Preventive care and routine wellness exams are key players in your cat's long-term good health. In this post, our Seymour vets explain why wellness exams are important for cats and how often you need to bring your kitty to the vet for preventive care and routine checkups.
Why Preventive Care Is Important For Cats
Preventing serious illnesses or catching them early when they can be treated more easily, are the best ways to help your cat stay in optimal health their whole life.
By routinely taking your cat to the vet, you are giving your veterinarian the chance to assess your kitty's overall health, check for the earliest signs of disease, and provide you with recommendations for the preventive care products that best meet your furry friend's needs.
Our vets know how you might be concerned about the costs of your feline's routine wellness exams and preventive care, especially when they look healthy. But, taking a proactive, preventive approach to your cat's health could save you the fees of more expensive treatments down the road.
Cat Checkups & Routine Wellness Exams
Regularly taking your cat to the vet for routine wellness exams is similar to bringing them to the doctor's office for a physical checkup. Like people, how often your cat should get a physical examination depends on their overall health, lifestyle, and age.
In most cases, we recommend yearly wellness exams for adult cats that are healthy, but senior cats, kittens, and cats that have an underlying health condition should visit their vet more often for examinations.
Kittens Younger Than a Year Old
If your cat is younger than a year old, we recommend taking them to the vet on a monthly basis, with their first veterinary appointment taking place when they are around 8 weeks old.
Before your kitten's first birthday, they will have to receive multiple rounds of vaccinations to help protect them from common infectious diseases. Kittens should be given the Feline Leukemia vaccine and the FVRCP vaccine, which helps prevent 3 highly contagious and life-threatening feline diseases, Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (FHV-1), Feline Calicivirus (FCV), and Feline Panleukopenia (FPL).
Your young feline will be provided with these vaccinations over the course of about 16 weeks which will help keep them healthy their entire life.
The precise timing of your cat's vaccinations will vary depending on where you are and the overall health of your furry friend.
At Seymour Veterinary Hospital, we suggest having your kitten spayed or neutered when they are between 5 and 6 months old, in order to help prevent a range of diseases, undesirable behaviors, and unwanted litters of kittens.
Adult Cats 1 to 10 Years Old
If your adult cat is healthy and between 1 and 10 years old, we recommend bringing them to the vet once a year for a routine examination. These yearly physical checkups are conducted when your cat appears to be in perfect health.
As part of your adult cat's routine exam, your vet will perform a head-to-tail examination to check for early signs of diseases or other problems, such as tooth decay, parasites, and joint pain.
Your veterinarian will also administer any vaccines or booster shots your cat may require, have a conversation with you about your kitty's diet and nutritional requirements, as well as suggest the appropriate parasite protection products.
If your vet finds any signs of an arising health condition, they will explain their findings to you and recommend the next steps.
Your kitty is officially considered a senior cat when they turn 11 years old.
Since many cat diseases and injuries tend to be more common in older pets we recommend bringing your senior cat to the vet for wellness check-ups at least twice a year. These examinations will consist of all the checks and advice detailed above but, will include some additional diagnostic tests to gain extra insights into your furry friend's overall health.
Several diagnostic tests we recommend for our elderly 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 problems such as joint pain become more common. If you have a senior cat, ask your vet how often your kitty should be getting routine wellness exams.
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.