One of the best ways to keep your cat healthy is to bring them to the vet regularly for routine physical examinations. Today, our Glendale vets explain why preventive care and routine wellness exams are important and how often you need to bring your cat to the vet.
Preventive Care & Early Diagnosis
The best thing you can do to help your cat achieve lifelong optimal health is to protect them from serious illnesses or have them diagnosed early when they are in their most treatable stages.
By taking your kitty to the vet on a routine basis, you are giving your veterinarian the chance to keep an eye on your feline friend's health, check for the earliest signs of disease, and provide you with recommendations for preventive care products that best suit your cat's needs.
Our veterinarians realize how you may be worried about the costs of your cat's routine checkups and preventive care, especially if they appear to be in good health. But, taking a proactive, preventive approach to your pet's health could save you the fees of more expensive treatments in the future.
Routine Wellness Exams - Cat Checkups
Taking your cat to the vet for routine wellness exams is similar to bringing them to a doctor for a physical checkup. As with humans, how frequently your kitty needs to have a physical examination depends on their overall health, lifestyle, and age.
Usually, we recommend bringing healthy adult cats to the vet once annually for wellness exams while, kittens, senior cats, and pets with underlying health conditions should see their vet more often.
Kittens Up to 12 Months of Age
If your kitty is less than a year old, we suggest bringing them to the vet once a month, with their first veterinary appointment taking place when they are approximately 8 weeks old.
Before their first birthday, kittens need to get multiple rounds of vaccinations to help keep them safe against common infectious diseases. Kittens should receive the Feline Leukemia vaccine and the FVRCP vaccine to help protect them from 3 very contagious and life-threatening feline diseases, Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (FHV-1) Feline Calicivirus (FCV), and Feline Panleukopenia (FPL).
Your kitty will be given these vaccines over the course of about 16 weeks, which will help keep them healthy throughout their life.
The precise timing of your cat's vaccinations will depend on where you are and your furry friend's overall health.
Our vets recommend having your kitten spayed or neutered when they are between 5 and 6 months old to help prevent a host of diseases, undesirable behaviors, and unwanted kittens.
Adult Cats Up To 10 Years Old
If you have a healthy adult cat between 1 and 10 years old, we recommend taking them in once a year for an exam. These examinations are yearly physical checkups that are completed when your cat seems to be perfectly healthy.
As part of your adult cat's routine exam, your veterinarian will perform a head-to-tail examination to check for early signs of diseases or other problems, like tooth decay, joint pain, and parasites.
Your veterinarian will also give your feline any vaccines or booster shots they require, talk to you about your cat's diet and nutritional needs, as well as suggest any parasite protection products that may be appropriate.
If your vet finds signs of any developing health problems they will share their findings with you and recommend the next steps.
When your cat turns 11 years old, they are officially in their senior years.
As lots of feline diseases and injuries are more common in older pets, we suggest taking your senior cat to the vet every 6 months. Twice-yearly wellness check-ups for your geriatric cat will consist of all of the checks and advice listed above, as well as a few additional diagnostic tests to gain better insights into your furry companion's overall health.
Some diagnostic tests we recommend for our senior patients include blood tests and urinalysis to check for early signs of problems such as kidney disease or diabetes.
Geriatric care for cats also includes a more proactive approach to keeping your feline companion comfortable as age-related issues such as joint pain become more common. If you have a senior cat, 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.