Because you love your cat you want to do everything possible to ensure they have a long and healthy life. Today, our vets in Los Angeles County discuss how often you should be bringing your feline friend to the vet for a wellness exam and routine preventive care.
Preventive Care & Early Diagnosis
The best way for you to help your beloved cat have a happy and healthy life is to protect them from serious illnesses and diseases or have them diagnosed early when they are easier to treat.
By taking your kitty to the vet regularly you are giving your vet the chance to monitor the overall health of your feline, check for early signs of diseases, and provide you with recommendations for preventive care products that can help keep your cat healthy long-term.
Our vets realize how the costs of your kitty's routine checkups and preventive care can concern you especially if they appear to be perfectly healthy. But, taking a preventive and proactive approach to the health of your four-legged friend can save you the fees of more expensive treatments later down the road.
Cat Checkups - Routine Wellness Exams
Bringing your cat to see the vet for routine wellness exams is similar to taking them to the doctor for physical checkups. Just like humans, how often your cat should have a checkup depends on their age, overall health, and lifestyle.
Generally, for healthy adult cats, we recommend one wellness exam a year, but senior cats, kittens, and cats that have an underlying health condition should attend veterinary examinations more frequently.
Kittens Up to 12 Months of Age
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.
Kittens in their first year, need multiple rounds of vaccinations to help guard them against common infectious diseases. Kittens should receive the Feline Leukemia vaccine and the FVRCP vaccine that helps protect your furry friend from 3 very contagious and life-threatening feline diseases including, Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (FHV-1) Feline Calicivirus (FCV), and Feline Panleukopenia (FPL).
Your kitten will be given these vaccinations over the course of about 16 weeks, and they go a long way in helping to keep them healthy their entire life.
The precise timing of your kitten's vaccinations will vary depending on where you live and the overall health of your feline companion.
Our vets recommend having your kitten spayed or neutered when they are between 5 - 6 months old in order to prevent a host of diseases and undesirable behaviors as well as unwanted litters of kittens.
Adult Cats Up To 10 Years Old
If your adult cat is healthy and between 1 - 10 years old, we suggest bringing them to the vet once a year for a routine wellness exam. These examinations are physical checkups that are performed annually when your cat appears to be in optimal health.
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 also provide your kitty with any required vaccines or booster shots, and have a conversation with you about your cat's diet and nutritional requirements, as well as recommend the appropriate parasite protection products.
If your vet detects any signs of an arising health issue 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.
Because lots of cat injuries and diseases tend to be seen more frequently in older pets we suggest bringing your senior cat to the vet every 6 months. Twice-annual 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 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 consists of a more proactive approach to keeping your kitty comfortable as age-related conditions such as joint pain are more common. If you have a senior kitty, ask your veterinarian how often they recommend bringing your feline companion 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.