Your cat's health is important to you, therefore regular vet checkups are crucial to your cat's long-term care. Our vets in Kingman, AZ discuss how often you should bring your cat in for a wellness exam and what to expect during your visit.
Preventive care will go a long way toward protecting your cat from potential diseases and conditions, as well as provide an opportunity for your vet to address possible conditions early. Early detection and treatment of any illnesses mean the best possible outcome for your feline friend.
Routine exams provide your veterinarian with the opportunity to thoroughly examine your cat and monitor your kitty's overall health and wellness, evaluate for the earliest possible signs of illness, and provide recommendations for the diagnostics and preventive care suited to your feline friend's unique needs.
Our vets at Cerbat Cliffs Animal Hospital understand the expenses you may encounter with routine wellness exams and preventive care may seem great, considering these exams will typically be conducted when your cat is in great health. But taking a proactive, preventive approach to your cat or kitten's health could save you the cost of more expensive treatments in the future.
Routine Wellness Exams
Bringing your feline friend to the vet for routine wellness exams is much like bringing them to the doctor for a physical checkup. The frequency of which your cat should have a routine physical exam depends mainly on their age, lifestyle, and overall health.
We typically recommend that healthy adult cats have wellness exams annually, but kittens, aging cats, and cats with an underlying health condition are recommended to visit their vet more frequently for an examination.
Preventive Care for Kittens
If your cat is under a year of age we usually suggest monthly exams, with their first veterinary appointment taking place when they are approximately 8 weeks old.
During the first year of their life, kittens 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 new kitten will be administered these vaccines over the course of the first 16 weeks and will be critical in helping to protect them over the course of their whole life.
The exact timing of your kitten'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, although this may vary depending on your cat's health and your vet, in order to prevent a host of diseases and undesirable behaviors as well as prevent unwanted kittens.
Caring for Your Adult Cat
If you have a healthy adult cat under the age of 10, we recommend taking them in once a year for an exam. These exams will typically be completed on your cat during times when their health is optimal.
Throughout your adult cat's routine exam your vet will conduct a thorough exam of your cat looking for any early signs of diseases or other issues, that may require preventive care.
During these routine visits, your vet will administer any required vaccines or booster shots, discuss any concerns with you about your cat's diet and nutritional requirements, as well as recommend the appropriate parasite protection products.
If your vet had spotted any potential concerns they will also discuss those with you during this time and make any recommendations for the next steps.
Geriatric Care for Senior Cats
If your cat is 11 years or older they are now considered to be senior.
Illnesses and diseases are known to become more common in aging cats. Our vets recommend having your senior feline companion visit the vet every 6 months. These twice-yearly wellness check-ups for your geriatric cat will include any and all routine care that is listed above, but your vet will include some extra time and care to account for any extra diagnostic tests as well as thoroughly checking for any issues that are more prevalent in senior cats.
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.