How often do we go to the doctor? When we are unwell. How do we know we are unwell? We say so. Your child will tell you, your mother will say to you. So how often should you take a cat to the vet? Our cats can’t tell us if they are feeling off.
We may suspect they are not well after a few days or even a few weeks. Perhaps they start losing weight or stop eating… We wait until we see symptoms before we act on this. Sometimes this time delay could be more detrimental to the cat than we realize.
So how often should you take a cat to the vet? There are several factors here to consider. If the cat is unwell, you need to take it to the vet.
But, how often should you take a cat to the vet if it is healthy? Do cats need health checkups? How old is the cat? Has the cat been dewormed has it had its vaccinations?
How Often Should You Take Your Cat To The Vet
Kittens need to be taken to the vet from when they are only a few weeks old. They need treating for worms and fleas from as young as two weeks old – but the cat owner can do this.
However, from around four weeks old, they will be starting a series of vaccinations. These are important for the future health of the animal.
The vaccinations will need to be provided regularly to ensure they are effective. This can be taking the kitten back to the vet several times until they are around six months old.
Then perhaps when they are year old. Of course, during this time also, you may opt for your cat to be spayed or neutered. Microchipping is also a good idea from a young age, as kittens can wander off.
Adult Cat Care
You will need to keep taking your cat to the vet for routine vaccinations to keep these up to date.
This can now be done once or twice a year, depending on the vaccine, the area you live in, the environment the cat lives in (indoors or outdoors), or the breed of cat.
Any other regular ‘cat maintenance’ such as flea, tick, and worm treatments can be administered to the pet by the owner unless, of course, the owner would prefer this to be done by the veterinarian.
These discussions should be had with the vet when the cat (or kitten) is first acquired. Generally, you will have a little book from the vet which keeps a record of what treatments the cat has had and when the next one is due.
Of course, any signs of the cat being unwell is always a reason to head to the vet.
Senior Cat Care
How old does a cat have to be before being considered a senior? This is around seven or ten years old.
Some breeds live longer than others, so there is no set number here. At least once a year, your cat should be seen by the vet, but more so six-monthly now is recommended.
Cats are subject to many ‘senior cat’ ailments, and some are not always obvious, such as bad teeth, kidney failure, diabetes, cancer.
Unfortunately, once an older cat succumbs to one of these conditions, its quality of life can deteriorate rather quickly. Sometimes, therefore, if the cat is not treated early, it can become too late.
Changes To Be Aware Of:
Apart from the routine vet visits for your beloved kitty, it would help if you also were frequenting your veterinarian should one of the following changes be observed:
- Changes with the cat’s stools: This could be diarrhea, or constipation, or showing traces of blood, easily noticed in their cat litter box.
- Changes in the cat’s eating habits: Is the cat eating significantly more? (or wanting more even though you have just fed it)? Or is it not hungry and seems disinterested in food?
- Lethargy: Is your cat lazy, or is it ill? If naturally active and then suddenly wanting to sleep all of the time, this could cause concern.
- Constant grooming: If the cat is continually licking itself, even after using dry shampoo, this could be a sign of something more sinister if this is a new behavior.
Generally, if your cat suddenly starts doing something new or stops doing something it has always done, keep an eye on it, and if concerned, then a quick visit to the veterinarian can put any concerns to rest.
It is generally considered that cats be seen by their veterinarian at least once a year. More often as kittens and more often when they become seniors. Although less susceptible to some conditions, indoor cats still need to go to the vet the same as their outdoor counterparts.
If you want to leave your cat in a cattery at any stage of its life, the cattery will need to see confirmation that the kitty’s vaccinations are up to date, as exposure to other cats could make them ill.