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 Douglasville 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.
Bringing your cat to the veterinarian regularly enables your veterinarian to monitor your cat's overall health, look for early signs of disease, and make recommendations for the preventive care products that are best for your feline companion.
Our veterinarians at Kay Animal Hospital recognize that the cost of routine checkups and preventive care can be an issue, even more so if your feline companion appears to be in perfect health.
However, taking a proactive, preventive approach to your cat's or kitten's health now may save you money in the future on more expensive treatments.
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.
While we generally recommend annual wellness exams for healthy adult cats, kittens, senior cats, and cats with an underlying health condition should see their veterinarian 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, 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 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 spaying or neutering your kitten between the ages of 5 and 6 months to avoid a variety of diseases and undesirable behaviors, 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 1 and 10, we recommend bringing them in for an exam once a year. These examinations are yearly physical examinations performed while your cat appears to be in perfect health.
During your adult cat's routine exam, your veterinarian will conduct a head-to-tail examination to detect early signs of disease or other problems, such as parasites, joint pain, or tooth decay.
Additionally, your veterinarian will administer any necessary vaccines or booster shots, as well as discuss your cat's diet and nutritional requirements, as well as recommend the appropriate 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.
Due to the increased prevalence of many cat diseases and injuries in senior pets, we recommend bringing your senior companion to the veterinarian every six months. Twice-yearly wellness examinations for your geriatric cat will include all of the above, but will also include a few additional diagnostic tests to gain additional insight 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 cat to the vet 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.