We all want our cats to live a long, healthy, and happy life. Our Santa Rosa vets discuss when and how often you should bring your cat in for regular checkups and preventive care.
How often should you take a cat to the vet?
Bringing your cat in for routine wellness checkups is the best way to ensure their continued health no matter their age.
Preventive care is key for ensuring that your cat lives a long and healthy life. Routine examinations are the best protection against serious illnesses by catching them early on when they can be treated efficiently. It provides your vet with the opportunity to monitor your cat's overall health and make recommendations that are best suited for your kitty.
At Montecito Veterinary Center we understand that you may be apprehensive about the cost associated with routine exams, especially since these checkups commonly occur when your cat seems to be perfectly healthy. With these exams we are taking a proactive, preventive approach to your cat or kitten's health could save you the cost of more expensive treatments in the future.
What is a cat checkup?
How often you bring your cat in for a routine wellness exam is dependent on their age, lifestyle, and general health. A routine wellness exam is just an overall assessment that your vet with make in regards to your cat's health. They will look for any signs or symptoms of disorders or diseases and make any recommendations that they feel are necessary.
We typically recommend annual wellness exams for healthy adult cats, but kittens, senior cats, and kitties with an underlying health condition should see their vet more frequently for an examination.
How often should kittens see a vet?
If you have recently brought a new kitten into your family it will need to be seen a little more often than an adult cat. We suggest having monthly checkups from the time that they are 8 weeks old until they reach approximately a year 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).
Over the course of approximately 16 weeks, your kitten will receive its first round of vaccinations which will play a large role in helping to keep them healthy their entire life.
During your first visit, your vet will provide you with a recommended vaccination schedule depending on the location and overall health of your cat.
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 my adult cat visit?
Adult cats are considered to be between the ages of 1 and 10 and we recommend having them visit yearly for a complete wellness exam. These wellness examinations are necessary in order to ensure the health of your cat. Your vet will look for any signs and symptoms of disorder and diseases as well look over their general 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.
During these visits, your veterinarian will administer any required vaccines or booster shots, and inform you of any changes to your cat's diet and nutritional requirements that they feel might be beneficial, as well as recommend the appropriate parasite protection products.
Your vet will also inform you of any possible health issues that they might have noted and they will explain their findings to you and recommend the next steps.
How often should senior cats see a vet?
Once your cat reaches 11 years of age, they will be considered a senior cat.
As cats age, injuries are more common and become more frequent. Senior cats also tend to be more susceptible to many diseases and conditions and because of this we recommend bringing your cat in for a visit every 6 months. At these wellness checkups, your vet will perform all the typical examination steps but will also look more in-depth for the signs and symptoms that are more common with older cats.
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.
Our Santa Rosa offers geriatric care as a more proactive approach to helping your senior cat live comfortably in their older years as age-related issues such as joint pain become more common. Ask your vet how often you should bring your senior cat in for a routine wellness 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.