You adore your cat and aim to guarantee their long and healthy life alongside you. Today, our Portland veterinarians discuss how frequently you should schedule routine check-ups and preventive care appointments for your cat.
How often do you take a cat to the vet?
To ensure your kitty enjoys a long and healthy life, take proactive steps to prevent serious illnesses or detect them early, when treatment options are more effective.
Regularly bringing your cat to the vet allows your veterinarian to monitor your kitty's overall well-being and physical health actively. They can also keenly observe the earliest signs of disease and recommend the most suitable preventive care products for your feline friend.
We understand that the potential cost of routine check-ups and preventive care may raise concerns, especially if your cat appears healthy. However, adopting a proactive, preventative approach to your cat or kitten's health can save money by reducing the need for expensive treatments.
What is a cat check-up?
Bringing your cat to the vet for routine wellness exams resembles taking it to the doctor for a physical check-up. Just like with people, the frequency of your cat's physical examination should depend on their age, lifestyle, and overall health.
For healthy adult cats, we typically recommend annual wellness exams. However, kittens, senior cats, and cats with underlying health issues should visit their vet more often.
How often should kittens see a vet?
If your kitten is less than a year old, we recommend taking them to the vet once a month, starting at approximately 8 weeks old.
Kittens need multiple rounds of vaccinations during their first year to protect them from common infectious diseases. They should receive the Feline Leukemia vaccine and the FVRCP vaccine, which guards against three highly contagious and potentially fatal feline diseases: Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (FHV-1), Feline Calicivirus (FCV), and Feline Panleukopenia (FPL).
Your kitten will receive these vaccines over about 16 weeks, significantly contributing to their lifelong health.
The exact timing of your kitten's vaccinations may vary based on your location and your furry friend's overall health.
Our vets recommend spaying or neutering your kitten when they reach 5 - 6 months of age to prevent various diseases, undesirable behaviors, and unwanted litters of kittens.
How often should middle-aged cats see a vet?
If you have a healthy adult cat between the ages of one and ten, we recommend scheduling an annual exam for them. These exams consist of yearly physicals that you should complete even if your cat appears in perfect health.
During your adult cat's routine exam, your vet will conduct a thorough head-to-tail examination to find early signs of diseases or other issues, such as parasites, joint pain, or tooth decay.
Your veterinarian will also administer any required vaccines or booster shots for your cat, engage in a conversation with you regarding your cat's diet and nutritional requirements, and make recommendations for suitable parasite protection products.
If your vet identifies any signs of a health issue, they will communicate their findings and suggest the next steps.
How often should senior cats see a vet?
Cats typically achieve senior status at 11 years of age. To ensure the well-being of your senior companion, we advise scheduling veterinary visits every 6 months. Your geriatric cat's biannual wellness check-ups will encompass all the necessary examinations and recommendations alongside additional diagnostic tests to provide further insights into your furry friend's overall health.
For our senior patients, we recommend specific diagnostic tests such as blood tests and urinalysis to detect early signs of conditions like kidney disease or diabetes.
In caring for geriatric cats, it is essential to adopt a proactive approach, particularly in addressing common age-related issues like joint pain. If you have a senior cat, consult your vet to determine the appropriate frequency for routine exams.
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.