Because you love your kitty you want to make sure they have a long and healthy life, which makes routine checkups and preventive care essential. Here, our Hattiesburg and Wiggins vets discuss how often you should bring your cat to the vet for their routine wellness exam and preventive care.
Veterinary Preventive Care & Early Detection
The best way to help ensure your cat stays in optimal health their whole life is to prevent serious diseases or detect them in their earliest stages when they are easier to treat.
Taking your cat to the vet regularly gives your vet the chance to monitor your kitty's overall health, check for the earliest signs of disease, and provide you with recommendations on the preventive products that would be best for your feline friend.
Our vets realize that you may be worried about the cost of your cat's routine checkup especially if they appear to be healthy, however, taking a proactive, preventive approach to your furry friend's care can save you the cost of expensive treatments later on.
Routine Wellness Exams - Checkups for Cats
Bringing your cat to the vet for a routine exam is like taking them in for a physical. As with humans, how often your kitty should have a physical examination depends on their lifestyle, overall health, and age.
We generally recommend annual wellness exams for healthy adult cats, but kittens, senior kitties, and pets with underlying health conditions should attend examinations more regularly.
Kittens Up to 12 Months Old
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 kittens require multiple rounds of vaccinations to help them stay protected from common infectious diseases. Kittens should receive 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 kitty will be provided with these vaccines over approximately 16 weeks which will go a long way towards making them healthy throughout their lifespan.
The exact timing of your cat's vaccinations will vary depending on your location and the overall health of your furry friend.
Our vets recommend having your kitten spayed or neutered when they are between 5 - 6 months to prevent a host of diseases and undesirable behaviors as well as unwanted litters of kittens.
Adult Cats Up To 10 Years of Age
If you have a healthy adult cat between 1 - 10 years old, we suggest bringing them in once a year for an exam. These examinations are annual physical checkups that are done while your kitty appears to be completely healthy.
During your adult cat's routine exam your vet will conduct a head-to-tail examination to check for early signs of illness or other issues, such as tooth decay, joint pain, or parasites.
Your veterinarian will also administer any required vaccines or booster shots, talk to you about your cat's diet and nutritional requirements, as well as recommend the appropriate parasite protection products.
If your vet finds any signs of developing health issues they will discuss their findings with you and recommend the next steps.
Cats are officially considered seniors when they are 11 years of age.
Because many cat diseases and injuries tend to be more common in older pets we suggest taking your senior cat to the vet every 6 months. Twice-yearly wellness check-ups for your senior cat will include all of the checks and advice mentioned above, but with a few added diagnostic tests to provide extra insight into your kitty'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. Please make an appointment with your vet for an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition.