Like their humans, cats require routine checkups from a veterinarian to live a long and healthy life. However, many pet owners are confused about how often they should take their cat to the vet. Another assumption is that cats are highly self-sufficient and can make do without trips to the vet. However, preventative care is much better than reactive care, so you should be taking your cat to the vet more frequently than assumed.
How Many Times Should You Take Your Kitten to the Vet?
Schedule your kitten for a checkup as soon as you can. Ideally, kittens should be seen by a qualified veterinarian every 3-4 weeks during the first 4 months of life. During these times, your kitten receives essential vaccinations that protect them from life-threatening viruses and diseases. Plus, they receive their first (and hopefully last) Feline Immunodeficiency Virus test.
Your vet will also make sure that your kitten is growing up strong. Depending on the vet, they may ask you to bring stool samples, so they can check for worms and other parasites.
How Often to Take Adult Cats to the Vet
Once your cat is older than a year old, they don’t have to visit the vet nearly as much. Usually every 6 months or twice a year is fine when they have a clean bill of health. During these checkups, your cat will receive a physical examination that includes weight and temperature. If they are having any issues with diet or health, you can discuss this with your vet and they may suggest a change in diet or exercise.
The vet may also schedule dental cleaning, vaccinations, and nail trimming, depending on the services they provide.
Keep in mind that indoor cats still require rabies and distemper vaccinations. Outdoor cats should also be taken every 6 months to keep their vaccinations up to date. Be sure to have a health plan set up for your outdoor cat, as they will need year-round flea, tick, and heartworm medications.
How Often To Take an Elderly Cat to the Vet
With old age comes changes to your cat’s health needs. Around 7 years old, your cat should see the veterinarian at least 2-3 times a year. Once they are 10 years or older, they may need more frequent visits—around 3-4 times a year. During these years, keeping track of your companion’s diet and urinary health is crucial. They may also develop arthritis or diabetes and need medication.
Expect a yearly urinalysis, CBC, and thyroid testing, as these can help with the early detection of cancer and other diseases. Vaccinations continue as normal, unless your veterinarian recommends otherwise.
Keeping Your Feline Friend Healthy
Unless your cat is a kitten or very old, bi-annual visits to the vet are best for maintaining a clean bill of health. During these bi-annual visits, cats receive physical examinations much like their humans, as well as vaccinations to keep them healthy. Be sure to schedule a vet visit for your friend soon, if you haven’t already!
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