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How Often Do You Take a Cat to the Vet?

You adore your cat, and you want to help them live as long, happy and healthy life as possible. Today, our Central Illinois team discusses when to take a cat to the vet for preventive care and routine checkups. 

How often should you take a cat to the vet?

The best way to ensure your cat enjoys a healthy, happy life is to prevent serious illnesses and diseases and to catch them as soon as they start to emerge and are at their most treatable. 

When you take your feline companion in to visit the vet, you're allowing your veterinarian the chance to monitor your cat's overall health and well-being, to look for early signs of emerging diseases and to recommend types of preventive care products most appropriate for your kitty. 

Our team at Pekin Veterinary Clinic understands some pet parents may have concerns about the cost of routine checkups and preventive care, especially if your feline friend looks like they're in perfect health. However, taking a proactive, preventive approach with your cat or kitten's health may save your the cost of more expensive treatments in the future.  

What is a cat checkup?

Think of your cat's routine wellness exam as similar to your physical checkup with the doctor. Like people, how often your cat should come in for a physical examination depends on their lifestyle, age and overall health. 

Generally, we recommend bringing your healthy adult cat in for an annual wellness exam. That said, kittens, senior cats or cats with underlying health conditions should come in to see us much more often. 

How often should kittens see a vet?

Is your cat less than one year old? We advise that you bring them in to see our vets at least once every month. They should come in for their first vet appointment when they are around eight weeks (or two months) old. 

Kittens need multiple rounds of vaccinations during their first year to help protect them from common infectious diseases. Kitties should have the Feline Leukemia vaccine and the FVRCP vaccine to help protect them against three highly contagious and life-threatening feline diseases: Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (FHV-1) Feline Calicivirus (FCV), and Feline Panleukopenia (FPL).

Your veterinarian will administer your adorable kitten's vaccinations over the course of about 16 weeks. These will help them stay healthy throughout their lives. Your vet can tell you the precise timing for your cat's vaccinations depending on your kitten's location and their overall health. 

Our Central Illinois vets recommend having your kitten neutered or spayed when they are about 5 to 6 months old to prevent numerous diseases and undesirable behaviors in addition to unwanted litters of kittens. 

How often should middle-aged cats see a vet?

If you have an adult cat that is perfectly healthy and between 1 and 10 years old, we recommend that you bring them in to see us at least once per year. The exams we provide at these routine checkups are meant to make sure that you cat is indeed as healthy as they seem.

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 be able to provide your cat with any required vaccines and booster shots as well as have a conversation with you about your cat's diet and nutritional requirements. We will also recommend appropriate parasite preventive products and treatments. 

If your vet detects any signs of an arising health issue they will explain their findings to you and recommend the next steps.

How often should senior cats see a vet?

Cats are typically considered to be senior when they reach 11 years of age.

Since many cat injuries and disease will tend to be more common in older pets, we advise that you bring your feline friend in to see our Central Illinois vets every 6 months or so. Twice-yearly wellness check-ups for your geriatric cat will include all of the checks and advice listed above, but with a few additional diagnostic tests to obtain extra insights into your furry friend's overall health.

Some of the diagnostic tests that we recommend for our senior cat patients include blood tests and urinalysis in order to check for the early signs of issues like 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.

Is it time for a routine wellness visit for your cat? Contact our Central Illinois veterinarians today to book an appointment. 

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