Keeping your feline friend happy and healthy is a top priority for you and preventive care is essential for helping you accomplish that goal. Our vets at Rockland Veterinary discuss how often you should take your cat to the vet and why it is important.
How often do you take a cat to the vet?
Preventive care is key for ensuring that your cat lives a long and healthy life. Routine wellness exams help to monitor your cat's overall health and prevent serious illnesses or catch them early when they are more easily treated.
Bringing your cat in for regular visits provides your veterinarian with an opportunity to look for the earliest signs of disease, and to offer you recommendations for diet, products and preventive care that are best suited for your feline friend.
At we are aware that the cost of routine checkups and preventive care can seem costly at a glance, especially if you have a cat that is happy and healthy. But taking a proactive, preventive approach to your cat's overall health will help to avoid larger future expenses if the preventive measures were not taken.
What is a cat checkup?
Routine wellness exams for your cat are like you going to the doctor for an annual physical checkup. The frequency in which your cat should have a check-up depends on their age, lifestyle, and overall health.
While annual wellness exams are recommended for most healthy, adult cats, we suggest that kittens, senior cats, and kitties with an underlying health condition should see their vet more frequently for a thorough wellness exam.
How often should kittens see a vet?
We recommend that all kittens that are still within their first year of life visit on a monthly basis, with their first veterinary appointment happening when they are approximately 8 weeks old.
One of the most important parts of your kitten's checkups during the first year are routine vaccinations to help protect them from common infectious diseases. It is recommended that all kittens get the Feline Leukemia vaccine and the FVRCP vaccine which helps protect your new feline friend from Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (FHV-1) Feline Calicivirus (FCV), and Feline Panleukopenia (FPL) which are all highly contagious and life-threatening diseases.
Your kitten will be provided with these vaccines over the course of approximately 16 weeks and will be an important part of their lifelong health.
The schedule for these vaccines varies based on location and the individual clinic. Speak with your vet to learn more about the kitten vaccination schedule.
Typically, our vets recommend having your new kitten spayed or neutered when they are approximately 5 - 6 months old. Having your cat spayed or neutered is essential for preventing a host of diseases and undesirable behaviors as well as unwanted litters of kittens.
How often should adult cats see a vet?
Healthy adult cats that are between 1 and 10 years old should be seeing your vet annually for a wellness exam. These examinations are yearly physical checkups in which your cat is healthy, but should be monitored for any signs of conditions or disorders to ensure that everything is functioning as it should be when it comes to your feline friend.
During this physical exam, your vet will conduct a thorough examination to look for early signs of diseases or other issues, such as parasites, joint pain, or tooth decay.
Your veterinarian will also provide your kitty with any required vaccines or booster shots at this time, and discuss your cat's diet and nutritional needs, as well as recommend the appropriate preventive products and care.
If your vet happens to note any signs or symptoms of a possible health issue they will explain their findings to you and recommend possible treatment plans for your cat.
How often should senior cats see a vet?
Once your cat has reached 11 years of age they will now be considered a senior. At this point, their care will shift to geriatric-focused preventive care.
Older cats are more susceptible to injury and illnesses therefore we recommend bringing your senior companion for wellness checkups twice a year. These wellness check-ups for your geriatric cat will include all of the checks and advice listed above, but your vet will include any additional diagnostic tests needed in order to obtain extra insights into your furry friend's overall health.
Some diagnostic tests which we typically include for our older feline patients include blood tests and urinalysis to check for early signs of problems such as kidney disease or diabetes.
The geriatric care that we offer for aging cats will have a focus on preventive joint care, as joint issues become more prominent with senior cats. Speak with your vet about what the recommended wellness visit schedule should look like for your senior feline friend.
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.