An important part of keeping your cat in optimal health is bringing them to the vet on a routine basis for preventive care and routine checkups. Today, our Mankato vets explain how often you should be bringing your kitty to the vet for wellness exams based on their age and level of health.
The Importance of Preventive Care
Preventing serious illnesses or catching them early when they are more easily treated, is the absolute best way to help your cat achieve lifelong good health.
By bringing your cat to the vet routinely, you are providing 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 best meet your furry friend's needs.
Our vets know how you may be concerned about the costs of your cat's routine checkups and preventive care, especially if they seem to be in optimal health. However, taking a proactive, preventive approach to your kitty's health could save you the fees of more expensive treatments in the future.
Routine Wellness Exams (Checkups) For Cats
Taking your cat to the vet regularly for wellness exams is like taking them to the doctor for a physical checkup. Like people, how often your cat should get a physical examination depends on their age, lifestyle, and overall health.
Most of the time we recommend annual wellness exams for adult cats that are healthy, but kittens, senior cats, and kitties with underlying health conditions should see their vet more frequently for an examination.
Kittens Under a Year Old
If your feline companion is less than a year old, we suggest bringing them to the vet on a monthly basis, with their first veterinary appointment taking place when they are approximately 8 weeks old.
Before your kitten's first birthday, they will require multiple rounds of vaccinations to help keep them safe against common infectious diseases. Kittens should be given the Feline Leukemia vaccine and the FVRCP vaccine, which helps prevent 3 highly contagious and life-threatening feline diseases, Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (FHV-1) Feline Calicivirus (FCV), and Feline Panleukopenia (FPL).
Your kitten will be given these vaccinations over the course of approximately 16 weeks which will help keep them healthy their whole life.
The exact timing of your cat's vaccinations will vary depending on your location and the overall health of your furry friend.
At River Hills Pet Care Hospital, we suggest having your kitten spayed or neutered when they are between 5 and 6 months in order to prevent a host of diseases and undesirable behaviors as well as unwanted litters of kittens.
Adult Cats 1 to 10 Years Old
If your adult cat is healthy and between 1 and 10 years old, you should take them to the vet once a year for a routine examination. These yearly physical checkups are conducted when your cat appears to be in optimal health.
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 administer any vaccines or booster shots your cat may require, have a conversation with you about your kitty's diet and nutritional requirements, as well as recommend the appropriate parasite protection products.
If your vet finds any signs of an arising health condition, they will explain their findings to you and recommend the next steps.
Your kitty is officially considered a senior cat when they turn 11 years old.
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. Wellness check-ups for your geriatric cat should take place twice a year and will consist of all the checks and advice detailed above but, will include some additional diagnostic tests to gain extra insights into your furry friend's overall health.
A few 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.