Did you know that over sixty percent of US families own at least one pet at home? More surprisingly, there were approximately 373 million cats kept as pets all over the world in 2018.
Nowadays, people regard pets as friends and members of their family as they are beside each other most of the time, especially during this pandemic. While dogs are the most popular pets around the globe, cats are also favored in many places.
However, as a cat lover, are you aware of how occasionally your cats need to go to the vet? Well, it is advisory that you take a cat to the vet regularly, about once or twice a year.
Moreover, it depends on the life stage of your cat, or their age, to determine how often should you take your cat to the vet. Hence, in this article, I’ll provide you with a general guideline on making medical appointments for your cats:
- Kittens (Birth – One Year Old): Baby cats are advised to take various vaccines during the first few months of their life. Therefore, go to the vet at least once a month until they are four months old.
- Adult Cats (One – Ten Years Old): As your cats have grown stronger, there is no need to go to the vet too often. However, you still should have a quick checkup for your pets at least one time every year.
- Senior Cats ( Ten Years Old +): It’s time your cats need some special treatments since they are getting older. Consequently, it’s best if you let the vet check up on them two or more times a year.
- Urgent Appointments: There are cases in which your cats need to see the vet as soon as possible. Some symptoms are bleeding, diarrhea, considerable weight loss, etc.
Table of Contents
How Often Should You Take Your Cat to the Vet?
Kittens (Birth – One Year Old)
Baby cats, or kittens, are more prone to being sick as their immune systems haven’t fully developed. Hence, a piece of valuable advice for you is to make sure they receive regular medical checkups until they have enhanced their resistance considerably.
The first appointment will be the best opportunity for you to discuss the particular plan for your pet’s health, such as when to take the compulsory series of vaccinations. Hence, remember to make this initial meeting as soon as your baby cat is born.
Ideally, their vaccines start when your cats are six to eight weeks old, which consists of panleukopenia, calicivirus, and rhinotracheitis. Then, the rest will be taken every three or four weeks later, depending on their health condition.
During these visits, there will also be physical examinations for your beloved kittens, including listening to their hearts and lungs, looking at their eyes, skins, etc. Consequently, any signs of illness will be detected soon.
Additionally, don’t forget to ask the vet about their nutrition and diet so that you can provide your cats with the best source of food. Take a picture of the food brand, or bring some with you if possible to show the vet.
This is also a great chance if you want to learn about tick and flea prevention methods, how to cut your cats’ nails, or how to train them. Your vet will be more willing to help, so don’t be ashamed to ask.
Those are the reasons why you should write down your pet’s appointment so you don’t miss any. Once they are about four months old, their appointment will be less regular.
Adult Cats (One – Ten Years Old)
Adult cats should see their vet at least once a year for their physical examination, vaccine boosters, and parasite checking. Any additional vaccines needed will be determined by the vet according to their lifestyle.
For instance, your cats may risk getting feline leukemia from other cats from your neighborhood. 85% of the cats diagnosed with this disease are reported to be dead within 3 years.
Hence, the annual checkup will help the vet detect this disease and cure your cats. Moreover, if you lose track of your cat’s vaccination, don’t worry as the vet will test their immunity levels to decide if they need a booster dose of any vaccines.
In addition, your cat will have an oral health examination. Just going to the dentist, the cat’s teeth will be inspected and cleaned to get rid of any plaque, gingivitis, and therefore, prevent bad breath.
Last but not least, the vet can tell from the physical examination whether your cat is in good shape or not. Consequently, they will be able to suggest appropriate dietary as well as exercise for your cats.
Senior Cats (Ten Years Old +)
It must be so upsetting to see your beloved cat getting older and older. However, as a loving parent, your responsibility is to take care of your pets until the end of their life. Therefore, during this life stage, I suggest you meet the vet two times a year.
When your cat grows older, it is common that they suffer from various illnesses such as diabetes, obesity, kidney-related disease, etc. Don’t be too confident about your cat’s well-being as sometimes, they won’t express their pain like us.
Therefore, it is best to have a comprehensive checkup for your cat every six months to make sure that everything is on the right track. Being able to detect any signs of illness will definitely prolong their life and enhance their well-being.
In this stage of their life, we strongly recommend that you pay full attention to their daily activity. Notice how they walk, eat, or sleep to see if there is anything abnormal so you can talk with your vet about these symptoms at the biannual checkup.
For example, your cat may be reluctant to jump for some reasons. In this case, discuss with the vet so they can prescribe some pain relievers. Vaccinations and other health evaluations should be maintained yearly.
Beside the periodic appointments, there are some exemptions that you need to visit the vet along with your cat as soon as possible. Generally, if your cat shows any signs that don’t seem right to you, go to the vet immediately.
Here are some symptoms that you can refer to: vomiting, bleeding, considerable weight loss, diarrhea, psychological instability, etc. Prevention is better than cure, so don’t hesitate to meet the vet whenever you feel the need to.
Knowing when to pay a visit to the vet is extremely important when you are having a cat, or any other pets. These periodic meetings play a vital role in your cats’ health, well-being, and longevity.
So, how often should you take your cat to the vet? I hope you’ve found your own answer to this query. If you find our article informative, share it with your friends and family as well.
I am Amy Sawy, a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) graduate from the University of Kansas. y husband, Dr. Plummer, and I own a veterinary clinic in Phillipsburg, Kansas. In addition to my professional background, I am a devoted pet owner myself, with a household that includes dogs, rodents, and most notably, cats – a total of five felines in my home.
In 2020, I joined an organization as a professional writer, leveraging my experience and collaborating with my team to deliver the most valuable information for your cat’s care.