The best way to ensure that your cat enjoys a healthy and long life is by taking it to the vet regularly. This makes it easier for the veterinarian to monitor its overall physical health and well-being. He is better able to diagnose any problems and recommend preventive care products that suit your cat best.
However, according to a research study conducted in 2020, only 40% of cat owners ever took their pets to the vet. Dog owners, on the other hand, were more diligent, as 90% reported visiting their vets regularly.
How often do you take your cat for a vet visit?
Although cats may seem to have more self-sufficient and independent personalities compared to dogs, they also need to be taken to the vet regularly. According to the American Animal Hospital Association, all pets, including cats and dogs, should have a yearly wellness check. This number, however, can vary depending on your cat’s age, lifestyle, environment, pre-existing health problems, etc. Also, young kittens and senior cats need to visit the veterinary more frequently.
How often should your kitten visit the vet?
It’s best to take your kitten to the veterinary every month once it is 8 weeks old. During these visits, your vet will examine your kitty and administer the necessary tests or vaccines. You can also talk to your vet about the best cat food, litter box training, socialization, environment enrichment, etc. during these visits.
Kittens should receive several vaccinations throughout their first year to protect them from various infectious diseases. These vaccines begin when they’re 6–8 weeks old, depending on their family history, lifestyle, and common diseases where they live.
Your kitten will need the FVRCP and the Feline Leukemia vaccine to keep him safe from Feline Calicivirus, Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, and Feline Panleukopenia. Make sure that your kitten gets the first dose of vaccines once he’s two months old, as they are highly contagious and often fatal.
After 3 or 4 weeks, your kitten will receive the second dose, with subsequent doses every three or four weeks until he is almost 4 months old. The rabies vaccine is given to kittens when they are three months old, with boosters after one year and then every 3 years.
According to vets, this is also the best time to get your kitten spayed or neutered. Having them neutered when they’re around 16 weeks old helps prevent a number of health concerns and undesirable behaviors.
How often should you take your adult cat to the vet?
Cats between the ages of 1 and 10 years should be taken to the veterinary annually. Even if your cat is perfectly healthy, these yearly physicals and health screenings are an excellent tool to detect early signs of diseases. They also help highlight other issues like tooth decay, joint pain, parasites, etc.
During these visits, your vet will perform a physical examination of your healthy adult cat and advise you about your cat’s diet and nutritional requirements. He’ll administer the necessary vaccines or booster shots and recommend the parasite protection products that are best for your cat. In case your vet finds any health issues with your cat, he’ll explain the findings, give medical advice and recommend the next steps.
How often should your senior cat visit the vet?
Once a cat reaches 11 years of age, it’s considered a senior. Older cats are more prone to injuries and diseases. That’s why, it’s a good idea to take your senior feline friend to the vet twice a year. These biannual wellness checkups will include regular tests, blood work, and vaccine boosters. In addition, your vet may run a few extra diagnostic tests to get a clear picture of your cat’s overall health.
The diagnostic tests for senior cats include blood tests and urinalysis to check for early signs of diseases like diabetes or kidney problems. As your cat ages, he’s bound to face age-related medical conditions like joint pain.
Taking a more proactive approach towards geriatric care of your senior cat helps to keep them comfortable. If you have an aged cat, follow your vet’s advice on how often you should take your cat to visit the vet for a routine physical examination.
When should you take a cat to the vet immediately?
Cats have a tendency to hide any symptoms of illness until they become severe. That’s why even the slightest change in their demeanor warrants a visit to the veterinarian. If your cat displays any of the signs below, it means that it needs immediate medical assistance:
- Severe bleeding, blood in the urine, or coughing up blood
- Can’t move its legs or has broken a bone
- Has difficulty breathing or is choking
- Can’t urinate or pass stool
- Has a swollen or red eye
- Refuses to eat or drink the whole day
- Has diarrhea or extreme vomiting
- Has eaten something poisonous such as onion, garlic, chocolate, etc.
- Is in extreme pain
- Suffering from heat stroke or heat stress
- Is staggering, unconscious, or has seizures
- Hiding in unusual places
- Excessive grooming of the hind end
My cat doesn’t like going to the vet for annual checkups. What should I do?
Cats typically find visits to the vet not only stressful but traumatizing as well. Enduring the car ride in their carrier and being poked by the vet can prove to be too much for them.
The following tips can help you prepare your cat for a visit to the vet:
- Set out the carrier in your living room a week or two before it’s time for the annual check-up. This will give your cat a chance to acclimate easily to its carrier.
- Place some treats and catnip inside the carrier daily to entice your cat to get inside the carrier on its own accord.
- You can also ask your vet for natural cat-calming pheromone products as they help minimize their stress.
Prevention is by far easier, more effective, and less expensive when it comes to your pet’s health. That’s why, it’s essential to keep on top of your cat’s health with the help of annual vet visits.
We know that visits to the vet can be both time and money-consuming. However, taking a preventive approach can help save you money on more expensive treatments in the long run.
If It’s already been a year since you last took your cat to the vet, then it’s time to make an appointment. Be sure to make a note in your planner or set a reminder on your phone to make sure that you don’t forget these appointments.