You love your kitty, so you want to do everything you can to help them have a long and healthy life. Today, our vets in Westfield share how often you need to bring your cat to the vet for routine wellness exams and preventive care to help your cat achieve lifelong good health.
Early Diagnosis & Preventive Care
The best way to help your cat maintain their optimal health is to prevent serious diseases and illnesses or to have them diagnosed early when they are easier to treat.
By taking your feline companion to the vet regularly you are giving your vet the time to monitor your cat's overall health, check for early signs of illness, and to provide you with suggestions for the preventive care products that best suit your kitty's needs.
Our vets realize how the costs of your cat's routine vet care can be worrying, especially if they look perfectly healthy, however, by taking the proactive approach to the health of your kitty you can save on the fees of more costly treatments later on.
Routine Wellness Exams (Cat Checkups)
Bringing your cat to your veterinarian's office for routine wellness exams is similar to taking them to see a doctor for a physical checkup. Like people, how frequently your cat should have a physical checkup depends on their overall health, age, and lifestyle.
Usually, we recommend yearly wellness exams for adult cats that are in optimal health, but senior cats, kittens, and felines that have an underlying health issue should attend wellness examinations more often.
Kittens Up to 12 Months of Age
If your kitty is less than a year old then we suggest bringing them to the vet once a month, with their first veterinary appointment taking place when they are approximately 8 weeks old.
Throughout their first year, kitten's require multiple rounds of vaccinations to help protect them from common infectious diseases. Kittens should get the Feline Leukemia vaccine and the FVRCP vaccine which helps protect your feline friend from 3 highly contagious and life-threatening feline diseases, Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (FHV-1) Feline Calicivirus (FCV), and Feline Panleukopenia (FPL).
Your kitten will be given their vaccines over the course of about 16 weeks and they will go a long way in helping to protect your cat's health their entire life.
The precise timing of your pet's vaccinations depends on where you live and your cat's overall health.
Our vets suggest getting your kitten spayed or neutered when they are between 5 - 6 months old to help prevent a range of diseases, some undesirable behaviors, and unwanted kitten litters.
Adult Cats Up To 10 Years Old
If you have a healthy adult cat between 1-10 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.
Throughout your adult cat's routine exam your vet will implement a head-to-tail examination to look for early signs of diseases or other issues, such as parasites, joint pain, or tooth decay.
Your veterinarian will also provide your kitty with any required vaccines or booster shots, have a conversation with you about your cat's diet and nutritional requirements, as well as recommend the appropriate parasite protection products.
If your vet detects any signs of an arising health issue they will explain their findings to you and recommend the next steps.
On your kitty's 11th birthday they are officially considered a senior cat.
Because many cat diseases and injuries are typically seen more often in elderly pets we suggest taking your senior cat to the vet every 6 months. Twice-annual wellness exams for your geriatric cat consist of all of the checks and advice stated above, but with some added diagnostic tests to gain extra information about your geriatric cat'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.