It’s a wonderful feeling to have pets in our lives as they make our family complete. Similarly, we have to take care of them so that they will remain happy and healthy. This is why many pet owners, especially cat owners, ask, “ how to take care of a cat?” and “how much is a vet visit for a cat?”Many people assume that cats are healthy animals and don’t need nearly as much veterinary treatment as dogs. However, this is not true at all! Just like canines, felines also do require regular checkups to stay healthy.
Are you also confused about how often do you take a cat to the vet? If yes, keep reading.
Today in this blog, we’re going to explain how much is a vet visit for a cat and how to take care of a cat’s health properly. It’s true that cats are self-sufficient enough to take care of themselves, but still, they need regular health checkups. Even though your kitty isn’t showing or exhibiting any type of signs of sickness, you still have to take your cat to the vet much more frequently.
However, a trip to the vet isn’t always pleasing for both you and your kitty. That’s because cats don’t like vets, and going to the vet is the last thing that your cat wants to do, right? And this is another reason why cat owners avoid going to the vet for regular checkups.
According to a survey, “ less than 50 percent of cat owners take their pets to the vet annually.”
Many people are confused about how often should a cat go to the vet and at what stages. The answer actually varies from feline to feline. For example, young kittens need to visit the vet pretty frequently as compared to adult cats. On the other hand, sick cats have to go for a check-up as per the vet’s instructions.
From getting shots and vaccines to weekly or monthly body checkups, there are many things that are necessary for felines to ensure that everything is in good shape.
In this post, we’ll cover:
- How often should cats go to the vet?
- How often do you take kittens to the vet?
- How often do you take adult cats to the vet?
- How often do you take senior cats to the vet?
- When to take a cat to the vet immediately?
So keep reading to learn about how often should a cat go to the vet. Let’s start.
How Often Should Cats Go to the Vet?
If you’re a cat owner, it’s important for you to know how often should I take my cats to the vet. This answer actually depends on various factors such as age, health condition, and lifestyle. All these things play a significant role in any feline vet’s schedule.
The American Animal Hospital Association suggests that you should take your adult cat in for a check up at least once a year. But what about the kittens and elderly cats?
Felines of different ages have different medical requirements, so they have different veterinarian visiting schedules. So, first, you must know your cat’s age and when to take your kitty to the vet.
Even if your kitty is playful and seems completely fine, you still have to take your kitty to the vet at least once a year. This way, you can get to know about minor medical problems and catch them even before they turn into serious ones. These regular checkups will determine every little detail, from obesity to injuries to medical conditions.
So basically, a cat’s age can be classified into three stages:
- Kittens: Birth – 1 Year
- Adults: 1 Year – 10 Years
- Seniors: 10 Years +
Kittens (Birth – 1 Year)
Has your cat recently given birth to kittens? If yes, you will feel so proud to be the owner of kittens. Obviously, you want to take good care of them, so you have to schedule an appointment with a vet.
Kittens or baby cats are considered for upto one year. You have to take care of them really well until they’re four to five months old. According to the vet, you must take them to the veterinarian monthly.
The first sixteen weeks after they’re born, you should visit the vet at least once every three to four weeks. In this period, your vet will give a series of vaccinations to your cat or kittens. These vaccines will protect your furry babies from many infectious and life-threatening diseases.
You might be wondering what actually happens in a vet. So, during these visits, the vet always does a complete physical checkup from heal to tail examination. It includes looking at their eyes, ear, and mouth for infection, noting their heart rate, palpating the abdomen, and checking for any signs of illness in your kittens.
For kittens of age from 8 to 12 weeks or older, sometimes the vet also suggests doing a Feline Leukemia and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus blood test. That’s because, at this young age, it’s common to have these two life-threatening viruses.
And at the age of 9-12 weeks, the vet will give the next set of vaccinations to your cat. At some vets, litter box training, grooming sessions, and socialization events have also been taught so that you will get to know how to control your cat’s anger and destructive behavior.
Adult Cats (1 Year – 10 Years)
How much is a check up for a cat?
It would be best if you visited the vet at least twice per year or every six months for your adult’s cat checkup. These appointments mostly include dental cleanings, inspections, and vaccinations.
If you’re wondering whether indoor cats need rabies and distemper vaccines or not, the answer is yes; they require to get these shots! Felines need to get vaccine boosters every 1-3 years. Apart from this, there are other examinations, such as stool sample checks for parasites and physical checkups. So, if you have a completely healthy adult feline, once a year routine checkup is enough. However, if your kitty is sick and has a chronic medical condition such as diabetes or kidney disease, your cat needs regular care and attention.
Don’t forget to bring the names and dosages of medications, food, and all the nutritional supplements that your cat is taking right now. All this information is sensitive as it will help your vet to navigate your kitty’s health and formulate the right treatment. Also, don’t hesitate to ask as many questions as the vet.
