only make sure that your feline friend is happy but also that they are well taken care of and healthy. Today, our Tracy vets discuss how often you should bring your cat in for routine pet checkups and how that varies depending on their age.
How Often Does a Cat Need a Vet Checkup?
Preventive care helps to ensure that any potential conditions or diseases that your cat may develop are either prevented entirely or discovered early allowing for the fastest possible treatment and minimizing harm to your feline friend.
Annual cat checkups provide your veterinarian with the opportunity to monitor your kitty's overall health, look for the earliest signs of disease, and offer you recommendations for the preventive care products that would suit your feline friend best.
At Affordable Pet Vet Clinic 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. Compared with the cost of managing a serious illness that could have been prevented, these pet checkups are not very costly and could save your cat's life.
What is a cat checkup?
Taking your cat to the vet for an annual checkup is like when we as humans go in for a routine doctor's visit. How often your cat will need a routine vet checkup will depend on various factors such as their age, lifestyle, and overall health.
We typically recommend annual pet checkups for healthy adult cats, but if you have kittens, senior cats, or kitties with an underlying health condition then your vet may recommend that you bring them in more often for cat checkups.
How often should kittens have a vet checkup?
For cats that are kittens and less than a year old then it is typically recommended that they have monthly vet checkups, with their first cat checkup 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 help 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 little feline furball will be provided with these vaccines over the course of 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 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 healthy adult cats have a vet checkup?
If you have a healthy adult cat between 1 - 10 years old, then they should be fine with annual vet checkups as long as no signs of illness develop. These examinations are yearly physical cat checkups that are completed when there is seemingly no illness or injury when it comes to your feline friend.
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.
During your cat's checkup, your vet will share any potential concerns that they have found as well as a plan of action for treatment or management moving forward.
How often should senior cats have a vet checkup?
Once your cat is around 11 years of age they will be considered a senior and their care will need to change to reflect that, including their pet wellness checkups.
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 pet checkups 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 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.