How Often Should I Take My Cat to the Vet?
Becoming a cat owner is one of life’s great joys. It is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your family. However, simply having a cat around and not paying much attention to the animal is not advisable. In fact, it is negligence, and people shouldn’t get a cat if they aren’t responsible owners.
One of the things many new cat owners ask is, “How often should I take my cat to the vet?” As a responsible owner, you should know the answer to that question. However, no one was born a good cat owner, and we need to learn the best practices and advice from other cat owners and vets. That’s why we talked to a few veterinarians and found out what they have to say on the frequency of cat vet visits.
Let’s get the obvious out of the way first - medical emergencies. If your cat has any kind of medical emergency, you should take it to the vet. Things like constant diarrhea or vomiting, trauma, bleeding, or clear signs of pain are considered medical emergencies. They all need veterinary attention, and you should take your cat to the nearest pet ER.
However, if you have a generally healthy cat that mostly lives indoor, the answer to that question can be tricky. If there’s no medical emergency and your cat is mostly fine, many of us avoid going “unnecessarily” to the vet. However, regular vet controls are a part of every responsible cat owner’s life.
There are a few reasons why you should regularly take your cat to the vet, even if the cat seems completely fine. The main reason is - training. Vets are trained to spot things we cannot. They know the symptoms and signs of numerous diseases and health conditions we “regular” owners cannot spot. If the cat is fine, it probably isn’t a big deal. However, your vet can spot potentially harmful and slow-developing, life-threatening diseases. That means you can start treatment early, and the chances of your cat recovering are a lot better.
This is the most crucial question. The correct answer will depend on several factors. Those factors are;
- Cat’s age
- Health conditions
The cat’s age is crucial because different things need to be done at different life stages. For example, kittens need to be vaccinated according to a vet recommended schedule. The vet needs to make sure the kitten’s development is healthy, and that will require more frequent vet visits. On the other hand, healthy adult cats without any conditions don’t need to visit the vet. Senior cats might get age-related health issues, so vet visits might again become necessary.
After a few vet visits, your vet will most likely know if there’s anything wrong with your cat. Different health conditions might require you to take your cat to the vet’s office more often. Things like obesity or diabetes can impact your cat’s overall health, and your vet will want to keep an eye on them.
Indoor cats have a different lifestyle than outdoor cats. They will most likely not get into contact with things that can cause toxicity or give them parasites. If your cat spends a lot of time outside, you may have to take it to the vet more often. Also, if you need to leave your cat in a cattery, they might want to have new health checks to make sure your cat isn’t carrying a disease.
If you want to become a cat owner or have already become one, the vet should be one of the most important contacts on your phone. They are your allies, and you should have a great vet in your corner at all times. They can give you fantastic advice and are there for you and your cat if anything bad happens. Here’s how often you should take your cat to the vet;
- Kittens - A cat’s kittenhood is a delicate part of its life. The kitten needs vaccinations, health checks, and the vet will want to keep an eye on them while they’re developing. You should take your cat to the vet once a month until the cat’s 5 months old. If you’re getting your cat spayed/neutered, one more vet visit plus a control after the procedure. The vet will want a checkup when the cat turns 1.
- Adult cats (1 - 7 years) - If the cat is healthy, there is no reason to take them to the vet more than once a year. The vet will take notes and keep a chart on the cat’s development on potential issues. If the vet sees your cat is developing a condition, they will tell you to visit in a timely manner.
- Adult cats (7 - 14 years) - Cats can start developing age-related issues in this period of life. At this time, the vet can recommend dietary changes, supplements, or other things that can boost your cat’s health. Vets usually recommend a visit every 6-8 months until the cat is 14.
- Senior cat (14+ years) - A 14-year-old cat is considered geriatric. If you have a senior cat, they probably have age-related health issues, like arthritis. This is something your vet will want to monitor. At that time of your cat’s life, vets recommend a visit every 3 months.
World Cat Finder Team