Regular veterinary checkups and preventive care are important for helping your cat live a long and healthy life— but exactly how often should you take a cat to the vet? Here, our South Wilton vets explain.
Veterinary Preventive Care & Early Detection
Regular veterinary care can help prolong your cat's health and well-being.
Taking your cat to the vet regularly provides your vet with the opportunity to monitor your pet's overall health, look for the earliest signs of disease (when conditions are most easily treated), and offer recommendations on the best preventive products for your four-legged friend.
It's also important to note that taking a proactive, preventive approach to your pet's care could save you the cost of expensive treatments down the road.
Routine Wellness Exams - Checkups for Pets
Taking your cat to the vet for a routine exam is like taking them in for a physical. As with people, how often your pet should have a physical depends upon your pet's lifestyle, overall health, and age.
Annual wellness exams are typically recommended for healthy adult cats. Kittens, senior cats, and cats with underlying health conditions may need to visit more often.
Kittens Up to 12 Months Old
If your pet is less than a year old then monthly visits to your vet are recommended.
During your kitten's first year they are going to need several rounds of vaccinations to help keep them protected against common infectious diseases. Kittens should receive their FVRCP vaccine which helps to protect them against 3 highly contagious and life-threatening 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 toward keeping your kitten healthy.
The exact timing of your pet's vaccinations will vary depending on your location and the schedule decided upon by you and your veterinarian.
Between 6 - 12 months our vets recommend having your r 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
If you have a healthy, active adult cat between 1 - 7 years old, yearly routine exams are recommended. These examinations are annual physical checkups that are done while your pet seems completely healthy.
During your adult pet's routine exam your vet will perform a head-to-tail examination of your pet to look for early signs of illness or other issues, such as tooth decay, joint pain, or parasites.
Your veterinarian will also administer any required vaccines, speak to you about your cat's diet and nutritional requirements, recommend appropriate parasite protection, and discuss any training or behavioral issues you may be noticing.
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.
Since many animal diseases and injuries tend to be more common in older pets we recommend taking your senior cat to the vet every 6 months. Twice-yearly wellness check-ups for your senior pet will include all of the checks and advice mentioned above but will focus more heavily on any emerging geriatric conditions your pet might be experiencing such as vision loss or arthritis.
Geriatric care for pets also includes a more proactive approach to keeping your cat comfortable as age-related issues such as joint pain become more common. If you have a senior pet, ask your vet how often 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.
Is your cat due for a routine vet appointment? Contact our South Wilton vets today to book an appointment.
Looking for advice on how to care for your cat in South Wilton?
We're always accepting new patients, so contact our veterinary hospital today to book your pet's first appointment.
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