Skip to Content

How Often Do You Take A Cat To The Vet – How Much Is Enough?

How Often Do You Take A Cat To The Vet – How Much Is Enough?

Every pet owner wonders how to care for a cat’s health properly. New cat owners, especially, because they don’t know how to yet, but they have great interest in cat needs and cat’s life overall. That is totally natural, and it is expected that you have concerns if some health conditions are there.

But how often do you take a cat to the vet? How many veterinarian visits are enough? Your feline friend definitely needs regular check-ups in order to stay sound and healthy. Many pet parents need clarification about how often their cat should visit a vet, and many also think cats don’t require as many vet visits as dogs.

Even though cats take great care of themselves, they require more vet check-ups than you would’ve thought, and don’t wait for some clear signs of some disease to take your cat to the vet.

In this article, we will discuss how often do you take a cat to the vet according to age, so keep reading!

How Often Do You Take A Cat To The Vet According To Age

vet examining a kitten

Cat’s age and overall health will help you decide how much is enough, but here we have some general guidelines according to the age on how often do you take a cat to the vet so that you can keep track of it.

Baby Kittens

If you are lucky enough to be an owner of a baby cat or baby kittens, you will be with your cat during her whole life. At this point, it is really important to schedule an appointment right away since this first vet check-up will help you determine the future care of your cat.

If your cat is truly young and up to 4 months old, a qualified veterinarian may recommend that you take your baby kitten every month until the kitten is around 5 months old.

For the first 16 weeks of the kitten’s life, the kitten should be checked up once every 3 to 4 weeks so the veterinarian, during wellness visits, can conduct a head-to-tail physical examination checking on general health (listen to kitten’s lung and heart, check their skin, mouth, ears and eyes, abdomen, look for congenital abnormalities and the kitten’s growth. The vet will probably give you advice on socialization as well.

During those veterinary visits, your little feline friend will get a series of vaccinations that will help her against life-threatening diseases and infectious illnesses. Your vet will tell you the best vaccine schedule according to your kitten’s lifestyle.

At each visit, the stool samples are going to be checked, so the vet is sure your kitten doesn’t have any gastrointestinal parasites. That’s why it is important that you bring a quarter-sized fresh stool sample every time. Because parasites are so common in young kittens, the vet may deworm your kitten twice in 2 to 3 weeks.

As Feline Leukemia and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus are two life-threatening viruses that can be transmitted through saliva or blood, it is recommended that the tests are done at 8 to 12 weeks since the exposure and acquisition of bot viruses can occur before, during, and after the birth.

If you are thinking of spaying or neutering your kitten, it is usually done between 6 to 12 months of age. The vet will determine the right time for this surgery, and it will discuss important factors of cat care during your kitten’s development.

RELATED: Cat Not Eating After Spay – 5 Reasons And Solutions

Prior To Each Visit

• Make a list of behavior or health questions, so you don’t forget to ask your vet.

• If your cat is taking some prescription or over-the-counter medication, bring it with you or take a photograph of it so your vet can evaluate it.

• Write down the name of your cat’s food so the vet can check the quality of it and the cat’s calorie intake since it is crucial to feed your kitten the right quality food.

We know that these visits to a veterinary clinic can sometimes be too much regarding time and money, but they are crucial because they will set your cat’s good health and wellness. Besides examinations and vaccines, routine vet check-ups will help your cat and your vet bond, and your cat won’t have problems and anxiety and won’t be scared during those visits.

We don’t need to tell you that outside of those routine check-ups, you can and must see the doctor if you notice some health problems during the first year. Make an appointment immediately.

Adult Cats

cat at the vet office

When your baby kitten becomes an adult cat, you should take her to the vet check-up every six months. Those checkups are usually for inspections, vaccinations, and dental cleanings.

Whether your cat is an outdoor or indoor cat, she will need distemper and rabies vaccines that are usually good for 3 years or so but don’t worry too much since your veterinarian can always check their immunity levels in order to determine the optimal treatment.

Adult cats should visit the vet twice a year; one of those visits is reserved for a comprehensive physical examination, stool sample for parasites, and update of their vaccine shots. The vet should help you determine which vaccines are best for your pet.

Wellness testing is always recommended because it is done on all adult cats during their annual visit. This is great since it provides a cat owner with all the information about a pet’s health. These tests will detect any diseases, and according to that, the vet can act, addressing the issue and setting the diagnosis. It is always better to notice health issues straight away before it is too late.

At this veterinary visit, your older cat will be weighed to see how much progress she has made, and an overall evaluation of the body condition will be done. If the vet notices that your cat is overweight, he will probably give you exercise and dietary advice.

Your cat’s oral health will also be checked; the vet will look for signs of gingivitis, plaque, crown pathology, and tarter. More than 70% of cats over 6 years of age have periodontal issues. If that is diagnosed, then dental cleaning and assessment under anesthesia are recommended.

If your cat goes out to burn some excess energy, you should do tick, flea, and heartworm prevention throughout the year. If your cat, for some reason, is on long-term medications, you should take her to the vet more often to do frequent bloodwork.

If there are obvious health issues, you are to visit the vet, no matter the regular visits to the vet. It is always better to notice illness early so it can be adequately treated without any consequences so your cat and you can live a happy and long life.

Elderly Cats

sick cat at the vet

Elderly cats are those that have reached the age of 7 and over. The vet will probably recommend that you take your older cat up to 3 times a year besides those immediate check-ups.

After they exceed the age of 10, the vet check-ups should be more than 3 times a year since older cats are prone to obesity, arthritis, and liver and kidney problems.

