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How often should you take a cat to the vet?

You love your cat, and you want to ensure that they live a long, healthy life with you. Today, our Des Moines vets explain when to take your cat to the vet for routine checkups and preventive care.

How often do you take a cat to the vet?

The best way to make sure your kitty has a long and healthy life is to prevent serious illnesses or catch them early when they are more easily treated.

Bringing your cat to the vet regularly gives your veterinarian the opportunity to monitor your kitty's overall wellbeing and physical health, watch for the earliest signs of disease, and offer recommendations for the preventive care products that would suit your feline friend best.

We understand that the cost of routine checkups and preventive care can be daunting, especially if your feline companion appears to be in good health. Taking a proactive, preventive approach to your cat's or kitten's health, on the other hand, may save you money on more costly treatments in the future.

What is a cat checkup?

Taking your cat to the vet for routine wellness exams is like bringing them to the doctor for a physical checkup. As with people, how often your cat should have a physical examination depends on their age, lifestyle, and overall health.

We usually recommend annual wellness exams for healthy adult cats, but kittens, senior cats, and kitties with underlying health issues should see their vet more frequently.

How often should kittens see a vet?

If your kitty is less than a year old, then we suggest bringing them to the vet once monthly starting when they are approximately 8 weeks old.

Kittens require multiple rounds of vaccinations during their first year to protect them from common infectious diseases. Kittens should receive both the Feline Leukemia vaccine and the FVRCP vaccine, which protects them from three highly contagious and potentially fatal feline diseases: Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (FHV-1), Feline Calicivirus (FCV), and Feline Panleukopenia (FPL).

Your kitten will be provided with these vaccines over the course of approximately 16 weeks, which will go a long way in helping to keep them healthy 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 in order to prevent a host of diseases and undesirable behaviors as well as unwanted litters of kittens.

How often should middle-aged cats see a vet?

If you have a healthy adult cat between the ages of one and ten, we recommend bringing them in for an exam once a year. These exams are yearly physicals that should be completed even if your cat appears to be in perfect 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 administer any necessary vaccines or booster shots, discuss your cat's diet and nutritional needs, and recommend parasite protection products.

If your vet detects any signs of a 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.

Because many feline diseases and injuries are more common in senior cats, we recommend that you take them to the vet every six months. All of the checks and advice listed above will be included in your geriatric cat's twice-yearly wellness check-ups, along with a few additional diagnostic tests to gain a better understanding of your pet'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 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.

Preventive care, including regular checkups, help give your cat their best shot at a long and healthy life. Contact our Des Moines vets today to book a wellness exam for your feline friend.

Welcoming Your Pets to Our Animal Hospital 

Des Moines Veterinary Hospital welcomes cats, dogs, fish, small mammals, and their owners to our clinic! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Des Moines companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's appointment.

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