Because you love your kitty, you want to ensure they enjoy a long and healthy life. That's why our vets in Richmond discuss how frequently you should schedule your cat's routine wellness check-ups and preventive care.
Veterinary Preventive Care & Early Detection
To help ensure your cat maintains optimal health throughout their life, focus on preventing serious diseases or catching them in their early stages, which makes treatment more accessible.
Regularly bringing your cat to the vet allows them to monitor your kitty's overall health, identify early disease signs, and suggest appropriate preventive measures for your feline companion.
We understand that you might have concerns about the expenses associated with routine check-ups, especially if your cat seems healthy. Nevertheless, taking a proactive, preventive approach to your furry friend's care can ultimately reduce the expenses of more costly treatments down the road.
Routine Wellness Exams - Check-ups for Cats
Bringing your cat to the vet for a routine exam is like taking them in for a physical. As with humans, how often your kitty should have a physical examination depends on their lifestyle, overall health, and age.
We generally recommend annual wellness exams for healthy adult cats, but kittens, senior kitties, and pets with underlying health conditions should attend examinations more regularly.
Kittens Up to 12 Months Old
If your kitten is under a year old, we suggest taking them to the vet monthly, starting with their first visit when they're around 8 weeks old.
Throughout their first year, kittens require multiple rounds of vaccinations to help them stay protected from common infectious diseases. Kittens should receive 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).
These vaccines will be administered to your kitten over about 16 weeks, significantly contributing to their lifelong health.
The timing of your cat's vaccinations may vary based on your location and overall health.
Our veterinarians recommend spaying or neutering your kitten when they reach 5 to 6 months of age. This helps prevent various diseases, undesirable behaviors, and unwanted litters of kittens.
Adult Cats Up To 10 Years of Age
If you have a healthy adult cat aged between 1 and 10 years, we recommend scheduling an annual examination for them. These yearly check-ups involve a comprehensive physical assessment, even when your cat seems perfectly fine.
During your cat's routine exam, the veterinarian will thoroughly examine your pet from head to tail, searching for early signs of illness or potential concerns such as dental problems, joint discomfort, or the presence of parasites.
Additionally, your vet will administer any necessary vaccines or booster shots, provide guidance on your cat's dietary needs, and offer recommendations for suitable parasite protection products.
If your vet detects any emerging health issues, they will discuss their findings with you and advise on the appropriate next steps.
Cats are officially considered seniors when they are 11 years of age.
Because many cat diseases and injuries tend to be more common in older pets, we suggest taking your senior cat to the vet every 6 months. Twice-yearly wellness check-ups for your senior cat will include all the checks and advice mentioned above but with a few added diagnostic tests to provide extra insight into your kitty's overall health.
We recommend senior patients undergo blood tests and urinalysis to detect early signs of issues like kidney disease or diabetes.
Caring for senior cats involves taking proactive steps to ensure your aging feline companion's comfort, especially as they may experience joint pain and other age-related concerns.
If you have a senior cat, consult your vet to determine the appropriate frequency for routine exams.
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.