As a caring pet parent, you’re surely aware that regular veterinarian care is one of the most important things you can do for your cat. But what does it mean to be “regular”? How often should you visit the veterinarian with your cat?
According to the American Animal Hospital Association, all pets should see a veterinarian at least once a year and possibly more frequently if the dog or cat has unique health concerns.
Your cat’s age and overall health will influence the answer to this question, but we’ve included some general guidelines below.
Kittens (from birth to one year)
For the first 16 weeks of their lives, kittens should see their veterinarian once every 3-4 weeks. Your kitten will receive a series of vaccines during these appointments to help protect them from various contagious and life-threatening diseases. Based on your kitten’s lifestyle, your veterinarian will assist you in determining the optimum vaccine schedule and choices for them.
At each appointment, stool samples will be tested to ensure your cat is free of gastrointestinal parasites. Remember to bring a quarter-sized fresh stool sample to each appointment. Given the high prevalence of parasites in early kittens, we may deworm them at least twice over the course of two to three weeks.
At 8 to 12 weeks of age or older, we recommend Feline Leukemia and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus blood testing. These are two life-threatening infections that can infect your cat through blood or saliva. Before, during, and after delivery, either virus can be exposed and acquired.
Your veterinarian will perform a comprehensive head-to-toe medical examination at each visit, including listening to your kitten’s heart and lungs, looking at their eyes, ears, mouth, and skin, palpating the abdomen, and looking for any congenital abnormalities or symptoms of ill health.
Socialization is the process of interacting with others. Socialization or litter box training usually is simple for most kittens, but teaching them not to scratch your favorite sofa is more complicated. Please contact your vet for advice on how to reduce this detrimental behavior and a solution.
Demonstration on how to clip your cat nails
We found that making a note of any health or behavior questions you may have for your veterinarian before each visit helps you remember to ask them. Bring or take a snapshot with your phone of any prescription
Your vet will view and analyze any prescription or over-the-counter medications your pet is taking. Remember to put down the name of your pet’s food so that we can examine its caloric content and quality. For healthy growth and weight increase, proper nutrition and quantity must be provided. These preliminary examinations may appear overwhelming (emotionally, monetarily, and in terms of time), but they are not.
They lay the foundation for your cat’s long-term health and happiness. In addition to inspections and vaccines, routine veterinary appointments assist in creating a bond between your cat and their veterinarian, which will lessen fear, worry, and tension during future veterinary appointments.
Your kitten may return to vet-doc for free “happy visits” after 16 weeks of age. During this “joyous.” Vets usually give your kitten lots of treats, love, and time to explore the cat-only examination during their visits.
Spaying and neutering visits
Your vet’s goal is to alleviate their apprehension of visiting a veterinarian’s office. Between the ages of 6 and 12 months, spaying or neutering is often advised. Your veterinarian will help you. Your vet will assist you in determining the ideal age for this surgical treatment
Of course, if any health concerns arise outside of routine visits during the first year, please schedule an appointment with your vet as soon as possible.
Adult Cats (1 year – 10 years)
Adult cats should be seen once a year for a thorough examination and stool sample. Check for parasites and make sure they’re up to date on their vaccines. Your veterinarian will assist you in determining which option is best for you. Vaccines for your cat are prescribed based on their lifestyle.
Please bring a note of any questions you may have for your veterinarian, as well as the names and contact information for your family members. You’re feeding your cat in terms of medicines or nutritional supplements. Don’t forget to include the name of your cat’s food. This information will assist the veterinarian in navigating the situation more effectively. Assess your pet’s condition and devise a treatment strategy
All adult cats should have Annual Wellness bloodwork done at their annual vet visit. A visit to the doctor gives you a wealth of information about your pet’s health and well-being.
Your vet will address, resolve, or control health issues before they become serious if we can detect disease early on.
Your vet will weigh your cat and assess its overall health during your annual checkup. He/She will give nutritional and exercise advice if your cat is overweight. As your pet gets older, being overweight will damage their mobility and quality of life. Your vet also searches for symptoms of plaque, tartar, gingivitis, and crown disease in your pet’s mouth.
Cat Teeth Examinations By Vets
Periodontal disease affects 85 percent of cats over the age of six! Cleaning and assessment under anesthetic may be advised by your veterinarian based on their discovery.
If your cat spends time outside, the vet prescribes heartworm, flea, and tick protection all year. If your cat is taking a long-term medication, your veterinarian may suggest more regular visits and bloodwork.
Senior Cats (those who have reached the age of ten)
We recommend complete physical examinations twice a year (every six months) once your cat reaches the age of ten due to the increased likelihood of finding a medical problem at this age. Cats are notoriously secretive about their pain and discomfort, so don’t be fooled by their outward appearance and skip this crucial appointment. This would be a colossal blunder!
Regardless of their outward look, we perform yearly CBC, Chemistry, and Thyroid bloodwork, as well as a urinalysis on elderly pets. Early detection is critical to your pet’s long-term health and happiness.
Vet visits in Special Cases
If you observe signs of discomfort or suffering in your cat, you should consult your veterinarian as soon as possible. These may include the following:
- Stool or urine changes
- Appetite changes
- A rise in vocalization
- Increased aversion to individuals
- Limping or moving in an unusual manner
Changes in Personality
If your cat’s lifestyle is about to change dramatically, you should consult a veterinarian to ensure you’re ready. This is especially critical if your indoor cat is going to venture outside. If your cat isn’t kept inside all of the time, he or she will require additional vaccinations. If you’re relocating with your cat, a checkup before you leave will help you discern between unusual behaviors caused by the relocation and those caused by sickness. Remember that your veterinarian is an excellent resource for all of your cat’s critical transitions.
Observe your pet’s mobility while walking, rising from a nap, jumping, or climbing in and out of the litterbox before going to this biennial visit. Discuss your findings with your partner.
Veterinary surgeons strongly recommend using nutraceuticals and pharmaceutical products to reduce your pet’s pain and improve their quality of life if they show signs of stiffness or reluctance to jump. Also, inquire about therapeutic laser and massage for your pet’s aching joints. Vaccinations should be continued according to your veterinarian’s recommendations.
As long as your pet is a good candidate for anesthetic, dental cleanings and examinations under anesthesia will most likely be advised. We’ll tell you what’s best for your pet after we’ve examined and interpreted his or her bloodwork. Dental disease is unpleasant for your pet and can be hazardous to his or her overall health.
Indoor Cat Vet Visits Vs. Outdoor cat Vet Visits
Your indoor cat will visit the veterinarian less frequently than an outdoor cat because they are safer and are not exposed to the hazards of wild animals or strangers. Even if your cat is exclusively indoors, you should take him to the vet at least once a year for a checkup and any surgical operations, such as spaying, neutering, or dental cleaning. Cats with specific diseases, such as cardiomyopathy may require yearly or twice-yearly visits to the veterinarian to have particular medical tests or procedures performed to check their status. The vet may, for example, employ echocardiography or an ECG to assess her heart function.
In general, if your pet isn’t feeling well or anything doesn’t appear to be quite right, arrange an appointment with a veterinarian as soon as possible. It’s always preferable to be safe than sorry.
Bleeding, vomiting, excessive diarrhea, loss of appetite, lethargy, melancholy and dietary restrictions are among the symptoms to look out for.
Exams should be scheduled outside of your pet’s yearly visit for a variety of reasons, including indiscretion (eating something they shouldn’t), limping, increased water intake, and weight loss.
Find a vet with whom you feel at ease and develop a solid long-term relationship. A vet who knows your cat can provide you with a customized checkup regimen tailored to your feline friend’s specific needs.