How Often Should I Take My Cat to the Vet?

How Often Should You Take Your Cat to the Vet?

Photo by Ilmicrofono Ogglono/ CC BY

If you have a new cat or kitten, you are probably becoming very aware of how much you need to learn to be an effective cat-parent. One big question that most first-time adopters ask is, “How often should I take my cat to the vet?” We have your guide to vet visits below!

1. General Health

No matter what age your cat is, there are certain aspects of their health that need to be maintained at all times. These include:

  • Nutrition/Weight – As your cat ages, they will be more likely to lose or gain weight depending on the breed and if they have any underlying health conditions. It’s important to pick a healthy and nutritious type of food. If you have trouble choosing the right kind of food, take a look at this article on how to choose the right cat food for your cat.
  • Exercise – Cats naturally like to climb and hunt things – in a way, that is their workout for the day. If they don’t get adequate exercise, your cat could grow obese, which could cause further health issues. The best way to help your cat exercise is to arrange their environment. Weather they are an indoor car or an outdoor one, set up specific items that they are allowed to climb on or play with.
  • Parasite Control – It is important for your cat to visit the vet regularly so you can be aware of any parasite your pet may have and be given medication and next steps.
  • Dental Care – It’s sad, but true – gum disease is extremely common in pets. And worse than that, if a dental condition in your pet goes untreated, it could lead to more serious overall health conditions later on.
  • Vaccination – The different types of vaccinations vary with the age of your cat and the specific conditions that your cat has. You will notice below that we recommend taking your cat for vaccinations at least once a year.

2. Kittens (1-12 months)

  • Kittens - How Often Should You Take Your Cat to the Vet

    Photo by Stephane Rossignol / CC BY-NC-SA

    Vet Visits: For the first four months, take your kitten to the vet monthly. After that, every 6 months will do. Since kittens are babies, they can be more susceptible to health issues and require frequent checkups.

  • Common Visits Include:
    • Checkups
    • De-Clawing
    • Spay/Neutering
    • Annual Vaccination

 3. Prime/Adult Cats (1-6 years)

  • Vet Visits: Semi-Annually (twice a year) – every 6 months to a year.
  • Common Visits Include:
    • Checkups
      • Health changes can happen very quickly for cats; you may not even notice!
      • Sick cats rarely show signs of illness, so it is important to take them for a checkup fairly often in case something needs to be revealed.
    • Annual Vaccination

4. Older Cats (7-10 years)

  • Adult Cats - How Often Should You Take Them to the Vet?

    Photo by AJ Gazmen / CC BY-NC-ND

    Vet Visits: Semi-Annually (twice a year)

  • Common Visits Include:
    • Checkups
    • Health and Behavior Monitoring – Most vets have seen dozens of generations of cats and know what conditions to look for and what symptoms are normal.
    • Annual Vaccination

5. Senior Cats (10+ years)

  • Vet Visits: Every 3 Months – The older your cat gets, the more vet visits you’ll need to make. This will ensure that you get the most time possible with your pet.
  • Common Visits Include:
    • Checkups
    • Health and Behavior Monitoring
    • Annual Vaccination

6. Stress-Free Visit

Make Taking Your Cat to the Vet a Stress-Free Event

Photo by Zlatgo Unger/ CC BY-NC-ND

Some cats struggle with going to the vet. It can be a stressful experience and cause them to act frazzled and even bite or scratch. Here are some tips on keeping your cat calm for the vet:

  • Start a Few Days Early – Pull out the carrier you will put them in for the vet a few days before. Put some of their favorite toys, blankets or treats in it so that they will learn not to fear it.
  • Use a Covering – Once you get to the vet’s, put a blanket or towel over their cage to keep them calm.
  • Go to a Vet Your Cat Likes – Looking for a vet? Ask around! The best reviews come from your friends or family who have experienced the service firsthand. When you try one out, see if your cat seems to like the vet at all. If not, try a different one. It will help in every future visit to have your cat like the vet.

Continue to refer to this article as your little fuzz-ball grows up! Remember that at the end of the day a vet’s goal is to help you and your pet! If you have any additional questions, they would be more than happy to help!

How often do you currently visit the vet and why? Leave a comment down below!

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