How Frequently Should You Take a Cat to the Vet?
It should go without saying that frequent checks are essential for the health of all cats. On the other hand, some people are unsure how frequently they should take their cat to the vet. Many believe cats don't need as much veterinary care as dogs do. They believe cats can care for themselves and do not require you to bring them in for a checkup unless they show overt illness symptoms. It would help if you visited the vet for your cat a lot more regularly than that.
How frequently your cat should visit the vet is not a set rule because it relies on too many variables, including age, lifestyle, and where the pet dwells.
The bottom line is that you should establish a solid working connection with your vet because they will know best how frequently your pet needs exams. If your cat develops more severe health issues, this pooled connection will benefit both parties in the long run.
In light of the elements mentioned above, the following are some general recommendations for when to take your cat to the veterinarian:
Kitten Veterinarian Visits
During the first 16 weeks of life, kittens should visit their veterinarian once every three to four weeks. During these sessions, your kitten will receive a series of vaccines to help safeguard them against various contagious and potentially fatal diseases. Based on your kitten's lifestyle, your veterinarian will assist you in choosing the appropriate vaccination regimen for them.
Stool samples will be examined each time you come in to ensure your cat is parasite-free. Therefore, remember to bring a fresh stool sample the size of a quarter to every appointment. Young kittens have a high parasite prevalence. Thus we may empirically deworm them at least twice over 2-3 weeks.
At 8 to 12 weeks of age or older, blood tests for feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus are advised. These two viruses can infect your kitten and cause death if they are spread through blood or saliva. It is possible to be exposed to either virus before, during, or after delivery.
Your kitten will receive a thorough physical examination from head to tail at each appointment from your veterinarian, including listening to their heart and lungs, checking their eyes, ears, mouth, and skin, palpating their abdomen, and looking for any congenital abnormalities or symptoms of illness. We will also talk about how important it is to socialize. Training a cat to use the litter box is typically simple, but teaching them not to scratch your beloved sofa is more difficult.
Please list any health or behavior queries you may have for your veterinarian before each visit, so you don't forget to bring them up.
Also, let the vet know about any prescription or over-the-counter drugs your pet may take so they can check them out. Remember to note the brand name of your pet's food so they can evaluate its nutritional value. For a pet to grow healthily and acquire weight, the proper food must be provided in the right amounts.
These preliminary evaluations might seem time-consuming, emotionally taxing, and financially draining, but they lay the foundation for your cat's long-term health and well-being. Regular vet visits, inspections, and vaccinations foster a relationship between your cat and its vet that will lessen fear, anxiety, and tension during subsequent veterinary appointments.
Adult Cat Vet Visits
Adult cats should have yearly checkups until they are 7 years old, while cats with health issues (particularly chronic diseases) may need to visit the vet more frequently for monitoring at any age.
Vaccination boosters will continue as your pet transitions out of the kitten stage. Your veterinarian will ask you about your cat's lifestyle, particularly whether he only spends time indoors or occasionally goes outside. There are further issues, including higher parasite risks, if your cat is an outdoor cat. That said, indoor cats should still see their veterinarian often because obesity and weight increase are very prevalent, especially in sterilized indoor cats.
Cats are at outside risk of contracting illnesses, including feline leukemia and feline infectious peritonitis (FIP), which are transmitted from cat to cat but have no effect on people or other animals. Your cat will also be given the feline leukemia vaccine when it is a kitten and again as it ages. Although there is a vaccine for FIP, most veterinarians do not advise it.
Along with doing general medical examinations and offering guidance on preventative care, routine visits will allow your veterinarian the opportunity to examine your cat's teeth. Cleaning your pet's teeth will help avoid bad breath, and you should ensure their teeth and gums are in good condition so your cat doesn't have any difficulty eating or experiencing any pain.
Additionally, rabies vaccinations will continue to be administered. Your veterinarian may advise using them every one to three years.
Senior Cat Vet Visits
Your cat begins its senior phase around the age of 7 and requires a few more frequent trips to the vet. It is advised to have a checkup every six months rather than simply once a year.
Your cat will probably require more medical care as it ages and needs to stay healthy and happy. You'll need to monitor your cat's health more closely and keep an eye out for any changes that might be alarming.
While doing this is a good idea at any age for your cat, it becomes increasingly important as they age. If you notice anything unusual that troubles you, call your veterinarian as soon as possible.
If you've been going to the vet regularly by this point in your cat's life, she may be more accustomed to routine examinations, making the experience less stressful.
Regular Check ups
The more regularly your cat visits the veterinarian for wellness checks, the more likely you are to detect problems early because preventative care is always preferred to reactive care. It's probably time to schedule an appointment if your cat hasn't visited the vet in the past 12 months. Consulting an experienced veterinarian is one of the finest ways to provide stress-free preventive care.
However, do not hold off on seeking medical attention for your cat if you notice any of these signs. The following are warning indications of potentially serious issues that necessitate an immediate trip to the veterinarian, including lethargy, changes in appetite, limping or sluggish movement, Stool or urine changes, or avoiding human interaction.
If your cat experiences extreme anxiety before vet appointments and tends to flee or hide when it's time to put them in the car, look at these suggestions for putting your cat in a carrier as well as methods to reduce your cat's anxiety in general, to make vet visits less traumatic for everyone. Some cat parents even utilize veterinarians that provide mobile services to allow their cats to be seen in the comfort of their homes.
Search our nationwide cat veterinarian directory to discover a vet in your area and nearby cities.