Senior Cats (10 Years +)
How to take care of a cat over the age of 10 years?
It’s hard and a bit challenging to take care of elderly cats as they’re more sensitive to illness and diseases. So, that’s why many times, the vet also suggests changing the diet and care schedule.
So, if your cat is more than 7 years old, you should see a vet at least 2 to 3 times a year. This is necessary as they require more than regular checkups, such as comprehensive physical examinations and CBC (Chemistry and Thyroid bloodwork). This is because older felines have a higher chance of getting serious health problems such as arthritis, obesity, and kidney and liver problems.
The main thing is that felines don’t show any signs of pain and discomfort because they’re very secretive about this. So, don’t get misled about this kind of behavior and assume that they’re healthy. Don’t make this mistake, and try to visit the vet regularly. Thus routine medical screenings will filter out any health issues which can become serious in the future.
When Should I Take My Cat to the Vet?
Even if you’re taking your cat to regular checkups, if your kitty seems unhealthy and sick, you should immediately make an appointment with the vet.
So if you notice something is unusual and not right with your cat, you should take the cat to the vet. Below are some common signs which indicate sickness and illness in your cat:
- Hiding, howling, and crying.
- Runny nose, sneezing.
- Sudden weight loss.
- Excessive licking.
- Unusual lumps or growths.
- Avoiding the litter box.
- Lack of appetite.
- Repetitive vomiting.
- Dragging legs.
- Shivering or signs of hypothermia.
- Heavily breathing.
- Fatigue and weakness.
- Nose or eye discharge
Now, we will share all the details regarding how often do you take a cat to the vet and the tips for bringing your cat to the vet.
Tips for Bringing Your Cat to the Vet
Here are the tips for bringing your cat to the vet:
1. Meditating the Cat Ahead of Time
If your pet is scared, share these details with your vet before making the appointment. Some medications will help calm them down before going to the vet for a cat and taking the treatment.
2. Ensure the Cat Has a Comfortable Carrier
The carrier should be big enough for the cat to fit comfortably. However, it should not be so big that where they feel exposed or jarred around in the automobile. The crate should be left open at home for a few weeks before the visit so your cat can get used to the tools.
You can even try and keep their favorite toy in the carrier. Another thing you can do is to keep a piece of clothing that smells like you. You can also use the pheromone sprays as a calming agent.
3. Make an Appointment at a Quiet Time of the Day
One should make the appointment mid-morning when fewer people and pets are in the clinic. It will comfort your cat.
4. Look into Fear-Free or Cat-Only Clinics
One needs to look for clinics that are made for cat-only. At these clinics, your cat will feel safe and comfortable. The fear-free clinics make use of low-stress handling methods. In addition, they will take care to give a calm environment to the cats.
However, make sure to inquire how much is a vet visit for a cat as it may differ from vet to vet.
How Often do Cats Get Shots?
Different life stages will need different levels of veterinary care. Generally, the kittens have to visit the vet more because they require vaccine boosters more till they get sufficient immunity.
A kitten receives their first FVRCP vaccine between 6 and 8 weeks. It is a combination vaccine referred to as a feline distemper vaccine. Three to four weeks later, then three to four weeks after that, it must be boosted for three shots. After the final round, the vaccines are good for one year time. Kittens also receive their first rabies vaccine between 13 and 16 weeks.
The vet will also inform you how often should a cat go to the vet, make sure to follow his advice.
If your kitten spends a lot of time outdoors, it is recommended that they get the feline leukemia vaccine. Feline leukemia spreads from cat to cat, so there may be a high chance that your cat gets this disease from another cat. Therefore, this shot is necessary for your cats if they stay outdoors.
After getting all these shots, they will undergo spaying or neutering (around six months of age). Fecal tests to screen for intestinal parasites will also be performed during this period at the veterinarian’s office, and monthly flea, tick, and parasite prevention should start to be administered. After the cat is spayed or neutered, after all of the shots, they are ready for the veterinary visits till their annual check-up.
After the cat receives their initial FVRCPR vaccine, the vet may recommend a three-year version of these vaccines.
If you are guessing how often should cats go to the vet, the vet recommends that when the cay becomes seven years of age, the cat should visit the vet once in six months.
Also, you need to ask how much is a check up for a cat to the vet so that you have a proper idea and you can manage funds as well.
Your veterinarian may suggest a different annual inspection or immunization regimen for your cat if they are diagnosed with any sickness or chronic condition. Also, apart from all these, it will be good if you have an understanding of how to take care of a cat.
So this is all about how often do you take a cat to the vet. You should not only take your pet to the vet only when they’re sick and ill. Even if there is no medical concern or emergency, you still have to visit the vet for cat regular examinations. This way, you can avoid and prevent any kind of serious health issues before they escalate. Now you know how often do you need to take a cat to the vet.
I hope this in-depth guide on how much is a vet visit for a cat and how to take care of a cat has helped you understand the behavior of your kittens.