A physical examination is required because the older cat, the higher the probability of detecting a health issue at this age. As cats are great at hiding pain, it is hard to know if something is troubling them just by looking at them; that’s why scheduling those visits is essential.

In senior pets, the test usually done is Thyroid and Chemistry bloodwork, urinalysis, and CBC, no matter how healthy they look. It is essential to detect this early as it will prolong the cat’s life and strengthen its quality of life.

Before the vet visit, check out your cat’s movement while walking, after they rise from their favorite day nap, climbing, jumping, and using a litter box. Discuss with your veterinarian all you saw. If the pet shows reluctance to jump or stiffness, your cat might need pharmaceutical or nutraceutical products to stop the pain and heighten the quality of life. If the joints are indeed the problem, there is also a massage and therapeutic laser that will help your cat tremendously.

Of course, vaccinations will be given according to the vaccine schedule that your veterinarian decided. Dental cleanings are also important at this age, as dental disease is truly harmful and painful and can cause serious problems.

When To Take A Cat To The Vet Straight Away?

vet holding a cat

Preventive care is always better. That’s why you must do more wellness checkups because only that way you’ll notice ongoing issues. There is an excellent way of checking if your cat is okay with a qualified online veterinarian.

Generally speaking, if you notice that your cat is not feeling quite well or something is strange to you and unusual, schedule the appointment immediately, as you’re probably helping your cat long before some severe issues come up.

For example, if your cat is limping, vomiting, bleeding, has lost the appetite, has uncontrollable diarrhea, and eating something toxic or unedible, you need to take her to the vet right away regardless of the annual visits.

If you also notice these few signs, you should not wait for your next scheduled appointment:

• Loss of appetite or changes in it

Weight loss

• Lethargy

• Not communicating with people

Changes in urine

Changes in stool

How Often Do Cats Get Vaccine Shots?

cat getting a vaccine shot

Veterinary care will be different according to the age of your cat. We know that baby kittens will visit the vet more often since vaccine boosters must be taken more often due to immunity.

The kitten should receive a vaccine for FVRCP (Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis Calicivirus Panleukopenia) somewhere between 6 to 8 weeks of age. Pet owners maybe remember it as a feline distemper vaccine which needs to be taken once again 3 to 4 weeks after the first vaccine and then again 3 to 4 weeks after the second to receive 3 feline distemper vaccines.

This round of vaccines is good for one year. After they reach 13 to 16 weeks of age, baby kittens will receive a rabies vaccine. If your kitten is an outdoor cat or goes outside from time to time, it might also receive the feline leukemia vaccine. Feline leukemia can be spread from cat to cat through body fluids, so it is possible that your cat when she’s out, meets another cat that is a carrier of that disease.

After all the necessary vaccine shots, kittens should be spayed or neutered; those procedures usually happen around 6 months. Vet check-ups will also include fecal tests so there are no intestinal parasites, ticks, or fleas, and the vet will recommend parasite prevention. After that, your cat is good until their annual vet visit.

After the rabies vaccines and FVCRP, your vet may recommend a 3-year version of those vaccines. That means you need to take your adult cat to an annual checkup to see if there are underlying health issues. A stool sample is also checked annually to determine whether your cat is an indoor or outdoor cat.

When your cat reaches 7 years of age, the veterinary visit should be more frequent than every six months. Why? Because medical conditions in senior cats can happen fast and without you even noticing. That’s why it is crucial that you take your cat regularly to wellness tests and routine bloodwork, so there are no metabolic issues or organ dysfunction.

If your cat has some health issues or chronic problems during their life, the vet may recommend different vaccination schedules and visits.

Remember, outdoor cats will always need more protection with vaccines and more care since they’re spending time outside.

See Also: 9 Warning Signs Of Infection After Neutering Cat

What To Know Before A Trip To The Vet

cat at the vet

Bringing a cat to the veterinarian might be challenging for many pet owners. However, some things can help you during that task:

• First and foremost, your cat needs to have a cozy carrier. The cat should have space inside it, meaning they are big enough to fit comfortably but not too big so she can be jostled around during the ride. It would be a great idea to leave a carrier open in your home so your cat can get used to it and be familiar with it. You can check here the 8 best cat carriers for car travel.

• In order to get your cat to like their carrier, you can place their favorite toy or some piece of clothing that smells like you or encourage her with treats to get into the carrier. There are also many pheromone sprays online that you can purchase in order to calm your cat. Place also some blanket or towel inside the crate, so it is comfortable for them.

• It is recommended that you make an appointment for a quiet time of the day, like early afternoon or mid-morning, and you can always ask for a quiet room at the veterinary clinic or hospital.

• If your cat is always stressed when she needs to go somewhere, discuss it with the veterinarian before the appointment, so you can medicate your cat before the ride. The vet should advise you about some medications that will calm your cat.

• If your kitten litter box training isn’t going so well, feel free to ask the vet for some advice.

Wrapping It Up

bengal cat at the vet

How often do you take a cat to the vet is no longer a question of your concern since we have covered pretty much the whole life of your dear feline friend.

Visiting the veterinarian is not only crucial for emergencies, diseases, and concerns, it is vital that you, as a pet owner, pay attention to the preventive care of your cat. If you regularly visit a vet, there is no chance you will discover some problem too late.

A cat that often visits the veterinary clinic or hospital is likely to form a strong relationship with her vet, and it will be easier when those times come. It is also great since the veterinarian will know the cat’s details, including medical history, diet, exercise, and all the important things in the cat’s life.

A wellness check more than twice a year is a must. If you notice something strange and unusual, take your cat and visit the vet immediately.

Related Content

How Strong Are Cats?

Why Are Cats So Small?

Can You Feel A Cat’s Microchip?