You love your cat and want to give them their very best chance at a long and happy life, that's why regular veterinary checkups and preventive care are important. But exactly how often do you take a cat to the vet? Our Rochester vets explain.
Veterinary Preventive Care & Early Detection
Preventing serious diseases, or detecting them in the very earliest stages can help your pet to stay healthier longer.
Taking your cat to the vet regularly allows your vet to monitor your cat's overall health, look for early signs of disease (when conditions are most easily treated), and recommend the best preventive products for your four-legged friend.
Our veterinarians understand that you are concerned about the cost of bringing your cat in for a routine checkup when they appear healthy, but taking a proactive, preventive approach to your cat's care could save you money in the long run.
Routine Wellness Exams - When to Take a Cat to the Vet
Taking your cat to the vet for a routine exam is akin to giving your pet a physical. The frequency with which your cat should have a physical exam, as with people, is determined by your cat's lifestyle, overall health, and age.
Annual wellness exams are typically recommended for healthy adult cats, but kittens, senior pets, and cats with underlying health conditions benefit from more frequent examinations.
Puppies & Kittens Up to 12 Months Old
If your cat is less than a year old then monthly visits to your vet are recommended.
Several rounds of vaccinations will be required during your kitten's first year to keep them protected against common infectious diseases. Kittens should get their FVRCP vaccine, which protects them against three highly contagious and potentially fatal feline diseases: Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (FHV-1), Feline Calicivirus (FCV), and Feline Panleukopenia (FPL).
These vaccines will be given to your young friend over about 16 weeks and will go a long way towards keeping your kitten healthy.
The exact timing of your cat's vaccinations will vary depending on your location and your furry friend's overall health.
Between 6 - 12 months our vets recommend having your kitten spayed or neutered to prevent a host of diseases and undesirable behaviors as well as unwanted litters.
Adult Pets Up To 7 Years of Age
A yearly routine exam is recommended if you have a healthy, active adult cat between the ages of 1 and 7 years. These examinations are annual physical checkups performed while your cat appears to be in good health.
During your adult cat's routine exam, your vet will examine your pet from head to tail to look for early signs of illness or other issues, such as tooth decay, joint pain, or parasites.
Your veterinarian will also administer any necessary vaccines, discuss your cat's diet and nutritional needs, recommend appropriate parasite protection, and discuss any training or behavioral issues you may be experiencing.
If your vet detects any signs of developing health issues they will discuss their findings with you and recommend the next steps.
Cats are considered to be senior when they reach 11 years of age.
Because many animal diseases and injuries are more common in senior pets, we recommend that you take your senior cat to the vet every 6 months. All of the checks and advice mentioned above will be included in your senior pet's twice-yearly wellness check-ups, along with a few additional diagnostic tests to provide additional insight into your pet's overall health.
Blood tests and urinalysis are two diagnostic tests we recommend for our senior patients to look for early signs of problems such as kidney disease or diabetes.
As age-related issues such as joint pain become more common, geriatric care for cats includes a more proactive approach to keeping your cat comfortable. If you have a senior pet, inquire with your veterinarian about how frequently 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.