Going to the veterinarian can be a stressful experience for both animals and humans alike. We don’t like to see our animals go through that experience more than need be, but how many times is normal?
Cats in particular have to go through a bigger ordeal when it comes to a vet visit. This involves placing them into a pet carrier where they are taken to an unfamiliar environment.
But, what should you expect in terms of the number of veterinarian visits for your feline?
How Often Do You Take a Cat To the Vet?
This question isn’t as simple as listing how many times in a year. It has to be broken down into categories. These include the number of usual visits for kittens, adults, and seniors. Kittens will go in more frequently until they are fully vaccinated. Adult cats can expect a yearly checkup. The same goes for senior pets, though it can depend on any underlying issues that they have along the way.
Vet Visit Based On Age
The reason behind visiting a vet doesn’t have to always be extreme. Going to the clinic can be as simple as a simple checkup, or need to have their vaccinations updated. This is dependent on several variables, the most important being age.
Let’s break this down further!
Those with a cat under the age of four months should expect to take their kitten in every month.
This ensures that they receive all of the necessary vaccinations. It also allows experienced veterinarians and staff members to survey for underlying conditions that can pose a problem later on.
Immunizations are expected to start anywhere between six and eight weeks at three to four-week intervals up until they hit four months of age.
During this time, they were equipped with the necessary boosters to fight feline distemper, feline herpes, calicivirus (respiratory infections), and rabies.
Once all of the vaccinations have been given, your cat’s next visit will be around six months of age. This is when they should be neutered or spayed.
Full-grown felines do not need to see the vet as frequently if they are relatively healthy. The average expectation for taking your adult cat to the vet is once a year.
They will continue to look at your cat’s physical condition, and take note of any changes from the previous visit. It is important to consider the lifestyle of your feline to determine the correct number of trips to the vet in a year.
There are two “types” of adult cats, both of which have their own health needs and concerns. You may want to adjust your annual visits to the vet clinic depending on if your cat is an indoor or outdoor feline.
Those who venture outside will need a more regular visit to keep up to date on their vaccinations.
Indoor cats rely on vet visits to keep an eye on their weight, as they do not get as much exercise. Cats kept indoors tend to have fewer trips to the vet.
Older cats are susceptible to disease and other health issues that can present themselves in their later years. But, when does a cat reach its senior years? Cats generally live anywhere between 10 and 15 years. This puts the senior mark somewhere around 11 years old.
Veterinarians ideally prefer to see geriatric cats at least once a year, with a supplemental visit between visits.
These exams generally include a full once over for physical ailments and body condition, blood work to find any diseases or inconsistencies hidden to the eye, and x-rays.
The most common issue that you’ll find with geriatric felines is chronic renal disease. This is a disease that attacks the kidneys, therefore making it difficult for their body to filter out waste.
Older cats tend to also experience a higher risk of infections. Yearly examinations are mandatory to provide quality care.
How To Reduce Unexpected Vet Visits
Aside from the yearly checkup, you may find your cat needing to go in for issues that showed up along the way. There are steps that you can take to reduce the chances of this happening, saving both you and your cat unnecessary stress.
There are ways in which you can keep your cat healthy, thus putting off the dreaded visit to the veterinarian clinic. Making sure that your cat has enough water is pivotal as kidney failure is the biggest issue later down the road.
This will flush the kidneys out for healthier bodily functions. Other strategies include routine grooming, the correct amount of feeding, and exercise. This should not be a reason to postpone a yearly exam. Cats of any age should still see a vet annually.
Trips to the Vet With Your Cat: Concluding Thoughts
All cats should be seen by a professional veterinarian at least once a year, if not more depending on their age.
Kittens younger than four months are expected to be seen once a month to keep an eye on their overall body condition.
They then go in every three to four weeks for the necessary vaccinations. An adult cat should be taken to the vet for yearly examinations unless there are any sudden problems or concerns.
This can also change depending on whether your feline is an outdoor dweller, or if they stay indoors. Geriatric cats are recommended to be seen by a vet every six months, though most opt for once a year.
Frequently Asked Questions About Taking a Cat To the Vet
Should I take my indoor cat to the vet?
Although indoor cats don’t have the same amount of exposure, they should be taken to the vet once a year! Indoor felines can suffer from diseases and underlying health issues such as renal failure and obesity.
How do you know when to take your cat to the vet?
Aside from the yearly checkups, you should look for signs that your cat needs additional visits. Be mindful of any sudden changes in breathing, appetite, activity levels, drinking habits, and litter box behavior. All of these can be signs of a greater problem!
What happens if you never take your cat to the vet?
If you were to never take your cat to the vet, you may not find a small issue that could evolve into a bigger and potentially untreatable problem. Yearly exams will catch anything before it’s too late!