Do you have a cat in your home? It’s important to get your cat the care he or she needs.
Many assume that as long as cats are regularly fed, they are maintenance-free. There’s a prevailing myth that cats do not need the same number of veterinary visits as dogs do. Some pet owners assume the cat being a self-sufficient creature is good unless they show obvious ailment signs. So they fail to keep up with regular vet appointments. Your fur baby needs veterinary care at different ages and different stages. This practice can often prolong and even save the life of a beloved pet.
Visiting the vet is a tricky task. Getting your cat into her carrier could similize an Olympic event.
Sounds of hissing and low growls. You park and lug the carrier inside. What you see is dogs…so many dogs…and unfamiliar noises and smells that only rile your sweet cat up more. Then you both have to wait, the endless waiting, and then you have to repeat the process to get home again.
How Often Do You Take a Cat to the vet?
Just like us, a cat’s medical check-up once a year is important even if they seem perfectly healthy. These furry kids are stoic. Your vet will keep track of your cat for changes that might not mean much to an untrained eye! Wellness visits also create the perfect opportunity for you to discuss with your vet any issues your cat is having. These could be behavioral or even related to aging or diet.
Annual vet appointments are essential for their wellness checks. It will help head off potentially serious diseases. Some vaccines also require boosters every few years to remain effective. Nearly half of all American pets are overweight. So visiting your vet yearly ensures you don’t turn a blind eye to your slowly-ballooning cat.
When you bring a new kitten to your family, do not forget to schedule an appointment with your vet amidst all fun. Its initial check-up is essential. If your fur baby is less than three months old, it will need monthly visits up through this age. Discuss the schedule for your kitten’s first year.
Cats are generally spayed or neutered at around six months. If your kitten is from a shelter, you can relax as they may have done the procedure much earlier, before you took it home. After a year, you can proceed to an adult schedule for your vet visits.
Adult Care And Wellness Checks
If you own an adult cat, visit your vet at least once a year for a check-up. Get dental cleanings and vaccinations done. Adult cats tend to hide pain and discomfort. So it generally takes the trained eye of a vet to see if it has any health issues.
If you also think that keeping cats indoors will keep them away from any dangers, and thus they don’t need vet visits, you are wrong. It is a common misconception.
All cats should get regular rabies and distemper vaccines. Sometimes, these vaccines are good for up to three years. In this case, your vet can test your cat’s immunity level to ensure he or she is protected.
Senior Cats Deserve Special Vet Care
According to the American Animal Hospital Association, when your furry kid grows to seven years, believe it or not, it is a senior. It is time for you to schedule a visit to your vet for eldercare. If you notice subtle changes in its behavior like mental confusion, stiffness when it walks or hiding in unusual places, it signifies an age-related problem.
In this age group of seven to ten years, most cats need twice-yearly visits. As soon as they reach ten years of age, it is recommended to see the vet as many as three times a year.
Be extra cautious if they suffer from arthritis, obesity, liver problems, or kidney issues. Some of these diseases can become quite serious in a year which is why twice-annual appointments are necessary.
If you observe signs of distress or discomfort in your cat, you should see your vet as soon as possible. These signs include:
- Changes in urine or stool
- Reduced appetite
- Increased vocalization
- Avoidance of humans or nearby surroundings
- Limping or moving in an unusual way
Why Take Your Cat to the Vet
Regardless of your cat’s age, visit your vet any time your pet shows a sign of illness, such as those listed below. Please do not delay in bringing them to your veterinarian as soon as possible.
Signs That Indicate Trouble
- Greater or diminished eating, drinking, urination, defecation
- Coughing, sneezing, runny nose
- Frequent vomiting
- Excessive licking
- Bald spots
- Increase or decrease in activity, grooming, sleeping
- Weight loss
- Human Avoidance
Tip: Train your cat for a visit to the veterinarian by making their carrier a place to play, GIve them a toy.
Changes in Cat’s Lifestyle
Sometimes your cat’s lifestyle changes drastically. Particularly when your indoor cat is about to get access to the outdoors, these times you should visit the vet to make sure you are prepared. There are additional vaccines that your cat needs if it is outdoors all the time. If you are moving with a cat, it is advisable for a check-up before you leave. It will help you detect unusual behaviors associated with the move from those that might indicate illness.
Keep in mind that your vet is a valuable resource for all your cat’s major transitions. Find a vet that you’re comfortable with and form a strong ongoing relationship. A vet that knows your cat well can give you a personalized schedule for check-ups that’s tailored to your furry friend’s individual needs.
Is Your Cat Due?
In general, your cat should see her veterinarian at least once a year. Of course, this doesn’t account for any one-off visits she needs, like when she has a bad cold or a limp that won’t go away. These things happen, and it’s important to respond with proper medical care as quickly as possible and keep your annual or biannual appointment on the books as planned.
An Annual Check-Up of the Cat
Indoor cats need a routine wellness check-up. When your veterinarian examines your cat from nose to tail once or twice yearly, your vet can recognize changes that could show disease. Early diagnosis and treatment can help the cat in fighting all ailments in time if any health problems are detected. These routine check-ups are keys to preserving a cat’s happy health.
Vaccines can support your cat’s immunity. It helps to combat cats from any infectious disease. The American Association of Feline Practitioners recognizes important core and voluntary non-core vaccines. The non-core vaccines are suggested for outdoor cats and those who spend time in contact with other cats.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What to do if my cat behaves aggressively at the vet’s clinic?
Try to pacify her/him with love. Or you can also try distracting it with some toy.
2. What age cats need more visits to a vet?
At the age of seven and above, your cat needs more visits to the vet.
3. Is it necessary to take your cat to the vet?
Absolutely. Just like humans, your pets also need a regular vet visit for their well-being.