If you're a cat owner, you'll probably want to do everything you can to keep them in the best health. Here, our Elk Grove veterinarians discuss how often you should take your cat to the vet for wellness exams and checkups.
Prevention & Early Diagnosis
The best way to keep your cat healthy is to prevent serious illness by catching any conditions early on with regular checkups.
By taking your cat to the vet regularly you're giving your veterinarian the chance to monitor your feline friend's overall health, look for early signs of illness, and provide you with recommendations for preventive care products that best suit you and your furry family member.
Our vets realize how you can worry about the costs of your cat's routine preventive care and checkups, especially if they appear to be in good health. But, taking a more preventive and proactive approach to your cat's health can save on the fees of more expensive treatments later down the road.
Routine Wellness Exams - Checkups for Cats
Bringing your cat to the veterinarian for a routine wellness exam is like taking them to the doctor for a physical checkup. As with people, how often you need to take your cat for a physical examination depends on their lifestyle, age, and overall health.
Generally, we recommend yearly wellness exams for healthy adult cats, however, kittens, senior cats, and cats that have an underlying health problem should visit the vet more often for an examination.
Kittens Up to 12 Months of Age
If your feline friend is younger than a year old then we suggest taking them to the vet once a month for a checkup, with their first veterinary appointment occurring when they are about 8 weeks old.
In their first year, kittens need to get multiple rounds of vaccinations to help keep them safe from common infectious diseases. Kittens should receive 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 kitty will be given these vaccinations over the course of about 16 weeks, and they will go a long way in helping your cat stay healthy their whole life.
Our vets suggest getting your kitten spayed or neutered when they are between 5 and 6 months old in order to prevent a host of diseases and undesirable behaviors as well as unwanted litters of kittens.
Adult Cats Up To 10 Years Old
If you have a healthy adult cat between 1 - 10 years old, we recommend bringing them to the vert once annually for an examination. These examinations are yearly physical checkups that are implemented when your cat appears to be perfectly healthy.
During your adult kitty's routine exam your vet will conduct a comprehensive head-to-tail examination to check for early signs of diseases or other issues, including parasites, joint pain, or tooth decay.
Your veterinarian will also give your furry friend any vaccines or booster shots that they require, and talk to you about your cat's diet and nutritional requirements, as well as recommend any parasite protection products they think are appropriate for your cat.
If your vet finds signs of any arising health issues they will discuss their findings with you and recommend the next steps.
Your kitty is officially considered a senior cat when they turn 11 years old.
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.